Title: All Our Yesterdays
Author: Cristin Terrell
Published: September 3rd 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review & purchased finished copy
"'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."
First line: Em- "I stare at the drain in the center of the concrete floor."
Thoughts: From the very beginning, I knew ALL OUR YESTERDAYS would be amazing. The summary, the cover, time-travelling...What's not to love? Something I wasn't expecting was how much this novel would affect me. It's intense, insanely emotional, and filled with both the perfect mix of nonstop action and romance. Swoon-worthy moments? Brace yourself!
The novel starts off with the bang to beat all bangs. Em is imprisoned in what I can only describe as a modernized Guantanamo Bay. You see, she knows something, and the evil scientists want to know what. They're not beneath things like oh, I don't know, torture and beatings. The thing about Em is she cannot be broken. And even though she's stuck in her prison cell, she can still hear and talk to Finn, her love and possibly the one person who can get her out of this mess. The only way to fix all of this is to travel back into time and kill the person who invited the time machine.
Enter Marina. Marina is the girl almost all girls can relate to. She's a little dorky and usually goes unnoticed, especially when she stands next to her two gorgeous best friends. It doesn't matter whether or not other guys notice her, as long as her next door neighbor James does. James is brilliant, awkward, and everything Marina has ever wanted. The catch? Well, as you can see, someone is trying to kill him. Did you put two and two together yet? Are you starting to? Good.
I'm so insanely grateful the author decided to write this novel in alternating points of views. It wouldn't have been the same if she hadn't. It was interesting to see Em in the future, Marina in the past, and how it all slowly played together. Though the novel is mainly plot driven, I still found the characters to be both relatable yet complex. The relationships between each of the characters (Em, Marina, Finn, and James) all had the perfect mixture of complicated and lovable. It was funny how I'd root for one person, then root for the next even though I knew what the future held for them. I easily fell in love with everyone, especially Finn. Not going to lie, there were moments, especially in the beginning, where I couldn't help but think "Dang it, Finn! Jerk!". Of course, he'd follow it up by doing something adorable or noble to where I couldn't help but swoon. Boys!
It's hard for me to go into details because I feel as though they may slip into the spoiler route. Just know that things aren't always what they seem and to please follow along. Things can get tied up or complicated if you don't pay attention. Seriously.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to all YA and book fans out there. Though the book deals with time-travelling, it's mainly about the sacrifices and crazy things people will ultimately do for the ones they love. It's so beautiful yet heartbreaking to where I actually shed a few tears in the end. And y'all, I hardly ever cry. That's how much this novel impacted me and really shows you how much I loved it. Honestly, I'm not doing the best job describing this book. I can't do it justice, and I knew that going into writing this review. Just listen to me when I say you need to read it.
“There are risks, but progress is always dangerous, isn't it? Most of the time, walls don't get dismantled brick by brick. Someone has to crash through them.”
“I tell her she's beautiful and perfect and she's going to be okay. I tell her she doesn't need to change herself to fit in with shallow girls or to matter to someone. I tell her everything I wish I had ever known. I tell her I love her, and I realize as I say it that I love me, too.”
“I squeeze Finn’s hand back, and my eyes fall closed. I feel something like the whisper of a touch to my face. Deep from the back of my mind, a voice that sounds a lot like my own speaks to me like a memory, telling me I’m strong and loved and that everything is going to be okay.
And, for some strange reason, I believe it.”