Monday, December 23, 2013

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays 
by Cristin Terrill
Read: December 8 - 10, 2013
Published: September 3, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Source: BEA
Category: Time travel, Sci-fi, YA 

Series: All Our Yesterdays # 1
Find: Goodreads | Amazon'

"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 was one of my most anticipated fall books, but because I was so excited to read it, I got a tad paralyzed about starting the story when it released in September. I was afraid it wouldn't live up to the hype I've heard and also manufactured in my head. I finally picked up All Our Yesterdays at the end of the year in my effort to read 2013 books that I'd missed before 2014 begins. I'm very thankful that I did, because this story was completely amazing and definitely a favorite of the year!

Em is imprisoned in a cell in an unidentified government facility. She is tortured daily by sadistic men she calls the Doctor and the Dictator, and her only companion and confidant is Finn, the boy in the cell next to hers, who's humor and encouragement has become her lifeline. When Em discovers a list of instructions written in her own hand that says "you have to kill him", she knows that she must act to prevent the destruction of the world happening all around her. 

Marina is a teen who seems to have everything - she is wealthy, has popular friends and goes to one of the best private schools in DC. But she still hasn't gotten the one thing she really wants. Marina is in love with her brilliant best friend and neighbor James, and he has no idea. James is so smart that he skipped several grades and is now in college working on his masters. He's just come home for the winter holiday, and Marina is determined to tell him how she feels. 

If you haven't guessed already, All Our Yesterdays features time travel. If that makes you nervous, the travel in this book is both complex and manageable. It made my head spin a bit at the end, but I was able to grasp it, and also found it completely fascinating. I think it made me feel smarter too. 

I'm sure you're also wondering how Em, Marina, Finn and James all fit together. Or maybe you already know. Although I'm not going to tell you, just in case you don't, what I love about the four of them is the way that Terrill was able to make me sympathize with them, especially Em and Marina. Although I fell a little harder for Em, I thought both of their characterizations were believable.  I also loved the relationships between the characters and within themselves. There are some lovely and poignant reflective scenes in this book, especially as Em and Finn consider their past. 

It's tricky to talk about the romance in All Our Yesterdays without giving anything away. The simple answer is that there is no love triangle, though possibly a Linear Love Progression, but it's one that I wouldn't fret about if I were you. The way it plays out is integral to this book, and it's something that I really enjoyed. I liked seeing the ways the romance matured and steadied over time, along with the growth of the characters.

All Our Yesterdays has swift moving action and a really well constructed plot. The way the story and time travel weaves together is exciting and kept me turing the pages fast, especially near the end where everything culminates in an explosive conclusion. This is a 2013 book not to miss! 

Love Triangle Factor: Between None and It's Complicated
Cliffhanger Scale: Low - This is one of those ends that seems deceptively quiet, as if it could be a completed standalone. But I have a lot of questions about the last two chapters, and I know this is a duet. I'm hoping the sequel moves the story forward instead of just backtracking! But still I'm excited to read it. 


  1. "Love Triangle Factor: Between None and It's Complicated"

    That about sums it up Lauren! I'm so glad you got past your paralyzing fear (which I completely understand, this happens to me too. It's why I still haven't read Graceling) and gave this book a try. I absolutely adored it as well, and was absolutely riveted watching everything unfold. I love that it made me ask hard questions too, could I do what Em and Finn were trying to do? I have no idea. SO GOOD LAUREN! Can't wait for book two:) Gorgeous review my friend!

  2. It was so well done, with everything woven together beautifully, all the characters' lives intersecting. Very interested to see what happens in the next book though, like you, I hope there's not a lot of backtracking.

  3. I do agree that this is a difficult book to discuss because there is just so much going on and it's hard to discern what's a spoiler and what's not because the experience of this novel is best felt with little to no information whatsoever. I'm thrilled you enjoyed it, though, Lauren! It isn't a favorite of mine, but it really impressed me and I fell for these characters and their complexity. Fantastic review, my friend! :)

  4. "Between None and It's Complicated" HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAA. Omg, I laughed so hard, haha. Girl, I really want to read your review as a whole, but I read it skimmingly, because I really ought to help clean the house and start cooking the cake I must bake. We're having our extended family here this year. We always go to someone's place and this year it's ours so.. Time is precious right now. "what I love about the four of them is the way that Terrill was able to make me sympathize with them, especially Em and Marina. "--That's awesome. I think that if the two girls really pull us in by the end of it, rather than make us choose for a favorite, then it'll rather make than break the book. Though.. having a favorite isn't a crime and I'm glad that you managed to resonate so well with Em. Also, I've only read one time travel book before (the time traveler's wife) and I can't wait to read more. Already own Ruby Red so ;) Heh. Happy holidays, my friend! x

  5. I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed it as much as a lot of readers out there, Lauren. It was a good decision on your part to wait to read it. I read it immediately after it came out and I had these really huge expectations from it because of all the 5 star reviews it had been getting, but it ended up sort of disappointing me. Of course, that might also be because I don't really like time travel books, but I was also not able to connect much with the characters. I do think it was highly entertaining though.
    Lovely review, Lauren.

  6. I loved this book as well and I thought the time travel was well done, but I did have to think about it a bit, especially near the end (not that that's a bad thing, having to think when reading). :) The growth and change in the characters was so well done, even with the villain, and it definitely reads as a stand-alone, so I'm curious about the plot of the next book (although with time travel, it's never really over, I guess). Great review! ~Pam

  7. I don't think I ever took the time to read the synopsis of this book, but that didn't discourage me from placing it on my TBR; the high ratings on Goodreads, the hype surrounding it, and of course, the words "time travel" is all I needed to know. After reading your thoughtful and wonderfully vague review, I'm completely sold on this book, Lauren. I want to get to know Em and Marina; I want to know about their world and what their separate fates are. Will their fates converge or collide? The depth in this story is also a great interest! Doing a little thinking while reading for pleasure never hurts. I can't wait to get around to reading it! Hopefully, it'll happen early in 2014! :)

  8. I'm so nervous about this story, Lauren! I don't want things to end badly and I'm nervous they will! I will have to get over this at some point though, because it seems everyone loves this story. Wonderful review! :)

  9. I suppose you could qualify the romance as a linear love progression, but honestly I didn't even think of it that way. Em and Marina are not the same person, so their separate love interests really are...separate. I don't know haha. I just think the two girls are super distinguishable from each other, so I can't really think of this as a love triangle of any sorts.
    Anyway, I'm so glad you finally gave this book a chance! It's really worth it, and I'm glad you agree. :)
    Can we talk about that crazy (but fitting) ending, though? I'm not really sure where things are expected to go from here. By backtracking do you mean flashbacks from a different pov maybe? I hope that's not where Terrill chooses to go.

  10. I have seen this book quite a lot in the last few days and I cannot wait to find a copy! I am eager to delve into it. Just Reading for Fun

  11. Ha, I think I said the same thing when I finished made me feel smarter, too, but then I felt dumb for saying that. Lol. :) And I LOVED that this romance was more of a Linear Love Progression and how that figured into the story and brought everything full circle in the end. I was supremely satisfied by the ending, but I'm definitely excited to read more of the story, even if it does circle back. It was crazy and shocking but also fitting. Loved every minute of this book, and I'm glad you finally broke down and read it, too. ;)

  12. I have two signed copies of this (one for me, one to give away) but I've been too excited to start it.... ah.


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