Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

"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.

My Rating:  5 stars

From the moment I saw the cover and read the premise of this book, I wanted it in my hands.  I MAY have thrown a bit of a pity party when I wasn't able to get my hands on an arc...but if asked directly, I will neither confirm nor deny.

I never thought I'd be a big reader of science fiction, and I won't say that I am really because I don't typically search out sci-fi books, but I will read it in the right book and there was something about this one that just needed me to read it.  And I am soooo glad that I did.

When the story opens, it opens full speed.  Em is in a prison cell, but we don't know why.  And she is obsessed with getting a drain open.  But again, we don't know why.  And even when she figures it out, the reader is still left in the dark. 

This was the point where I was so consumed by putting pieces together that I decided I didn't need to sleep.  Nope.  

And there is a boy, and a doctor, and time travel and all kinds of deliciously confusing things going on that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last page.  Oh and there were a few a-ha! moments that had me reading through my fingers because while I knew they had to happen, I really didn't want them to because of...reasons.   

All Our Yesterdays is told using two POVs but both from the same person...a before (Marina) and after (Em).    Fascinating enough in and of itself as we learn they hows and the whys of their situation, but when the before and after are together in the same moment...gah, it is SO hard to write this without giving away the good stuff!  I don't know...I just felt smart reading it.  

The growth of the characters as shown between their past and present versions was believable.  The plot was well-paced and I absolutely applaud the author for managing to keep all the different moments and memories from getting tangled in one big ball of inter-dimensional chaos.  This book had so many feels...the action, the swoons, the tears, the cringes, the nostalgia...truly, something for every reader.    

And the ending was just...yeah, as it should be.  Vague sentences are vague, but in this case they are also necessary.  Just trust me and read this one.  You can thank me later.

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