Saturday, July 27, 2013

Book Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Author:  Cristin Terrill
Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion, 368 pages
Expected Publication Date:  September 3, 2013

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.

Pam's Review:
I love time travel books!  They make my head hurt, but in a good way.  This book kept me riveted from the first page, and I couldn’t put it down.  Em was a great character, strong and focused on what she has to do, but it becomes obvious that she is not sure she can kill the person she is supposed to kill.  At first, you aren’t sure who that is, but as the book progresses, it becomes quite clear (I mean, you definitely have a good idea, but there is a red herring thrown in there). 

There is a ton of action in this book and I absolutely loved Finn, at all points in the book.  I felt for James, for who he was and what he wanted to do.  I also felt so bad for Marina and what she had to go through.

Now with a time travel book, there are all of those paradoxes about what you can change and the ripple effect of those changes and then also about encountering yourself in the past and what will happen if you do.  This book has its own take on how all of that works, and while it sort of made sense, you just have to go with it.  I loved the scene at the end, when you find out what Finn and Em talked about and what Finn told her.  So sweet!

And the best thing of all, there's no cliffhanger, everything is resolved.  I heard there was a sequel in the works, but I guess with time travel, you can always do more.  Back to the Future?  Terminator?  But to me, the story was complete.  Definitely recommend this one!

Sheri's Review:
So I should be honest and say that I am one of those people that likes to read the last chapter first.  I know many of you purists will throw your arms up in disgust and say, "BUT WHY?"  Under normal circumstances it allows me to enjoy the book more but in the case of this book it was a very BAD decision and I would not recommend this strategy.

One of the things I loved about this book was knowing it would begin and end in a single book.  While the book was a page turner it took me about a week to finish and I started another book in between.  One of the reasons I found myself putting the book down was I actually never connected with James.  I really didn't feel much of anything towards him.  On the other hand I really liked Finn and loved the way Cristin Terrill developed young Finn and old Finn in such a way that he basically becomes a better version of himself while she takes Marina in a completely different direction.  Given the various rules each author sets in time travel I found it interesting that the characters in her own book had such different responses to their young and old selves. 

Another reason I found myself putting the book down was time traveler Em's attitude toward Marina.  While I understood and began to care for the character of Em I did not feel that way toward Marina.  Em's attitude towards Marina drove me crazy to be frank.  I wish Cristin Terrill had given Marina more depth and complexity as a character.  Given her family situation she could have been a much more interesting character than she was presented as. I appreciated that the  minor characters only played minimal roles in the plot which made it easier to keep things straight while moving back and forth between periods of time.  

Overall I enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it as a great time-travel book!


  1. Great review, both of you! Marina was indeed quite a shallow character, but that was probably to show the readers how much she had changed after. Finn was just amazing, glad you both agree on that:)
    I hope there isn't going to be a sequel, this book is great as stand-alone.

    1. I agree, this book is great as a stand-alone, but according to the author's website, it's the first of two. I loved it, though, so I'm sure I'll read the next one! ~Pam

  2. Great review! I can't wait to read this book and the cover is gorgeous :D