All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
What would you change?
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 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, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. 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. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.
All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.
Back story: Let me first tell you about the funny coincidence surrounding my exposure to this book. I was browsing my Bloglovin feed and came across this post by The Library Canary. Even though I hadn’t read the book yet, I read her post about the author trying to make a sequel but deciding she would be forcing something that wasn’t meant to be. I was like damn, that’s cool of her to go against publishers/contracts and do what is right for her and the book. I was intrigued by the book but was a little skeptical. Time travel is cool, but this sounded a little more sci-fi than I prefer. Anyways, I went over to Audible a few minutes later to see what their Daily Deal was, and THIS was the deal! I couldn’t believe the coincidence and downloaded it ASAP. It was a sign.
Audiobook feelings: At first, I wasn’t a fan of the narrator. As the book went on, I realized I liked her more than past narrators because she sounded more mature. Instead of the YA contemporary audiobooks I was used to, this narrator sounded professional and a shit-ton less whiny. BUT hearing her try to make British and Spanish accents made me cringe and want to jump out of my moving car. (Yeah I mostly listened to this on my commutes to work). Jesus. It was rough.
Review: This book and storyline was SO COOL. I loved the way it was written. The book switched between the viewpoint of Marina and Em. Marina is in love with her childhood best friend, James, while Em is stuck in a prison somewhere obsessed with a drain in her cell. It will be nearly impossible to write a full review like I’d normally do for this story, so it’ll be much shorter than usual. The story was slowly unfolded and everything was explained as you go. It was SO intriguing. You were thrown right into the middle of the action and were given little glimpses into what is going on as the book continues. It was much more interesting without all of the backstory up front. The book is about time travel and, just like the description says, it’s a “story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.” The more you learn about the world and the characters, the more invested and interested in their story you become. There were so many twists and turns and a LOT of action. Some of the time travel-related stuff could have been confusing, but it wasn’t. She really gave us exactly the right amount of information to understand it. Because the backstory unfolded slowly, I kept trying to figure out what the fuck was going on…and I was almost always wrong. I love being incorrect about plot twists. I did figure out about two of the little mysteries, but that was more than enough. The only thing I didn’t like was the ending…. and by didn’t like I mean didn’t understand. Maybe there was some aspect of the time travel situation that I didn’t fully grasp, but I was definitely confused about how it could possibly end the way it did. I’ve been scouring the internet for explanations so we’ll see if I can figure it out soon. I think this is one area where the audiobook failed me, because maybe seeing it on the page and the paragraphs get broken down would have helped me. The kind of confusing ending was the only reason I gave it 4.5 instead of 5. Like I mentioned up there, Cristin Terrill tried and failed to write the sequel, which I respect, but I don’t think I would have hated it if there was one! The book didn’t need one, but it would have been cool anyways. Again, it’s nearly impossible to review this book without giving everything away, so I’ll just say – READ IT.