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All Our Yesterdays (All Our Yesterdays #1) – Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays (All Our Yesterdays #1) – Cristin TerrillTitle: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
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

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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!

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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.

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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.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

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?)

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE ALL OUR YESTERDAYS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        Tandem      Crewel

Unforgotten (Unremembered #2) – Jessica Brody

Unforgotten (Unremembered #2) – Jessica BrodyTitle: Unforgotten (Unremembered #2) by Jessica Brody
Publishing Info: February 25, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: ARC
Genres: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: January 21, 2014
Related Posts: Unremembered (Unremembered #1), A Week of Mondays

After a daring escape from the scientists at Diotech who created her, Seraphina believes she is finally safe from the horrors of her past. But new threats await Sera and her boyfriend, Zen, at every turn as Zen falls prey to a mysterious illness and Sera’s extraordinary abilities make it more and more difficult to stay hidden. Meanwhile, Diotech has developed a dangerous new weapon designed to apprehend her. A weapon that even Sera will be powerless to stop. Her only hope of saving Zen’s life and defeating the company that made her is a secret buried deep within her mind. A secret that Diotech will kill to protect. And it won’t stay forgotten for long.
    Packed with mystery, suspense, and romance, this riveting second installment of Jessica Brody’s Unremembered trilogy delivers more heart-pounding action as loyalties are tested, love becomes a weapon, and no one’s memories are safe.

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** Warning: There WILL be spoilers for BOOK ONE, UNREMEMBERED so just be aware that in my review for book two, I can’t NOT talk about what happened in the first book! **

UNFORGOTTEN was absolutely thrilling and definitely a wild ride. Whereas there were tiny things in UNREMEMBERED that I didn’t quite jive with, I really fell into UNFORGOTTEN and finished it within two days which is a pretty quick pace considering it’s a 400+ page book! I really got sucked into the action and with UNFORGOTTEN being much more action-packed and fast-paced, I really couldn’t put it down!

UNREMEMBERED left us with the interesting twist in the plot and one of my favorite things about science-fiction: TIME TRAVEL. In UNFORGOTTEN, we got to see so much more of that, figure out exactly how the time travel system and mechanisms worked, and what it meant for Seraphina, Zen, and also some more minor characters as well. It actually plays a really big role in the book which I wasn’t expecting so that was a pleasant surprise!

I actually loved the set-up in the beginning. The book starts in a totally different place (and time!) but I felt like the set-up was important to sort of slow everything down from where book one left off and set everything up for book two. We got to see more character development in both Sera and Zen and really see their characters interact which was hard to do in UNREMEMBERED at times since there was a lot at stake, there were a couple of action-packed moments in which the focus was on movement and not character development, and Seraphina was still getting to know a lot about herself as well. I really felt the chemistry a lot more in UNFORGOTTEN and I was really glad to see that connection not only made but also strengthened.

There were a couple of new characters introduced and I don’t want to say too much about them because it’s quite exciting to discover them yourself, but I really loved their involvement in the plot and how calculating Sera was about them. It’s become so hard for her to trust people with Diotech always dogging her steps and I just loved the uncertainty of who the readers can trust and who they can’t. There’s never quite a clear answer until something major happens and it’s really quite exciting!

OH OH also!!! There’s another character from UNREMEMBERED who makes an appearance (and I also don’t want to say who it is although you might already know or be able to guess) but I was really excited to see their involvement in the plot and really how different that person had become. I always love seeing characters from previous books return in future books, especially if I’m not expecting it. I just love how plots tie in like that and it really makes the book feel like all the pieces are falling perfectly into place.

UNFORGOTTEN was extremely exciting and I think I enjoyed it more than UNREMEMBERED having a concrete idea of where the series was going. There were definitely a few surprises, some good plot twists, and really solid foundation of what the series is all about. This was a really great sequel and I think fans of this trilogy will really enjoy it!

