Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Title: All Our Yesterdays
Cristin Terrill
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Acquired Via: JKS Communications
Release Date: September 3, 2013

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 and each other, and 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.

My Review

I've read a lot of time travel and science fiction in the young adult realm lately, and I haven't been blown away. However, Cristin Terrill's debut, All Our Yesterdays, is the best example of each that I've read this year. All of the characters are intriguing and realistic, the plot kept me on the edge of my seat, and the science is believable.

All Our Yesterdays is told through Em and Marina's alternating points of view. Em's story starts the novel. She's in a jail cell, obsessing over its need to have a drain in the middle of the floor, with only the voice of a boy in the neighboring cell to keep her sane. Her world is a dystopian disaster, and she has torture and terrorization to look forward to each day. Marina is living through events four years previous to that of Em, and she is a rich, snooty teenage girl who is plotting the seduction of her next door neighbor. Though it is not exactly mysterious who the two girls are, but the way ties that bind them together are revealed is never boring. The relationships between Em, Marina, Finn, James, and the doctor are also well done. Each relationship between any two of the aforementioned people is complex and startling at times. This all lends credibility to how believable the characters and their interactions are.

The most important part of time travel - and science fiction in general - for me is the science and explanations behind it all. I want to know how it works, and I want to believe it. All Our Yesterdays' time travel made sense to me, despite the fact that the concept and implementation of it was developed by a supergenius teenager. The way the theory of relativity was explained in the novel is how it was explained to me by a NASA scientist - and it makes sense. (No, really, it actually does.) I was completely on board and bought all of the science from Terrill quite happily... Until the last few pages. It broke my heart, but I ended the book saying, "Nope, I'll be buying none of that." If you're going to have time travel, you have to be consistent.

In the end, All Our Yesterdays is a fantastic novel and one of the best sci-fi reads for me this year. I'll be honest, the last pages is what knocked the star rating down to four (I am particular about my time travel), but the book is very good. Chances are, most of you aren't as picky as me and will enjoy this book very much.

4/5 Stars

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond

About the Author

A self-proclaimed aspiring grown-up, Cristin Terrill is finding grown up success as a young adult novelist.

Terrill’s first book, All Our Yesterdays, will be released by Disney-Hyperion on September 3, 2013. Global Produce and Gold Circle Films have bought screen rights to turn the sci-fi YA thriller into a movie.

Before writing, Terrill worked as a theatrical stage manager. She grew up in Texas then headed to New York to study drama at Vassar College. For post-grad education, she traveled overseas to the United Kingdom where she attended the prestigious Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham.

Today Terrill lives in Silver Spring, MD, where she helps kids and teens hone their creative writing skills at workshops through Writopia Lab. The nonprofit organization connects published authors with aspiring writers ages 6 to 18.

A regular contributor to YA Confidential and selected member of the Class 2K13 for debut YA authors, Terrill is also already hard at work on her second novel. She is a featured presenter at this year’s Book Expo of American and the American Library Association’s annual conference.

Find Cristin Online
Website | Tumblr | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book for reviewing purposes through JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.

This book counts toward my completion of the Debut Author Challenge.

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You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!