Monday, February 24, 2014

GUEST REVIEW: ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill




Title: All Our Yesterdays
Series: All Our Yesterdays, #1
Author: Cristin Terrill
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Genres: YA, Sci-fi, Time-travel
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 4/5

SUMMARY

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.




REVIEW

All Our Yesterdays starts with a scene that totally hooked me. Within the first 10% the story had me in nail-biting suspense and kept me captivated until the very last page. Em, back from the future, must commit a murder to save Marina in the past, and the world from war and devastation. With her own feelings as well as time itself working against her, this looks like a near impossible task.

Running two timelines smoothly and without confusion, as well as keeping track of the same three characters in both timelines, couldn’t have been an easy feat for author Cristin Terrill, though she accomplishes this masterfully in this book.

Four years into the future, Em and Finn are no longer the innocent youngsters they used to be. The author fortunately and very realistically let them keep enough of their old selves so as not to become monsters; the kind of monsters most people would have become after the tribulations those two had been through.

The character referred to as The Doctor, is so drastically changed from who he used to be that he is unrecognisable in the future.

This book contains remarkable character development. The slightly spoilt, happy Marina becomes the practical, harder Em, and the gentle Finn becomes someone who has the spine to do what needs to be done. James is the perfect example of a character with a flaw just under the surface; a flaw that may or may not become the main feature of his character.

The suspense over the ultimate success of Em's mission becomes almost unbearable as time itself threatens to pull her and Finn away.

From the memories Finn and Em are thrown into every time she tries to pull them away, the reader can accurately piece together what happened in the four years during which the world, but America in particular, collapsed into chaos and war.

For the romantically minded, Em/Marina's devotion to James - both the original and the future James - would be touching. I personally found Em, especially, a bit irritating as she still obsesses lovingly over somebody who was responsible for the worst imaginable horrors in her life. The author skilfully uses this obsession to truly draw out the suspense and make for numerous edge-of-your-chair moments during the course of the book.

Filled with action, difficult choices, and some sweet, touching romance, All Our Yesterdays is a meticulously planned, worthwhile read. I would definitely highly recommend this thrilling, often heartbreaking, page-turner to readers of all ages.




PURCHASE LINKS



ABOUT the AUTHOR


Cristin Terrill has a bachelor of the arts degree from Vassar College and a master of the arts degree in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. She currently lives outside Washington, D.C., where she teaches creative writing workshop for kids and teens. ALL OUR YESTERDAYS is her first novel.



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