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Seraphina // Character Obsessions: Ditching Diotech, time travel, saving Zen.
Whereas I was hesitant about Sera in book one, I really started to like her a lot in UNFORGOTTEN. She’s finally starting to fill in the missing pieces and there’s even a sort of jab at her former-self and how spacy she had seemed in UNREMEMBERED!
Zen // Character Obsessions: Helping Sera, thwarting Diotech, surviving.
I really appreciated seeing a lot more of Zen in this book! The beginning of the book really sold me on him and let me find out more about him as well as establishing more chemistry with Sera.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Time Travel. I just love time travel. I was so surprised to see how big of a role it really played in this book and seems like it will play in the entire series!
Left Me Wanting More: Hmmm… I can’t quite put my finger on it. This was another one of those books where I really enjoyed it but there was just a tiny bit of SOMETHING missing. I thought it was exciting and action-packed, I appreciated more character development and romance, even more shocking moments! But there was just a tiny bit of something that didn’t shoot it up to five stars for me.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

Fans of this series will appreciate a lot in UNFORGOTTEN! I’m excited to hear the reactions and see what everyone else thinks about this thrilling sequel!

book_recommendations1

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        Crewel          The Adoration of Jenna Fox

Time Between Us (Time Between Us #1) – Tamara Ireland Stone

Time Between Us (Time Between Us #1) – Tamara Ireland StoneTitle: Time Between Us (Time Between Us #1) by Tamara Ireland Stone
Publishing Info: October 9, 2012 by Disney Hyperion
Genres: Contemporary, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: November 22, 2012
Related Posts: Time After Time (Time Between Us #2)

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett''s unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna''s life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility. Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning and spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new talent in YA fiction.

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Right off the bat, I was immediately intrigued. I loved the set-up in the beginning where we see a younger Bennett approached by an older woman and immediately I was like, “That’s totally Anna” and bam! History (or the future, I guess) it changing forever!

Tamara Ireland Stone did a fantastic job of mixing sci-fi with a contemporary love story, both of which kept me hooked throughout the book. There are little twists and quirks with Bennett’s time travel abilities that slowly get revealed to Anna (and henceforth, the audience) that kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved how time and place were woven into the story so seamlessly. I feel like that’s something that’s always tricky with time travel novels because everything has to line up just right and you really need to know where the characters will be at all times and what will happen before and after it happens. I think Stone did a great job with keeping the story neat and tidy without making it too cookie cutter.

The relationship that develops between our two main characters kept me hooked throughout the book as well. Once we find out that Bennett is from the future (well, Anna’s future — the audience’s present day) and they start to get to know each other, then we’re plagued with the conundrum of what happens to the both of them — Does Bennett stay in the past with Anna? Can she go to the future with him? Will he hop back and forth to be with her? What’s the best possible way — if any — that these two characters will end up together? It was definitely a story line that kept me sucked in until the very end!

One last thing that made the book so great for me was all of the settings of the books that I totally identified with. Firstly, I pictured Anna’s school just like my high school — they had a part of the hallway called “The Donut” which reminded me of “The Tower” at my high school and the floor to ceiling windows in the lunch room was exactly how mine was too. The fact that it took place in Evanston, IL also made me feel right at home in this book. I don’t actually live in Evanston, but I do live in the suburbs of Chicago so a lot of it is really familiar to me. Then throw in the added fact that Bennett and Anna travel to Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin and I pretty much lost it — in a good way. Devil’s Lake is my mom’s all time favorite place in the world and we used to camp there all the time as kids, so it’s a big part of my life. I loved seeing it in a book and I definitely didn’t expect it to pop up! All those elements combined really made me feel like I was a part of the story (and seriously made me question if Stone knew all these things about me…….) so it was a lot of fun!

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Anna: I really liked Anna. She seemed down-to-earth and a character that is ideally flawed. She makes some bad decisions — especially when it comes to Bennett’s abilities and how they affect the world around them — but it’s so easy so say that if I were in her place, wouldn’t I do the same thing?
Bennett: Bennett was a great male lead in the story and I really enjoyed that he was not a narrator — I liked that Anna had to figure out his story little by little and we got a little bit more mystery to add to the sci-fi aspect instead of knowing everything all at once and then it’s just the rest of the plot that unravels. Like anyone with abilities, he’s got his rules that he won’t break, and it was great to see how those boundaries get pushed when Anna comes into the picture.

