Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

August 18, 2013 4 - 4.5 Stars, Action-Packed, Awesome Twist, Cristin Terrill, Dual POV, Kick-Ass Heroines, Science Fiction, Time Travel 7 ★★★★½

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Series: All Our Yesterdays # 1
Published by Disney Hyperion on September 3, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars
"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.
All Our Yesterdays is a wonderfully intelligent time-travel story.  The time travel concepts are complex, but manage to not be (too) confusing.  When All Our Yesterdays begins, Em and Finn are locked up in adjacent cells for reasons unknown.  Both are subjected to torture and beatings, and it is clear that this isn’t a run-of-the-mill prison.  Two men, referred to by Em as “the doctor” and “the director” are in charge, and both are vicious.  Em and Finn, with the help of a guard, stage a very unusual prison break – not just out of the prison, but through time, into the past.  They travel to the past not just to escape, but to prevent a catastrophic series of events that will throw the country into chaos.

All Our Yesterdays is told in dual times and from dual perspectives.  While the brave, resourceful Em narrates in the present, rich, spoiled Marina narrates four years in the past.  The two girls share a connection that seemed obvious very early on, although it’s revealed in a matter-of-fact way a bit later.  Marina’s world is one of luxury, and her biggest concern is getting her best friend, James, to fall in love with her.

James and Finn are great counterpoints.  Marina’s friendship with James is sweet, but seems a bit indicative of her immaturity.  Em and Finn, meanwhile, have a relationship that’s bound by mutual trust.  Not surprising, since their lives are constantly at risk.

While reading All Our Yesterdays, I couldn’t help thinking forward to the end.  I was enjoying the story so much, and I dreaded an ending that would be falsely optimistic.  I think that would have destroyed the book for me.  In my mind, I thought I had the perfect ending, but what Cristin Terrill came up with was BEYOND perfect.

Note – I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review posted at Goodreads.

Stephanie

7 Responses to “Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill”

    • Stephanie K

      I do the same thing when I haven’t read a book yet. 🙂 There was so much more I wanted to write, but I was afraid it would be too spoiler-y. Bottom line, though, I loved it!

  1. Mada Sch

    This sounds really good! Especially since time-travel is present and it’s neither too simple, nor too difficult to understand. I like books who challenge your imagination and your thinking process a bit, otherwise I just feel like everything happens too fast and that the story isn’t gripping enough. And I think I’m not the only one who has some sort of lightbulb in their minds which goes “Bing!” when there’s a strange character called “The Doctor”.

    Mada Sch @ Confiture de rêves.

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