October 21, 2013
“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.
** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **
I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews about All Our Yesterdays by author Cristin Terrill, but I personally was very excited to read it because it sounded a bit like a Doctor Who-ish sci-fi meets Allen Zadoff’s Boy Nobody. While there was no attractive Tardis using doctor (a la Matt Smith’s eleven) or a semi-emotionless boy assassin, All Our Yesterdays features time travel, the implications of our choices and shows characters with intertwined lives that are and aren’t their own.
All Our Yesterdays starts with main character Em, a girl who has spent years in a military base with the love of her life in the cell next to her—both of then constantly being interrogated for the only information that has kept them alive thus far. Then Em discovers a note with a message: You have to kill him. It’s the last thing that Em wants to do but she has to if it means stopping the creation of a time machine that can save the world and herself from the war outside and the cruel doctor within the base. And so, Em and Finn (the boy from the cell next to hers), travel back in time to finish what has been started.
Marina is madly in love with her neighbor and boy-genius James. He’s so hot that I imagined a young Jensen Ackles attractive, brainy and loyal to those closest to him. All Marina wants is for him to fall in love with her and if she can get his annoying friend, Finn, to leave them both alone maybe she can finally make him notice how in love they are for each other. But things it’s suddenly looking like that will never happen. On the night that Marina plans to make things finally change a tragedy rocks James and his family and suddenly they’re in a hospital, being shot at and uncovering James’ brother’s dark secrets.
Em will do whatever it takes to finish her instructions to herself: You have to kill him. And Marina will do whatever it takes to keep herself, James and the people around them safe. But both girls are fighting against each other and in the end only one of them can get what they want.
All Our Yesterdays was fantastic. I loved it to bits, every single chapters was just—ugh. I loved it so much. The novel started off with an intense dystopic feel that kept me addicted and unable to put the novel down. I was a bit concerned from the start that Terrill would be unable to set up the history and relationships that would make actually care about the characters but nope: I got attached to all of them almost instantly and by the end of the novel I was literally screaming and crying because of how real the characters all felt to me.
The interactions and scenes are written amazingly by Terrill. They are detailed and filled with emotions that just make the characters interactions seem so real and make the scenes all the more powerful. Honestly, with every paragraph the scenes would just spring to life. Because of this, there was not only a lot of amazing plot development but also a lot of character development in the novel that had me (again) finish this novel in tears.
The time travel and villains in All Our Yesterdays are both great and terrifying. Great because the time travel was realistic and described in a way that instantly made me believe it was real and terrifying because nobody should ever be allowed to time travel ever after what I’ve seen in All Our Yesterdays. As for the villains, you’ll never expect that one of the characters who you will instantly just fall in love with because of the way he’s physically described turns out to be one of the bad guys and just—the villains. You will not regret the villains.
After crying my eyes out by the end of the novel, I would recommend All Our Yesterdays to readers who are looking for a descriptive, addictive read. Fans of sci-fi and romancer are going to eat up All Our Yesterdays. Readers who want a novel that gives you characters you will fall totally and absolutely in love with need to get reading this now.
Cristin Terrill has a bachelor of the arts degree from Vassar College and a master of the arts degree in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. She currently lives outside Washington, D.C., where she teaches creative writing workshop for kids and teens. ALL OUR YESTERDAYS is her first novel.