About the book
All Our Yesterdays is the debut novel from young adult author Cristin Terrill. The book is published by Bloomsbury on 1st August and it is 384 pages long. Thanks to the publishers for providing me with an ARC for review.
Em is locked in a prison cell with only the boy, Finn, in the cell next door to talk to. Inside the drain she finds a list of instructions, one of which is ‘You have to kill him.’ That isn’t the strangest thing about the list though. Em has never seen it before but it is written in her handwriting. She has tried multiple times to stop the creation of a time travel machine but each time, her fate has landed her in the dark, dingy prison cell.
Marina is wealthy, popular and the best friend of James – the boy next door. James comes from one of the most famous families in America and is a science prodigy, always working on one thing or another. One night, James’ life falls apart with one massive event, and Marina’s hopes of him ever loving her back seem to disappear. Still, Marina will do whatever she can to protect him, even when someone is trying to kill him. However, she’s about to find out that James has more secrets than she ever could have imagined and they’re going to change her life forever.
What I thought
I absolutely love time travel books so it didn’t take me long to read this one once it came through the post.
All Our Yesterdays is told from the dual narratives of both Em and Marina, one lives in the present while the other is in the past. Due to the way of telling the story, time jumps from one time to another depending on who is narrating that specific chapter. While this could get confusing, each girl has a quite distinct voice and the events in each time are very different so it is easy to follow what is going on. The plot mainly follows Em and Finn who must go back in time to stop something horrible from happening. Unlike in some other time travel books, this one is far from confusing. I felt as though Cristin Terrill created a plot that was exciting and a little bit complex but she explained everything in such a simple way. I completely understood why time travel existed and what happened in order for it to exist.
As main characters go, Em was pretty fantastic. At the beginning of the book she is stuck in a cell, being tortured and having a pretty crap time of it. She is extremely strong, determined and pretty kick ass at the same time. Em is also really mature and after having to deal with a lot, she’s had to grow up really quickly. Along with Finn, she must deal with the past but after many attempts, there is only one option left. Unfortunately for Em, this option pulls at her heart strings and forces her to deal with people from her own past.
Terrill brings together the characters from the past and present in such a fantastic way. The plot makes it possible to see how each character has changed over time and also what made them change. Marina in particular starts out as a quiet young and naïve girl wrapped up in her own world but she soon comes to realise that there is more out there to be worried about than boyfriends and dresses. This all happens quite slowly, due to the flitting between the past and the present. Little snippets about each character are revealed throughout and it was nice to see little changes over time. I loved the character development in this book and the author really did seem to think of everything when it came to this.
Terrill has not only created such fantastic characters but also one hell of an exciting world. The differences between the same world in both past and present settings all become clear once the plot does. Some events have a larger impact than some but everything helps to result in the world that Em and Finn live in… which is not a good one. One aspect of the book is full of expense and lavish lifestyles while the other is grimier and very rough. The excitement comes from how the world has changed and the problems that the characters face. Think car chases, guns and secrets on top of secrets.
It’s quite hard to describe what is so good about this book without giving away major plot twists. Overall though, Terrill has written an amazing debut novel full of suspense, action and sweet romance. I cannot wait to read more from this author.