"All Our Yesterdays"

"All Our Yesterdays"

All Our Yesterdays

by Cristin Terrill

Genre: YA Science-Fiction
Published: September 3rd, 2013
by Disney Hyperion




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.


Intelligently plotted with memorable characters & a superb romance, All Our Yesterdays is the time travel novel that I have been waiting for. It is hard to review because the story itself is so intricate and well thought-out, but I will certainly try my best to serve it justice.

But it’s the last line that makes me scramble for the toilet in the corner of my cell.

‘You have to kill him.’

Em and her friend Finn are trapped inside a secret military base with nothing but each other. A time machine has been invented, and Finn and Em have tried everything they can to stop it from destroying the world, but nothing seems to work. They have only one option left if they want to save humanity: killing the one person Em used to love. But will it be enough?

Marina has loved her next-door neighbor James since she first laid eyes on him in 2nd grade, and now James seems to like her too. But one day James’s life turns upside down – and Marina will do whatever she can to keep him alive.

The time travel element itself was quite well-done. Cristin Terrill writes it in a way that is simple and easy to follow, and manages to eliminate any plot holes in the process, allowing us to focus on the story.

The characters are all well developed and I found myself easily connecting to them. Their motivations make sense, and their personalities are all distinct and logical. Em is fierce, and while she may seem a bit tough on the outside, she really does have a good heart. Marina, however, I had a bit more trouble warming up to; but her character certainly does grow on you. She’s someone we can all empathize with; blinded by love, made oblivious by the consequences of its power. She’s hard on herself, and she always expects more from herself than she can give, but she does experience quite a lot of growth throughout the course of the story.

Equally well-developed are the relationships between the characters – may they be romantic or simply a genuine friendship. The romance takes a unique spin that I haven’t ever seen before, and I really enjoyed it. It’s fascinating (and quite sad) to see the romance between View Spoiler » fail while the one between View Spoiler » succeeds. The chemistry between both couples is pheonominal, and both relationships are realistically done.

To top it all off, the ending is heart-breaking and packed full of emotion; yet it fits the story Terrill wants to tell perfectly.

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 honestly don’t know what else to say but “READ THIS NOW!” Everything about it is so intelligent and thought-provoking; and it hits all the right buttons when it comes to time-travel.

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.


4 thoughts on “"All Our Yesterdays"

  1. Your description of the book was beautifully done. I will definitely read the book and let you know what I think of it. It sounds amazing, so I can’t wait to start it! Happy reading!

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it as much as I did Lauren! I feel like I’m due for a reread of this, so I’ll definitely take your advice and listen to the audiobook this time. 🙂

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