Friday, September 27, 2013

Review: All Our Yesterdays

ALL OUR YESTERDAYS
All Our Yesterdays #1
Cristin Terrill
Young Adult/Time Travel
368 pages
Disney Hyperion
Available now
Source: BEA

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
"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.


MY THOUGHTS
A heart-pounding, gut-twisting story, All Our Yesterdays challenges everything we think we know about ourselves; asking us to answer uncomfortable questions as we slide into the shoes of Marina and Em, and causing us to flinch when we find our responses are not as easy to come by as we might have thought before reading. We are more woefully torn as the story continues, Em and Finn’s purpose in traveling back in time four years seeming so simple – the path they must take clear and absolutely necessary given what we know of their current predicament – but with each chapter those previously clear waters muddy, and time plays a cruel game in softening hearts that had been brutally hardened by pain and betrayal.

Time travel stories can sometimes be infinitely trying, the complications of changing various people’s timelines and the resulting effects those changes have on the future causing headaches the more we try to sort everything out, but Ms. Terrill introduces a fascinating element to her time-space continuum: sentience. Time in this world is an almost living, breathing thing, able to remedy certain actions and untangle threads as Em and Finn fight a battle to change their bleak futures again and again, adding a sense of fluidity when our minds might otherwise demand more rigid parameters. As a result, when we come across small things that would normally cause us to question or wonder at the how or why of the situation, we have our answer already, knowing that time has sorted itself out without Ms. Terrill needing to launch into a lengthy and likely confusing explanation.

Without going into specifics on the characters as to do so would be to spoil the beautifully simple yet painfully complex relationship between Em, Marina, Finn and James, suffice to say that even though we spend our time in this world through the first person perspectives of Em and Marina, all four characters are wonderfully vibrant and alive, their personalities engaging and sometimes haunting, and the changes we see in them from beginning to end are facets of this story that linger for days after reading. Ms. Terrill expertly brings all four of them full circle by the time we reach the last page, our hearts sporting many a bruise and shallow cut but still beating strongly as the last thread is tied off – one all the way from the beginning that raised a red flag but was promptly forgotten as the story’s intensity picked up – leaving us with a blissful warmth even as we grieve over some of the events that led us to our current happy glow.

Overall, All Our Yesterdays is a thrilling read from page one, taking us on a harrowing dance through time to leave us winded, a little battered, but replete with hope for the future even after all that’s happened, and I simply can’t wait to see what Ms. Terrill’s imagination will delight us with next.

Rating: 4.5/5
 
Find Cristin:


This book was given to me at BEA by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

31 comments:

  1. Everyone loves this book! I truly need to read it ... asap!

    What I found especially awesome was how you describe "time" here and it makes me even more curious.
    I agree Time Travel can be so complicated that we often spend time just trying to figure out what is happening.

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    1. It was amazing Danny, I really think you'll like it. This and Sanctum need to be on your list for sure!

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  2. I want to read this but I still haven't seen any copies from our local book stores. I hope it'll be available soon. I'm really intrigue with how the author weaved the time travel plot, which is always an interesting theme for me.

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    1. I hope it is too, I can't recommend it highly enough!

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  3. What more can I say, I do like time-travel :D

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  4. Yes!!! I loved this as well, though some of the explanations did went over my head, especially the one in the end. I was so weirded out by the scene. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the time travel element, it was done exceptionally well. I really hope there is a sequel. Great review, Jenny! :)

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    1. I thought the time travel was done really well too Aman. Yes, there were still times when I had to work hard to sort something out, but I liked that she introduced the idea of sentience. That made things easier for me:)

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  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jenny! I loved the complexity of this, along with the characters and the general time travel elements. I can't wait to see what Terrill writes next!(;

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    1. Me either! I will certainly be buying anything and everything she writes:)

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  6. Oh wow, Jenny, what a fantastic review! I should stop visiting your blog every day if I am to keep my sanity and not have to fight the urge to drop everything to pick up the book you have recently reviewed. It's practically impossible!
    I love the sound of this book. I am such a huge sucker for time-travel / parallel universes or other sci-fi themed books, you wouldn't believe! I really enjoyed Tandem by Anna Jarzab because it dealt with parallel worlds, even though it had more of a fantasy feel than actual sci-fi :)

    Thanks for yet another brilliant review, sweetie! :)

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    1. I'm a huge sucker for time travel/alternate realities too Evie, so I was in heaven with this book! I just loved the questions it made me ask myself, wondering if I would be able to do what Em and Finn were trying to do and how much I would struggle in the attempt:)

      Oh, and yes to Tandem! I just finished that one and loved it!

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  7. Oh I'm THRILLED to see this. I enjoyed this one a lot even though it had some weird parts and that ending was at moments confusing. I mean some things were out of my logic but still somehow I ended up enjoying it. Glad to see you enjoyed it too. Great review Jenny :)

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    1. The end wasn't 100% clear to me either, but it didn't even matter, I loved everything else too much to worry about that minor confusion:)

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  8. Can you imagine having to do what Em had to do?!? And that list of things she'd tried before...it all came down to that final choice. SO GOOD! I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did but it was SO GOOD!

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    1. I cannot. And I loved that about this story. I know I would have tried everything else just as she and Finn did, and I just hurt for her when she finally realized there was no other option.

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  9. Your reviews are always so eloquently put Jenny!
    I am so glad you loved this as much as I did, it really was a fab read.

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks Ali! I just thought this one was brilliant, definitely going on the favorites shelf:)

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  10. Oooh. Time is sentient? That would be very cool. Like a character itself.

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    1. Yes! It could fix itself and reorder some things so there wasn't necessarily the dire consequences of making a change in the past, and that was easier to wrap my mind around:)

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  11. wow this sounds fabulous! excellent review. i cannot wait to get my hands on the book.

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    1. It was awesome, I hope you love it as I did!

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  12. Jenny, I'm so thrilled for this book. Lots of people have enjoyed it and I'm excited to read it myself. Fab review.

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    1. I picked it up because it was getting such rave reviews, and I think it earned all of them. I just adored it:)

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  13. I have read so many fantastic reviews on this one. I am most curious about it. I love time travel books as long as they are done right and I think this is one that will please me! Have a terrific weekend!

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  14. I don't know what it is about this review, but I just want to go back and reread it! Of course you have me curious about this one. You make this world sound so engaging. Okay, I was curious before but you did add this one to my wishlist.

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  15. I'm so excited about this one! I recently got a copy and your review has me so eager to pick it up!

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  16. Wow! Sounds wonderful. Thanks for the rec.

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  17. I've seen this book around so much but this is the first time I've read the book description and ohmy! Time travel! I've recently seen an anime with the same concept called Steins;Gate which was both awesome and bittersweet. And a thrilling book from page one is really what I need right now. Thanks for the review, Jenny!

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  18. I'm wondering if this has a happy ending. Jenny, you'll have to message me about that. You know I have to know that ahead of time! It sort of sounds painful from your review. I have this through Netgalley so I need to read it anyhow but I like being prepared. Awesome review, as usual. :)

    Also, did you notice that KMM postponed Burned again?!!! WTH?!! It's now coming out middle of July!!

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  19. I liked this one but because time was almost like a present thing in this one, you never get to explore issues that are raised by the concept of time travel. It does make things easier as an author I suppose ...

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