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I Belong

Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our YesterdaysTitleAll Our Yesterdays

Author: Cristin Terrill

Genre: YA Science Fiction

SeriesAll Our Yesterdays (Book 1)

Publication Date: September 3, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 1423176375 (Disney Hyperion)

ISBN-13: 978-1423176374 (Disney Hyperion)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin


“You have to kill him.”

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 apart, 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.

Quick & Dirty: All Our Yesterdays is touching, action-packed, and a fabulous read for any Doctor Who or sci-fi fans looking for a new book.

Opening Sentence: I stare at the drain in the center of the concrete floor.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

All Our Yesterdays begins with Em and Flynn, in separate cells, held by the cold Doctor who invented Cassandra, a time machine. He has done terrible things and made people suffer. Em is trapped until she finds a note — from herself. It’s all the previous plans that past versions of herself had failed, and there is only one left: kill the Doctor, before he became so heartless and invented Cassandra in the first place. They’ll have to escape and go back in time to do so……but the hardest part will be pulling the trigger when the Doctor used to be Em’s best friend and secret love.

When I started this off, I wasn’t enjoying it all that much. It wasn’t horrible, but I wasn’t incredibly motivated to keep going. I’m very picky with my book choice and if I don’t love something from the start, it usually stays that way. Surprisingly though, I decidedly loved this novel after I closed the file on my Kindle and laid back to type the review. I think what changed for me was that as the book got more in, it got more deliciously complicated and you begin to understand more of the constant mystery. I like being in the know. I like dramatic irony when the audience understands but the characters don’t, but this book played the whole “learn when the characters do” card and that would explain my irritation by the book in general until further in. Other people probably don’t have this problem, but if you do, know that you have to keep reading because it gets much better!

Let’s talk about Em and Marina. They’re the same person, but Em is future Marina, the one who has been tortured and enslaved by a person who for years was her friend. Em is harder, stronger. Marina has a fragile sense of self-esteem and believes no one loves her because her parents are jerks and her friends are shallow and insensitive. I actually loved both of them. You can tell they are the same person, but you can tell how the characters change throughout the story. And when Em whispers to Marina that she is beautiful, to believe in herself, and that she regrets never having done so when life was so good — one of the most touching moments in a book ever. Wow! James and the Doctor are harder to love; then again, they are villains. But I do adore young James. I understand how much he wants to change the world, his driven feelings. Sadly, it goes very astray and he comes out a worse version of himself than ever. By the end of the novel, James was a winner in my mind, because he truly makes up for all of the bad he caused in the most honest form of bravery a character could ever carry out. Flynn was also lovable. I was team Flynn, even though this wasn’t necessarily a love triangle.

Additionally, the plotline was not confusing in the slightest, considering two versions of different people are running around in the same year. It very well could have been, but it wasn’t, so no reader has to be worried about that. And there is always some sort of action, betrayal, or surprise lurking around every corner.

All in all, I was very pleased by this book. It may even be something I read again. It was off to a rocky start, but by the end had me captivated. Any fans of science fiction, or Doctor Who, will love this novel 100%. Constant action keeps you entertained, and constant feelings bombard you. Make sure to read this when you have a lot of extra time, because you won’t want to put it down!

Notable Scene:

I watch the glass doors at the back of the hospital slide open and shut from across the street and rip into the protein bar. I’m not hungry, but I’ve got to do something with my hands. I thought watching James slowly become hard and merciless was the worst thing I’d ever experience, but I was wrong. This is worse. Maybe I was naïve to think I could do this. Somehow I’m still finding ways in which I’m just a child.

Looking at his face, remembering the boy he’d been and how much I’d loved him had instantly turned me back into that sixteen year old girl who thought the sun rose and set with James Shaw. I miss that girl, and that boy. I’ve missed them for years, even if I haven’t been able to admit it. And now I have to end one’s life and devastate the others.

It’s unbearable.

All Our Yesterdays Series:

1. All Our Yesterdays


FTC Advisory: Disney/Hyperion provided me with a copy of All Our Yesterdays. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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