Series: All Our Yesterdays #1
Published by: Disney Hyperion on August 1, 2013
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult
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"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.
Overall I really liked All Our Yesterdays! By far the best part of the book was the time travel. I was worried that it was going to be confusing (always a possibility with time travel), but it wasn’t. I think the author did a great job of gradually explaining things and making it super easy to follow along. Thank goodness!
I loved how the characters were confronted with alternate versions of themselves.. it was kind of a terrifying thought. Just imagine, an innocent version of you being confronted by a dark, terrifying, older version of yourself. It’s scary to imagine that darkness existing in you somewhere, just waiting to emerge! View Spoiler » [Obviously, this was particularly true with James. I thought that last scene with James and The Doctor coming together was INTENSE. Just having James seeing that side of himself… it was scary! I can’t imagine what that would be like.. « Hide Spoiler]
At the beginning Marina wasn’t the greatest character. She was shallow and trying so hard to fit in with the ‘cool’ girls. For the most part I brushed it off because I figured she was supposed to be young and stupid and then learn some valuable life lessons or something and change. Although, to be honest, at the end of the book View Spoiler » [I thought she seemed really pathetic. When all the crazy stuff went down (the climax of the book) she was basically just huddled up crying and shouting, “What’s going on???? Ahhhh someone tell me!” I get that it was an intense and confusing moment, but she seemed a bit pathetic. « Hide Spoiler]
I did like Em and Finn though. I think they had an amazing romance and I loved seeing how hard they fought for each other! My feelings towards them are a bit strange though… Like, I did really enjoy their romance, passion, and dedication towards each other. But I never REALLY connected with the characters themselves. I liked them, but I felt like something was missing. I just didn’t connect with them as much as I could have. I didn’t really get a ton of feels and I never cried or anything (I saw that some people did).
But that being said, I loved the subtle hint of soul mates. View Spoiler » [So there are two ‘versions’ of Marina with two different timelines. I loved how it’s implied that both versions of Marina end up with Finn. It’s like no matter what happens, they find some way to fall into place together. It was sweet! « Hide Spoiler]
When everything comes together at the end, the paradoxes are INSANE! For the most part I really enjoyed them. Paradoxes are crazy to think about it and I love how they keep my mind alive just imagining the possibilities! I mean, the very nature of paradoxes is that they’re confusing and don’t make much sense, but all things considered, I think Cristin Terrill handled them brilliantly. Despite being paradoxes, they do kind of make sense.. in the context of time travel, at least.
Overall, All Our Yesterdays was an awesome book! I think I am a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to give it 5 stars, but I still really liked it. I just think I could have connected with it a little more, and Marina could have been a bit more likable. The world building could have also used some work. The focus was so 100% on the romance, the friendship, and the time travel, that the actual world itself was left behind. I never felt like I got a clear understanding of the politics or current state of the world. But despite that, this book is definitely still worth a read!