Monday, 26 August 2013

Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays 
"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.

All Our Yesterdays is a fast-paced thriller, if rather confusing to follow at first. It jumps back and forward in time in a nail-biting tale in which the truth gradually unfolds. In the present day Em and Finn are imprisoned, interrogated about something that, technically, hasn’t happened yet. A device has been invented that enables time travel and they need to use it to avert a tragedy – by killing the boy Em, formerly Marina, loves. She follows instructions written in her own hand, but when the past and present become entangled, it becomes ever more unclear whether she can kill someone she once loved to change the future.

In the past, Marina witnesses the shooting of Nate, brother of her closest friend, James – and shortly after, someone tries to kill James, too. Someone who looks just like her. Now the past has changed, and the characters both past and present are now set on paths with no clear outcome.

This is a really deftly plotted and well-thought-out story, which it has to be to cope with the mind-bending concept of time travel! Once I got past the confusing time-jumps, I found this to be a suspense-filled read that doesn’t fall down on character development, either. Marina/Em, Finn and James are all complex and multifaceted, and we see how they change, both in past and present. I was engaged from start to finish and thought this was a really interesting take on time travel – worth checking out whether you’re into sci-fi or not!

Rating: ****


  1. EEEEEK THIS WAS SO AWESOME! Struggled to put it down but it take a little bit to wrap my head around some parts. Excellent review, Emma :)

  2. Ooh, I'd love to read this. Great review.