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BUY IT!

Wow, I really loved the science fiction/time travel aspect combined with the contemporary romance and I LOVED these two characters together!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE TIME BETWEEN US

(click on the cover to see my review!)

ALL OUR YESTERDAYSTANDEM

Crewel (Crewel World #1) – Gennifer Albin

Crewel (Crewel World #1) – Gennifer AlbinTitle: Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin
Publishing Info: October 16, 2012 by Macmillan
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 13, 2012
Related Posts: Unraveled (Crewel World #3)

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
    That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail.
    Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.
    Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
    Because tonight, they’ll come for her.

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Okay, first things first — I love the colors on this cover! The face on it kind of weirds me out, but without that cover design and the awesome flowing rainbow of colors, I don’t think I would have been able to picture the loom, the weaving, or the strands of time as well as I did.

Now for the review — How excited was I to read this? The answer is MEGA excited. I love dystopians, I absolutely love anything where the characters manipulate time or alternate universes, etc, AND it’s YA. Yeah, I was pumped.
In all honesty, the beginning moved a little slowly for me. Maybe it was my overexcitement – I’m not sure. But okay, we know Adelice is going to get taken from her family (it’s in the summary, after all) and it seemed like the whole set-up to the readers, describing the setting, Adelice’s family — it really just took too long for everything to get established and our real story to start taking off. I was 130 pages into the book before I really felt like we were going places.

Once we did start moving a little faster, I really got sucked into the plot. Adelice was finally taking shape in my mind and becoming a real character, she ran into conflicts with other characters and finally got over being overwhelmed by her surroundings and started to take charge. I was really most interested in anything that involved manipulating the time aspect more than the world of Arras. We know that the Spinsters can “rip” people from the fabric of life (effectively removing them from the world), they can control rations, create buildings, and in contrast, destroy these things as well. For more complicated things like nature, the Creweler is able to create lakes and landscapes and assist with people by using the raw materials as well as working more with the time aspect. THAT’S what I was really looking for! Once we finally got to the whole time part, I was sucked in. Actually building a world didn’t really interested me terribly.

I didn’t particularly care for the romance half of the book, but I didn’t really have that  much against it. It was kind of take-it-or-leave-it in my opinion. But I’m glad it wasn’t technically a love triangle (although there are two “interests”, Adelice really only has true feelings for one — see this awesome post on love triangles from The Housework Can Wait and you’ll see what I mean).

Overall, I really enjoyed it! I’m kind of disappointed that I was a little bit bored until a third of the way through the book so it kind of brought down my overall opinion. If it had taken off running, it would have easily gotten five stars!

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Adelice: Adelice is our MC and at first, I didn’t get much from her in the very beginning. It felt like there was a lot of set-up and not a lot of me getting to know her as a character and so she fell a little flat. Then all of a sudden, she was a total and complete sassy-pants to the authority figures and in a 180, her personality takes shape. I was a little confused in the sudden change, but at least we got somewhere and stuck with it! After that, I wouldn’t say we’d be BFFs, but I got to understand her a little bit more.
Jost: Hmm how do I feel about him? I liked the back-and-forth between him and Adelice, but in the very beginning, I was confused between him and Erik. Their sarcastic interactions with Adelice along with their physical descriptions were SO similar that I was getting them confused just a bit – although that is the point at one point in time – but still.
Cormac: I kind of liked him as the Guild official throughout the story. He seemed very consistent as the appointed villian, but in a way, I almost liked him. It was like he was supposed to be the bad guy but was almost nice in a certain way, and I think it made it that much better. It had me questioning if he really was supposed to be “bad” or if there was something good that would be revealed later.
Maela: Loved her as the lower-level villain (not as high up in the rankings).

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READ IT!

I really enjoyed CREWEL! I was hoping to fall in love just a BIT more but overall, it was a great way to kick-off the series and I am DEFINITELY interested to see where this trilogy goes!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE CREWEL

These are some of the comparisions I made while reading this book (there were a lot):

The Beginning:

The Middle:

The End: