Hardcover, 368 pages (Reviewer's Copy: ARC)
September 3rd 2013, Disney Hyperion
"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.
Source: Disney Hyperion (Thank you!!)
The time travel concept in All Our Yesterdays was simple yet backed by detailed explanation of its genesis, process and consequences. One of the main reasons why I loved All Our Yesterdays was because of the drastic consequences and aftermath of time travel, leaving lives changed forever, sometimes cut short, sometimes lengthened, in its wake.
The story revolved around Marina and Em, the past and present of one person. All Our Yesterdays' strength was in its well-developed characters. I was so shocked at how much the characters changed and matured over the course of time. I initially encountered Em, a semi-hopeless prisoner, frail and thin and hardened. She was once Marina, a daughter born in a rich family, shallow and naive about life.
Finn was a different story. Nerdy, a little bit awkward and charming in his own way, he managed to capture my attention. In the present, he wielded his charm to its full extent. His relationship with Em was a long, bittersweet one. United and separated by prison walls, Em and Finn learned to trust and care about one another. With nothing and no one else to hold onto but each other and what little hope they had, they grew closer each day. I enjoyed reading about these two. They shared what I liked to call a natural relationship, full of promise and spark. I'm sure romance readers will love these parts.
The plot was amazing and well-developed. There was never a boring part. All Our Yesterdays had me at the edge of my seat, holding on to the story with fast fingers, flipping the pages until I got to the end. The narration of the past and present united in a single story. Another thing that I liked was that I could see the fragmentation of the lives of the characters: Em's and Marina's lives differentiated and separated by time. By unraveling the past, I understood the present (and the future) little by little.
All Our Yesterdays is a beautifully written, strong, and unputdownable tale of love, loss, and change. 100% engaging and 0% boring, I was engaged and captivated. This surpassed my expectations, to be honest. I highly recommend this to readers of time travel and romance.
Cristin Terrill is a young adult author and aspiring grown-up. She grew up semi-nomadic and graduated from Vassar College with a degree in drama. After getting her masters in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, she lived in London, Austin, Boston, and Washington, DC while working as a theatrical stage manager. Now she writes and leads creative writing workshops for DC-area kids and teens. All Our Yesterdays is her first novel.
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