Author: Cristin Terrill
Series: All Our Yesterdays, #1
Release date: August 1st 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Pub Plc
Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository
A brilliantly brain-warping thriller and a love story that leaps back and forth in time - All Our Yesterdays is an amazing first novel, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games.Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn't happened yet.Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture - being kept apart, overhearing each other's anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There's no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It's from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that's about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future.
All Our Yesterdays starts with one of the most impressive opening scenes I’ve come across in a very long time, possibly since Shatter Me. A drain in the floor seems like a very simple thing, but one that can become absolutely terrifying in the eyes of a prisoner. According to Cristin Terrill, it was this detail that prompted her to write the book in the first place, and it seems to have been an excellent place to start.
With that infamous drain in the very first sentence, getting pulled into Em’s and Marina’s respective stories proved to be almost effortless. Chapter after chapter, All Our Yesterdays is chock-full of action and tense moments. In addition, the two points of view from two-but-not-two narrators make this one of the most challenging and fascinating YA reads, narration-wise. If there’s one thing that needs to be said about Cristin Terrill, it’s that she used her excellent ideas to their full potential.
When it comes to time travel, I’m not ashamed to admit that I always struggle with the concept. All Our Yesterdays presented somewhat of a challenge in that regard, as I found it difficult to wrap my head around all those timelines, but I did enjoy trying. The psychological aspects of the story were equally interesting. Terrill explored the past and the present, the changes people go through and what they can and cannot influence. I don’t think there’s a person in this world who didn’t, at one point, wish to go back in time and shake some sense into their old self... or someone else, for that matter.
However, even with all the excitement and action (or precisely because of it), All Our Yesterdays failed to reach me emotionally. My feelings were those of admiration, enthusiasm and, more than once, outright fear, but to say that I was fully invested in the fate of these characters would be giving my relationship with the book far too much credit. When I remember how intensely I felt things when I was reading Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris, which is in many ways a similar book, All Our Yesterdays simply pales in comparison.
All grumpiness aside, please let me make this abundantly clear: All Our Yesterdays is a book you’ll definitely want to read. Terrill managed to bring something new to the table, and I don’t know about you, but thrill rides and romances are just about the only things that can hold my attention in this awful heat, and All Our Yesterday has more than enough of both.
This book is part of a duology, and although we still don’t have a release date for the second book, I’m excited about it already. The first book wraps up nicely, but since that clearly isn't the end of things, I can't wait to see what is.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced this review.