All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

This book has rave reviews from across the blogosphere and I purchased it right away, but once it was on my shelf, I couldn’t bring myself to pick it up. It just seemed too good to be true; I mean, everyone was talking about this book being the next big thing and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be disappointed if it wasn’t.

13514612 “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.

I have mixed feelings about this book so this will be a strange review, but I will say this is a brilliant story with a wonderfully executed plot, I mean it was like clockwork it was so perfect. It had great writing, a great concept and relatable characters, so why the mixed feelings? I’m not completely sure but this book was like a roller coaster from hell. I was literally on the edge of my seat the entire time. This story is told in alternating point of views between present Em and past Marina. Each chapter slowly unraveled why the Em was trying to kill someone from the past and the reader gets to watch in horror as past Marina has to deal with the consequences of her future self when she has no idea what’s going on. The suspense caused me to have breathing problems. I couldn’t get enough of this book but I also know a runaway train when I see one. I just knew this was going to crash in the end, it was going to be a well-written, wonderfully executed, perfectly planned out crash, but a crash nonetheless.

Now, the ending wasn’t exactly a crash, but my emotions crashed into a bottomless pit. It was like the two main characters couldn’t win (even though they kind of did) and I couldn’t take the agony of the sacrifice and heartbreak in the end. This story is a whirlwind of emotions; the lines between good and bad are blurred so deeply that it reverberates across time. I loved how Terrill really played with the idea of consequences and how people can never really change. The romance between Em and Finn hit on the complexities of a relationship when someone still has feelings for someone else even if the circumstances are beyond typical. The romance was sweet but it wasn’t really central to the story. The relationship with Marina and James was the more central relationship and incredibly complex. I guess that’s what you get for falling for a genius.

If you like books that focus on relationships with time travel, this book is for you. This book was epic and perfectly written. It didn’t make me fly high (like a Hunger Games) so I’m not giving it five stars but it was definitely entertaining and worth the read. Perhaps you’ll love it way more than I did.

 STARS: 4 out of 5.


One thought on “All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

  1. I have to agree with your assessment of this one. I really enjoyed the time travel elements and the complexity of the plot, the moral questions it raised, and the relationships it developed were all nothing short of perfect. BUT, like you said, the ending didn’t “wow!” me all that much which is why it fell short of a 5 Star rating from me too. Still, lovely review! 🙂

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