“All Our Yesterdays” by Cristin Terrill
4 out of 5 stars.
The world is ending outside of Em’s prison cell. She can’t see it happening, but she of all people should know that just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not real. She tried to fix it all, and she’s done everything she knows how to destroy the machine that has caused the near destruction and current devastation of the world. But nothing has worked. It always ends the same: Finn in a cell next to her’s, and the world ending just beyond the cold walls of their prison cells.
Em hates the “doctor”, the man who helped to pave this path which has led to people living in constant fear of their government; they now serve the government out of fear instead of it serving to protect its people from harm. Those who run it are a bunch of tyrants, and the world is this way now because of what he has done. He says he wants to save the world, and says that he can make it better, has been making it better. But Em knows that isn’t the whole truth.
One day, after a long “talk” with the doctor, Em finds something. And it is the something that could change it all, future, past, and present. Who knew a small piece of paper inside of a plastic bag could change the world and create a new future for her and Finn, everyone. But the thing that is even more amazing than a world-changing piece of paper, is that it has her handwriting on it. An Em with a different past, but an eerily similar present.
Row upon row of letters have formed sentences, sentences that another Em had formed while stuck in this cell in different life. She is horrified with just how many times the other Ems have gone back in time to try and fix things, and what is worse is that every attempt has failed, leading both her and Finn back into the same prison cells, leaving them to the same fates as before. But there is one thing all the other Ems hadn’t yet tried, and Em thinks it is just crazy enough to work.
Marina is the girl next door. She’s a bit awkward, trying to fit in with the cool kids and she is in love with her next door neighbor and friend, James. The two of them had been the social outcasts in their school until James got hot and went away to college (at fifteen, no less), and then it was just her. So she had to learn how to fit in, to be what everyone else wanted her to be. But with James, Marina can always be herself, of course with the minor exception of not spilling the beans about her being in love with James. Marina has waited forever to tell him that she loves him, and finally it seems, she has her chance to when he invites her to a fancy gathering. But this dream come true is actually a nightmare in disguise, and Marina wishes that she could just wake up and start the day over. Will this nightmare ever end?
Em and Finn have to travel back in time, four years back, actually, where Marina and James exist. Can Em and Finn stop the time travel machine from being created and save the world from all the terrible things it could do before it is too late? And what about Marina and James? Can they have their happy ending too, or does that only happen in fairy tales?
“All Our Yesterdays” by Cristin Terrill was a really good book. My sister recommended it to me after she had read it back in September. I eventually got it from the library, but I didn’t feel like reading time-travel when I got it. It sat under my bed collecting dust for about a week before my other sister was in need of a book. I let her borrow it and she ended up LOVING it. Again, I couldn’t muster up the motivation to read AND enjoy it so I let my other sister read it. She also ended up liking it a lot. So, after three weeks of me not reading it, I finally picked up “All Our Yesterdays” and gave it a shot.
I can talk myself into and out of a lot of things, and books are no exception. “All Our Yesterdays” was one of those books that I didn’t want to talk myself out of, thus the reason it sat under my bed for such a long time, and I am so glad I waited because it really was a great book.
Right off the bat I could tell that I liked Cristin Terrill’s writing style. It is very fast-paced and addictive, and once you pick it up, you’ll consume a hundred pages in no time. She also did a really good job of creating quality time-travel story. Her explanations made sense, and she was consistent in her plot with how things worked. I didn’t really feel that there were any loop-holes where she had to dig herself out of trouble in her book. At the end, there was one thing I think should have been explained a little more thoroughly, but other than that, Cristin kept it all very uniform and clean-cut. The time-travel in this book was complex in its own way, but remained simple somehow, too, and in no way compromised the quality of the story.
The character’s in this book were also really good. The book takes place over about four days, which isn’t a lot of time to get attached to characters. Cristin Terrill, however, did a very good job of it. Each character has a history, and their lives are intertwined in more ways than they could ever know (and the reader can imagine), and so the present and past circumstances create a really good background for each of them, and it made me get far more attached to the characters than if the story had taken place over a month or two.
Out of all of the characters in “All Our Yesterdays” Finn was definitely my favorite.
He was adorable, sweet, and funny, and he brought a lot of sunshine into a fairly dark book. Finn was also the steady driving force in this book, and I loved the fact that he was always there for Em. A strong, smart, and endearing male character is hard to find these days in teen fiction, but Finn was exactly that. I think the best word to describe Finn would be…cheeky. I hate it when guys are cocky, arrogant, and they think that they can shove the girl around whenever they want! But I do like the cheeky/charming ones…there’s something different in the cheeky guy characters than those other kinds of “heroes.” It is like their cheekiness is their self-preservation mechanism (I guess you could say that about the other guy characters too, but their attitudes don’t endear them to me), but underneath that they have huge hearts. I can list quite a few off for you right now, but that is besides the point, so lets just say, Finn is one of the guys I like.
Em was also another good and interesting character. I appreciated how tough she was when it counted, and I liked how she and Finn worked together to get “business” done. They were a great couple.
Marina was a bit irritating at first, but she didn’t bother me as much as I thought she would. I thought that her and James’ made an interesting couple since he’s the hot nerd, and Marina so badly wants to be cool and popular. It was interesting to see the two sides of her war with each other, and I liked her personal growth in this book.
I kind of new what was going to happen at the end, but I was surprised too, if that makes any sense. It ended well, but I had hoped for something just a little different, but I am okay with it.
Okay…maybe I’m not, but that’s not the point.
“All Our Yesterdays” is a great read for anyone who likes a good time-travel story or if you are just looking for a quick, well written read. Very good, but be prepared to get a little teary-eyed if you are a softy like me.