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Sunday, November 8, 2015

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Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (Weirdest Time Travel Format by Far)

All Our Yesterdays Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays
Cristin Terrill
Publication Date: August 1, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

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.

I'm a little fond of All Our Yesterdays.

Terrill writes the book in a very weird format – it takes awhile to get into the story and get a grip of what is really going on. Marina is a self-conscious person who lets her friends dictate everything for her – how to win boys, how to dress, how to talk, etc. Marina just comes across as a very shallow person hoping to win over the love of her best friend, James Shaw, while trying to find out who is attempting to murder him.

Em, on the other hand, is someone completely different – she's more determined, went through more trauma... Basically, Em has been through more than Marina, and I think she's a vital asset to the story's enjoyment (Marina plays a vital role as well, but if it were just her, it would have been boring). She teams up with Finn in the hopes to shut down Cassandra, a time travel device created with the intention for good things (stopping wars and disasters, for instance) but later became more of a problem rather than for everyone's good.

But back to the whole weird format. Since I've never actually come across Terrill's format ever in another time travel book, it's completely mind-boggling. One minute it seems like both Em and Marina are the same, the next, they're completely different. The only constant variable going on throughout the entire book is James and Finn (even those two were different and the same – they were just obvious). It really just takes awhile to realize the time period is the same, but the viewpoints are different.

Quite literally, 350+ pages of All Our Yesterdays is dedicated to getting rid of the evil mastermind behind Cassandra, but it's so much fun seeing how Terrill clicked the weird format so well together.

P.S. I personally think All Our Yesterdays works out just fine as a stand-alone. Although I would love to see a sequel and how Terrill will take the story now that the main problem has been solved, I don't really see anything that could happen aside from a "tragic" love story.

4 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.