Friday, September 5, 2014

All Our Yesterdays - Review

All Our Yesterdays (All Our Yesterdays, # 1)

By: Cristin Terrill

Publication: September 3rd 2013 by Disney Hyperion (first published August 1st 2013)

360 pages

Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Time Travel

Source: Free Audiobook Sync Download

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Goodreads description--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.

I feel like I need to start this review off by saying that I’m not sure All Our Yesterdays makes for the best audiobook. All Our Yesterdays jumps back and forth in chronology between the past and present and between two versions of the same character. It took me entirely too long to grasp the difference between “Em” and “Marina.” Em is the current version of Marina. When she goes back in time, her prior self goes by Marina. See it’s confusing just trying to explain that. Without really seeing the breaks and changes in narration that I’m sure are front and center visibly in the print copy, it was more difficult for me to keep up with when the narration swapped between current Em and prior Marina.

On top of the dual narration problems, All Our Yesterdays is a complex book. I highly enjoyed the concept, especially when most time-travelling books just don’t do it for me. I don’t usually buy what they're selling. And so the fact that I enjoyed All Our Yesterdays at all is a feat in and of itself. But audiobooks are something that I prefer not to be too complex. I’m usually multitasking when listening to an audiobook. I’m cleaning. Or working. And well if I have to use my brain to think when I’m working on whatever other task I’m doing while listening to the audiobook, chances are high that I’m going to miss something important. And I think that’s what happened with All Our Yesterdays. It wasn’t that I could pick one place that I missed one specific thing, but it was the little details here and there that all add up to really important stuff. If you’re going to listen to All Our Yesterdays on audio then I suggest paying close attention and only multitasking with mindless other things. If you’re reading this one, then I don’t think you have to worry.

All Our Yesterdays hooked me pretty quickly. I was asking myself questions right off the bat, not “I’m confused” questions, but “I’m intrigued/What’s going to happen” questions. I connected with Em and Finn—both current Finn and prior Finn--pretty quickly. But Marina was harder for me to connect with, as was James.

The events of All Our Yesterdays kind of need to be experienced versus me telling you about them. I did enjoy this book, but I would just recommend reading it over listening to the audiobook. All Our Yesterdays gets 4 stars from me. Have you read All Our Yesterdays? What did you think? Let me know!


  1. I did like A.O.Y. (I gave it 4 stars myself), and I think it may be one of the best examples of time travel actually making sense, despite some glitches that I mentioned in my own review...I'm quoting: <>
    Of course, since the time gap among the two chains of events only amounts to 4 years, some things seem to have changed a bit too quickly and drastically. But I still think the time travel aspect is (mostly) believable. As for Marina, I don't have any problem with her - she manages to sound insecure, innocent and loyal, under her spoiled-girl fa├žade. Having said so, the book lacks what I call the "wow factor" for me. I couldn't bring myself to rate it less than 4 stars, but I wasn't in raptures while reading it.

  2. I completely agree with you in it being one of the best time travel books I've ever read. I can see where your question about the previous version of Em and Finn makes sense. Great question. I definitely understand what you mean too about how it was lacking something to give it the extra oomph. I wasn't completely hooked to the point where I couldn't pause it, but I also found it to be a solid read. Definitely think the visual format would fit this book better than audio though. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting Roberta!

  3. I want to finally read this! Great review!

  4. I LOVE time travel books. I liked this one, but if I remember right, I had some issues with it. I just can't remember what though. lol. But I can see how this wouldn't have been the best for audio.

  5. I hope you get to read it soon! Thanks for stopping by Alisa!

  6. Haha....I'm not sure if that's a good sign or a bad sign that you can't remember what you're frustrations were with this one. :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting Christy!