Book Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

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*Sent for review*

5/5 STARS

“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.

So upon receiving All Our Yesterdays, I was immediately excited. I heard A LOT about this book on YouTube, Goodreads and other book blogs, and so when it came through my mail box, I knew I had to pick it up and read it immediately.

From the very first page, I was hooked. We find Em and Finn held captive in a military base, and the action begins from the very start. The switching narrative between Em and Marina was extremely well crafted – each of these characters had a distinctive voice and the plot twist regarding these two narrators was so unexpected and just proved to me how great of an author Cristin Terrill was.

Considering All Our Yesterdays is Terrill’s debut novel, I was so, so impressed. The character building and development throughout the book was excellent, and by the end of the book, I was so attached to each character that the ending slightly killed me inside!

I admit, however – I did have my hesitations – and yes, I was proven wrong! I have never read a book on time travel before, and admittedly, sci-fi books aren’t my favourite. I was worried how Terrill would be able to explain time travel, and how well the plot would flow if we were being thrown backwards and forwards in time. I was wrong to have hesitations! Time travel in All Our Yesterdays was presented in an incredibly unique way. The science behind it was really logical, and I loved the ‘rules’ of time travel itself, that Em and Finn discovered were perhaps not the rules at all.

James’s character was one of the delights of the entire book. I loved him, I hated him, and at times I felt so sympathetic I just couldn’t hate him! His evolution from his past with Marina to his present conflict with Em was really enjoyable to read, and really gave you mixed emotions regarding his character.

In summary, this book was all kinds of awesome. It was fast paced, addictive, moving and emotional, and I am so thrilled that I read it!

I know there is a sequel coming out, which initially shocked me, as the ending of the book gave off the impression that it was a stand-alone novel. I am dreading, and also anticipating, the tricks that Cristin Terrill has up her sleeves for this sequel! I believe it will follow all the main protagonists, so I’m exceedingly anxious to read it!

A brilliant YA debut, and a beautiful start to what I believe will be a truly addictive series!

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