ARC Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
All Our Yesterdays
by: Cristin Terrill
Publication Date: Sept. 3, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: Science Fiction/Time Travel
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC received from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 368 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 5/5 stars
The story starts off with Em, a girl who is being held in captivity by someone they call the Doctor. She is alone, save for the boy in the cell next to her, Finn. I liked Finn right away. Even in the bleakest of circumstances, he has managed to keep his humor about him. We can instantly tell he cares about Em and it turns out they were captured together. This gives us some enlightenment that they knew each other before their imprisonment. Having been held for 4 months for knowing information concerning some important documents about a time traveling machine, Em and Finn have both been tortured in order to find out the documents' location.
The first thing I noticed about Em was her determination. She can't stop staring at the drain in her cell and knows she has to see what its inside. She will do whatever is necessary to figure out why she's so drawn to it and then prays the consequences do not end up killing her or Finn. What she discovers is mind-boggling. The fate of the world falls on her shoulders and with the help of Finn, the two must go back in time to stop the time traveling device from being created, as it has wreaked havoc on the world outside. In the drain she has found a list of her past failed attempts to do this along with a haunting sentence, "You have to kill him."
Just as the pieces started coming together and I was understanding what was happening and what was at stake, Terrill not only switches protagonists on us, but she goes back in the past with another storyline! At first I was unhappy because I was so caught up with Em and Finn- I didn't want to be introduced to another character. If you're like me in that aspect- let me just say. Terrill has planned this PERFECTLY. It wasn't as difficult to get caught up in Marina's story as I thought- and then once you see how it all connects and intertwines... I. Was. FLOORED. I didn't make that connection at all. But gosh, once we do... I felt my heart start to break for these characters.
Marina is a girl who is completely in love with her best friend James. She is completely blinded by it and it really takes over her life. I felt bad for Marina, because she just wants him to notice her and reciprocate her feelings. James is a bit of an awkward character- he is supremely intelligent and has been friends with Marina for a long time. She has been there with him and seen him at his lowest point and she just wants him to notice her. Upon finally returning home with his Congressman brother, she can't wait to see him and spend time with him. They had a moment before he left and now she wants to find out what that moment meant to him. Unfortunately, her plans are thwarted by James' other best friend, who constantly seems to be around, much to Marina's dismay. At first James' best friend irritated me because I wanted to see what would happen with Marina and James and he kept interrupting! Yet, the more I saw James and Marina interact, the more I started to question whether or not I really liked James' character. I didn't doubt that he cared for her, but I didn't see the romance really blooming there. Now, Finn and Em, I could see and I really liked them together. They have grown to depend on one another and have been each other's comfort during their difficult circumstances.
The romance takes a backseat in this novel, but it is still present and I really loved it. At one point I was starting to worry as to whether or not there would be a love triangle for Em and I'm really glad there wasn't. There is another boy, but Em shows us that it is possible to love two people, but feel different kids of love for them. However, the relationships built in this book are the primary focus. This book is so much more than a survival story- it is a story about finding out what you can live with and what you cannot. It shows us that no road is never easy and while the solution may be clear as glass, there are always other factors to consider that fog up that glass.
Em and Marina's characters are so very different from one another. We have two completely different girls- one has been hardened by all that she has seen and all that has happened to her and now has to depend on her determination to go back in time and fix what has been done. The other is so overwhelmed by her love for her best friend and only cares about him- getting him to notice her and then after a horrible accident, being the one he can depend and confide in. Out of both girls, we really see Marina's transformation the most and I ended up really liking her because she was forced to take off her rose-colored glasses and really see things for what they were instead of what she wanted them to be.
Sigh. You guys. THIS book. It has become hands down become one of my favorite time traveling books. I did not know there would be a sequel, as the ending does wrap up nicely. I am so curious to hear what it will be about!