As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

June 15, 2015

ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Christin Terrill, 2013

Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn't happened yet. Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture - being kept apart, overhearing each other's anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There's no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It's from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that's about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future. (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Valette M.

I haven't seen two main characters that fit together as well as Em and Finn do in a long time. Both perfectly capable of standing independently, their love was simple and unselfish. The course of the story yanked out their inner selves and spread them out for public perusal as they struggle with the ethics of what they intend to do. They compliment each other in a team willing to lay aside petty wishes for themselves in search of a safe future. Em and the Finn of the future both carried a deep seated grittiness, courtesy of the nightmare the future is -- quite different from the average, and perhaps slightly spoiled in one case, teenagers they were in the beginning of their journey. I enjoyed the jagged juxtaposition presented as the past and future characters lived out their timelines, reacting the same events in drastically different ways, but still being the same person. Their interactions posed several heavy questions and deep thoughts on what gives a person their identity and ends justifying means. Overall, the characters were well thought out and relatable.

What an incredibly addictive read! The whole book takes place over the course of only a few days as events seamlessly snap into place in nonstop plot. I must say I wasn't expecting quite the explosion this book is. Usually I find time travel books to be unrealistic and disappointing (because really if someone has such a powerful tool how can their lives have any problems?). But nothing could be further from the truth with this one! I appreciated that Cristen Terrill doesn't focus too much on the technical aspect of why time travel is possible in her world, but rather turns the readers' attention to the character development and intricate plot unraveling before our eyes and uses the time travel machine as only an accessory to the larger story. That's not to say that time isn't involved: This story is made of time jumps with a whole new take on paradoxes and non-linear timelines and just enough logic to ring true.

Cristen Terrill has an almost brusque clearness to her writing that lends itself well to the brutal atmosphere of ALL OUR YESTERDAYS. The book displayed professional and experienced prose with enough flair that I will be looking out for future books.

Market: Young Adult
Language: Mild if Any
Sensuality: None
Violence: Mild
Mature Themes: Death, Corruption

Second review by Natalie

Love it. So much. I literally love it. I am so sad it's over.

This is time travel done by a freaken genius. It was, I just, the book, GO FREAKEN READ IT!

There are 4.5 characters in this book. If that confuses you, don't feel ashamed, if it somehow makes sense to you, you are either incredibly smart or need to seek help immediately. The reason I say there are 4.5 is because there are the 3 main characters (Marina, James, and Finn), and then there are their future selves (again, story about time travel) who go by Em, James/Doctor, and, well, still Finn.

Marina, is our Main MC. She's a girl who has been hardcore in love with James since, well, since forever. Naturally, he doesn't exactly reciprocate it. James is Washington D.C.'s version of a Sherlock Holmes. Not in the mystery solving way, but his entire demeanor and such. I literally did imagine Benedict Cumberbatch as James. It was wonderful to say the least. Finn was the other boy, and I liked him, but I was just so focused on James because he was brilliant and I Am Sherlocked (you'll get that if you watch Sherlock).

Anyway, the plot. James was a genius, so he was able to build a working time machine, which, while he meant to do good, ended up wreaking havoc on the world. He didn't understand he needed to stop. He has Em and Finn in custody, interrogating them for information. Then, Em and Finn get a chance to go back in time to stop James before he builds the time machine, and that means to kill him. You switch narratives between Em and Marina, who are the same, just different times. So this may get confusing, but trust me, it's just because I'm attempting to explain it, Cristin Terrill does a superb job making it clear.

Then the ending came round. And, basically, I needed more. I NEED more.

I hear there's a sequel, but frankly, I don't know what can happen. but I know what I WANT and desperately NEED to occur. The sequel isn't happening. The author said she couldn't do it, and while I support her whatever choice she makes, I'm still SO sad.

Happy Reading!!!

Market: Young Adult
Language: Mild
Sensuality: Mild 
Violence: Mild
Mature Themes: Torture (not detailed), assassination attempts

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