Title: All Our Yesterdays
Author: Cristin Terrill
Book #: 1st of Series
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publish Date: September 3rd 2013
Date Read: October 31st 2013
Rating: ★★★★★ / out of 5
I swear to myself in that moment that I'll never say that name again. James is gone. There's only the doctor now.
"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. 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. 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.
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
I'm not going to lie- I really wasn't enjoying this book at first. I think the first 100 pages or so were really a chore to get through. However, once I hit that spot- and I'm sure we can all relate to this- my whole opinion was changed.
What bothered me the most about the beginning was that I really just had no idea what was going on. Obviously, this should be expected to some degree when starting a book, and I do hate when I start a book and I already can figure out everything that is going on. But, there are different levels of this. Level one is pretty much "Figured-it-out." Level two, the good one to be on, is "Mysterious-and-interested." And, lastly, level three is "Confused-as-fuck." I really do not like to be on that third level.
If you felt or think you might feel the same away about this book, I have to tell you to give this book a chance and keep trying because there is a possibility that for you, like myself, it will get better.
Marina: she is your typical whiny, self-centered YA female character, main or side. She is in love with her best friend who just so happens to be the super gorgeous, rich and smart boy-next-door.
I really was not too thrilled about her character at the beginning. Or at all, really. However, right around the time when my feelings started to change towards this book, we see Marina's character change.
I can't imagine what he thinks of me, how selfish and spoiled I must look to him. Selfish, spoiled, and in love with a boy who will never love me back. Selfish, spoiled, and completely delusional.
Somewhere along the way, after everything that has happened to her the past few days, Marina begins to develop a more hardened attitude, which makes sense especially once we learn(view spoiler).
In the end, I found that I admired her, not only for who she became and what she had been though, but also who she was and what she had lost.
"Please," he says. "Please don't leave me alone."
Stupid girl. I bite the inside of my lip to keep it from wobbling.
"I'm sorry," I say, and walk away.
Em: While there is no doubt that she is one hard to kill bad-ass with a resolve of steel, she was not without her faults. I think what this book taught me, though, is that it's okay to have characters with faults. What I have been looking for in YA for so long is to find those perfect female protagonists who are strong and capable, but what I am forgetting is how unrealistic that is.
We don't quite know everything about Em in the beginning. Her character is definitely what added to my confusion, but that is because of who she is and where she is from. We don't really learn all of the details until later on and, if this bothered you like it did me at the start, just hold on! Things will be explained.
I really admired her toughness, though, as well as her tender side. When we figure out who she really is, (view spoiler) some of the things that she says starts to make more sense, and they also hit a soft spot. What would you say or think about yourself if you were in her position?
She's catty and shallow, but only because she hasn't leanred how to like herself yet. How can she not see how beautiful she is, how special?
The ways in which she also goes through more character growth, just added to her humanity. Yes, it was annoying as hell when she had so many opportunities to complete her mission and then chickened out, but who's to say that I wouldn't end up acting the same way in her position? I think the best thing is that she didn't give up and that she kept trying for the next chance.
The other important characters here are Finn and James, the love interests, and The Doctor, the villain.
James is the genius-boy-next-door who I never really connected with or understood during the book because of the magnitude of what he's been through, but I could visualize his struggle. He is battling a lot of rights and wrongs and, by the end of the book, I admired the sacrifice he made.
Finn is one of the best love interests I have read about in a while. He starts off as just a friend of a friend, but after everything the characters have been through, you see where the attention shifts to him.
How long have I loved Finn? It crept up on me so gradually, I don't know if I can even pin the moment down.
He's humble, caring, and fiercely protective of the people he cares about.
The "bad-guy", The Doctor, is hard to assess as an actual villain because he is just completely delusional. The real baddy, I guess, would be the director who is controlling the doctor, but he plays a really small role besides that.
You will learn many things about the doctor, but the main thing is that he actually believes, with a fever, that he is doing the right thing.
He looks down at me, and he actually looks sad. "Please. They'll hurt you."
I stare back at him. "And you'll let them."
He turns away. "Sometimes you have to hurt someone you love for the greater good."
"Why do you get to decide what the greater good is?" I sawy. "These are people you're talking about, not just numbers in one of your equations. Don't you get that? Did you ever?"
Like I said, it was really confusing at first. However, after 100 pages or so in, things start to make sense. You begin to be able to draw those lines that connect the different characters and plots.
I rather liked the way the author did it, looking back. If she didn't, it would have given away too much. She really wants to distinguish between the characters and the story lines, before you start to see where they blend.
Overall, I haven't read too many time travel and parallel universe books that I loved, but this is definitely one of them.
The stars are shocking. It's been so long since I've seen them, and I swear they've multiplied in my absence. Out here, away from the city, they're like tiny explosions of light. Thousands of diamonds lodged in the atmosphere.
His eyes drop to his lap. "I miss you, Marina."
I hate these nights. I think I hate them more than anything else.
"I'm right here," I say. "You're the one who's gone."
1. What did you think of the beginning of the book? Were you confused, too?
2. Apparently, there's a sequel. What did you think of the ending of this book, and do you think it needs to be continued?
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