Publishing Info: September 3, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: January 26, 2014
What would you change?
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 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, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. 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. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.
All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice
Right off the bat, I knew I was going to enjoy ALL OUR YESTERDAYS. It’s a book about time travel. So of course! The book started off exciting. I’ve been going through a rough patch lately where I’ve read a lot of books that started out just a bit slowly but ALL OUR YESTERDAYS definitely caught me from the beginning and it was just what I needed to kick off another batch of exciting reads!
One thing I really liked about ALL OUR YESTERDAYS was the really creative POV switch. Going into the book, I really knew nothing except that it was about time travel (I really like to go into books blind for the ultimate surprise effects!) so it was really interesting to see the timelines of Em and Marina and exactly how they were connected. I had my suspicions from the start how the stories of the two girls would merge together and I was completely satisfied when it was revealed to the readers!
Time travel can be tricky to incorporate into books sometimes and I’m not always convinced with the time travel explanations but Cristin Terrill did an amazing job making sure everything connected and things like paradoxes were explained. I totally geek out of time travel and the different methods it works as well as the explanations of how time lines diverge and converge so I was very please to see how well everything was handled!
I think the overall plot was pretty brilliant. The reason that these characters choose to time travel, the events that they’re trying to stop, and the fact that they’ve already had so many failed attempts was absolutely fascinating. There were a few situations that positively terrified me, mostly because I stopped to think, “This could really happen in our world… And wouldn’t I try to time travel if I thought I could prevent it, even if it meant giving up everything to do so?” But the best part about it all was honestly how the villain of the story, the doctor, was incorporated. The doctor is… complicated, to say the least, as is his relationship with Em and Finn. It’s incredible to see the slow reveal of his side of the story and how that all fits back into everything. Cristin Terrill just does a fantastic job of weaving everything back in together which is something that never ceases to amaze me when I read books with plot twists and reveals.
I also really enjoyed the romance between Em and Finn. Once again, Cristin Terrill introduces us to the timeline as it currently stands and then slowly fills in the missing pieces of everything that the characters have gone through to get there. The reveal of how Em and Finn ended up in their current situation and how their relationship formed was bittersweet. I loved seeing how much they relied on each other, trusted each other, and fell in love in despite their current situation (you know… trying to save the world). At the same time, it was so heart-breaking to see them constantly being put in jeopardy and they really only have each other throughout this crazy expedition to set the world right so when something goes wrong, it goes terribly wrong and my heart ached whenever something endangered either character or their relationship. I totally fell in love with the two of them!
The only tiny complaint I have was the way the ending was wrapped up… I almost feel embarrassed to admit but I was a bit confused at first. I understood what had happened but I was missing a tiny portion of the “how” according to the rules that had been set up throughout the novel. I thought over it and felt all right with it but at the same time, there’s still a piece of me that feels like it didn’t quite make sense. (So please feel free to talk some sense into me, those who have read it!) I appreciate knowing that apparently there will be a book two (which was something that upset some readers before me since it was originally planned to be a stand alone) so I’m very curious to see where the second book takes us because I’m not entirely sure what Cristin Terrill has up her sleeve!
Other than that, I really loved the book. There was just a little tiny “something” missing (I couldn’t really tell you what) that prevented me from fangirling and failing and rating it five stars, but I really, really enjoyed it and I always love a good time travel book!
Em // Character Obsessions: Time traveling, saving the world, stopping the doctor, Finn.
I really, REALLY liked Em. I loved her tough spirit, her determination to persevere and I respected how hardened she had become even though she had to make some seriously tough choices along the way. I really appreciated seeing how much she had changed from her past-self and she really turned out to be a better person even though she had to go through insane amounts of hardships to get there.
Finn // Character Obsessions: Protecting Em, chasing down the doctor, general Tom Foolery.
I loved Finn’s attitude. You know I love the joking, teasing sort of guy and I love seeing the funny guy fall in love. It’s just so touching to see that sort of exterior broken and seeing a softie underneath. I really grew to love his character and I loved seeing how different he had been in the past as well.
Kept Me Hooked On: Time Travel. Heckkkk yes. The time travel was done SO well in this book. I loved how it was established, I loved how it was explained, and I love how it drove the plot from beginning to end.
Left Me Wanting More: “Something”. This was another book that was just missing a tiny something and I really couldn’t tell you what it is. There was nothing “wrong” but it didn’t quite blow me away.
ALL OUR YESTERDAYS was really great. If you’re a fan of time travel, sci-fi, exciting chases, narrow escapes, romance, kissing, evil villains… You’ll love it! (Come on, who DOESN’T like that?)
(Click the cover to see my review!)