Early Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (no spoilers)

Format: ARC
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 368 pages
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Source of my copy: publisher via JKSCommunications
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
"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.

There are no major spoilers in this review.

Guys? Oh my gosh. All Our Yesterdays was an AMAZING read. I haven't been this excited for a time travel book in a while. It's one of the best books I've read this year and one of the all-time best time travel books I've read ever. Yep, it's that good.

Okay, I'm going not going to try to summarize the plot because I think the description above does a very good job at that without revealing too much--my saying more will spoil too much of the story and you kind of need to figure out what's going on yourself to get the full experience of this book. With All Our Yesterdays, I think the less you know about the plot beforehand the better it is. Trust me, you will have that "a-ha!" moment once you get into it and your reading experience will be all the more better.

Debut author Cristin Terrill has penned an ambitious and complex novel in All Our Yesterdays and the result was a truly phenomenal read. It was so intricately plotted but executed so very skillfully. The story was told in a dual perspective between Em (from the future) and Marina (who lived four years in the past to Em). I loved all the characters but especially Em and Marina, both of whom had distinctive voices. Oh, and Finn, of course. I couldn't get enough of Finn.

Marina was your typical young teenaged girl--she's self-conscious and a bit selfish but you know she has a good head on her shoulders. Her family was well-off but her parents were hardly home so she's lonely. Growing up, she spent a lot of time next door with the Shaws (they're the equivalent of the Kennedys) and especially with her best friend, James Shaw, a wealthy, introverted science prodigy. Marina has been in love with James since they were children. Marina was strong and smart but untested, that is, until James's entire world crumbled after his older brother was assassinated. Her whole world changed then and I loved how loyal and steadfast she was to James. I loved Marina's character growth and how she came on her own throughout the book.

Em was sort of the opposite of Marina. She has been through a lot of hardships. The world she lived in has turned for the worst and ruled by totalitarian government. Before she was captured and imprisoned and tortured, she was already on the run from the Doctor for more than a year, trying to stay one step ahead with Finn and others who wanted to stop the government's control. She was forced to grow up fast and she has become hardened and willing to sacrifice herself for the greater good. She knew what she had to do to save the world but it meant sacrificing more than herself and destroying someone she loved. I loved reading about her inner struggles.

And Finn! I loved him to bits in both of his forms! He was the best kind of YA love interest. He brought humor to any situation but he had depth and had his own story and struggles. I loved him and Em together. He was sort of Em's rock, in that she was very intense but he was there to provide a steady hand, balance her, help her and keep her smiling even when things get though. At the same time he didn't stand in Em's way and he lets her be her own person and find her own strength. And I really, really like that--there should be more YA love interests like Finn. My favorite parts of the books are Finn and Em's quiet moments together. Oh my gosh, all the FEELS, you guys.

Basically, all the main characters and secondary ones were well-written and fleshed out and interesting. The plot was very twisty and unpredictable and there was never a dull moment. After the first few chapters things happen very quickly and you don't really know what will happen next. The final showdown was intense and was just woah... After I read it, I knew it all made sense but I needed time to kind of sort it out in my head. All Our Yesterdays was one of those books where I wish I was buddy reading it with someone so that we can discuss the all things that happened.

All Our Yesterdays stayed with me days after I finished reading it. It was one of those books. I wished it was longer just so I could stay in the world longer and spend more time with the characters so I was happy to learn that there's going to be a book two--though I'm really curious what it will be about since Marina, James, Em and Finn's story was wrapped up nicely in the end of All Our Yesterdays. Maybe a companion novel? Well, I'm happy and excited just the same because I'd love to spend more time in the world Ms. Terrill created. 

I urge everyone to pick All Our Yesterdays when it comes out next week Thursday. You won't regret it, it truly is awesome.


  1. Woooooow, that's a pretty unequivocal endorsement. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! The worldbuilding sounds a little... iffy, but characters are one of the most important factors for us, and this sounds like it's got a strong cast. :)

  2. Yep! It was that GOOD. As for the worldbuilding... I realize I didn't mention it on my review but it's set in Washington, D.C. and I though Terrill did a good job with it. I've been to that city and I can see it in my mind's eye. Terrill didn't really go into much detail with what's going on on the outside world of the future besides through Em and Finn's descriptions, but then we do spend almost the entire book in the past (before the time machine was invented and changed the world for the worst). Hmmm... maybe she'll set book 2 in the future world.

  3. Wow, that good? I discovered this book a few days ago and didn't call me expect for the time travel, but your review is the second 'good review' I read! I love great characters, I think it's a really important factor for a good book.

  4. Yes!! That GOOD. :) You gotta read it, Gaby!!


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