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Friday, September 5, 2014

Review: All Our Yesterdays

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
All Our Yesterdays
by Cristin Terrill
YA Science Fiction/Thriller
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot Summary:

What would you change?

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 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, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. 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. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

Review:

This was a book I was very much looking forward to reading.  The time travel aspect was irresistible and non-linear storytelling can be so delightful.  Overall I was very impressed with the clever plotting, the action and the time travel aspect, but I was let down in other areas.

It was surprising to me, how dark this story was from the beginning.  It is completely necessary though to show why the future must be changed.  But I was just not expecting something so intense and bleak.  The story moves very fast though - switching between a past and present POV - which is made even more interesting by the fact that the past can change, and the future versions of the characters are not aware of it.  I loved the idea that there are different timelines at work and there are different versions of the characters that have tried to change the future.  It's so clever and comes together in the story fantastically, as we gradually understand more about the past.

The romance in this story was pretty bland for me.  I was just not very invested in it.  Thankfully it's not a major part of the book, as the story is understandably more of an action/thriller type narrative.  I did want the best for the characters and I was glad when they grew to appreciate and love each other, but it didn't really move me unfortunately.  It's possibly because Em was a little frustrating for me at times.  I was upset with her for not acting when she needed to, especially after all she's been through.  It was important for the storyline for her not to act sometimes I suppose, but I really felt the more she hesitated that it was such a contrivance, and her lack of action was not as believable to me.

This was a great read overall, and very intriguing in every way.  I was so impressed by the storytelling and the world-building - the time travel aspect was believable, and it was great to have some science to back it all up.  I wish I liked the main character more, but it was enough to find this a largely captivating read.

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