Published: September 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
"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 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.
All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.
Well, I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. I had seen the book on Netgalley and wasn't too impressed by the blurb, but I was looking again a few days ago and thought I'd give it a try. I am so glad I did. All Our Yesterdays was a taught, exciting mystery that had me reading compulsively and desperate to get to the conclusion.
It is written with dual pov's - Em and Marina - which should really be confusing since they are essentially the same person, but is not at all. The differences between Em and Marina are subtle, but clearly illustrate character growth of the older and younger versions. Confusing? Is it possible to have backward character growth, or character deterioration? Em is a mature, thoughtful self sacrificing person, while Marina is really a bit of a spoilt brat and finding out how one becomes the other is fascinating.
Ms. Terrill uses different names to differentiate between versions of a lot of her characters. James becomes 'The Doctor', Craig, 'The Director', Marina becomes 'Em', but for some reason Finn remains Finn throughout the whole. At some point he becomes 'my Finn', but generally he is just Finn. However, it seems fairly easy to tell them apart, and Finn was definitely my favourite character. He's the proverbial 'nice' guy. The one who often gets overlooked, but turns out to be the steadfast, fiercely protective good guy that you can't help but love. I enjoyed getting to know him. The sacrifices that the characters in this story are willing to make are enormous. Without giving too much away, your heart will just break for Em and Finn. What they have to go through is just horrible, but not once do they consider giving up. It's really quite inspiring.
The Doctor, on the other hand, perfectly illustrates that 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'. He is 100% sure that what he is doing is the right thing, but cannot see the havoc he is producing to achieve his ends. There is a huge 'reveal' at the end that I did not see coming and quite blew me away.
All Our Yesterdays is a time travel thriller that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, reading frantically. It is well worth it too. A great read that I won't hesitate to recommend to my teens at work. Well done Ms. Terrill. I can't wait to see what you come up with next.