Review of All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our YesterdaysAll Our Yesterdays
By: Cristin Terrill
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pre-Order: Amazon
Barnes and Noble

An arc was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Disney-Hyperion

My Rating:

Summary (via Goodreads):
“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.

The Story:
I’ve not read many books centered on time travel but the good ones challenge my thinking; keeping me invested in what consequences an action in the past will have on the future.  Time travel is an intriguing concept that is incredibly difficult to do well. Cristin Terrill manages to do an outstanding job with her novel All Our Yesterdays. She kept the science simplified, keeping it manageable for a young adult audience but not so much that it would not appeal to an older audience.

I loved Terrill’s ability to transport the reader through time using the point of view of a character in the past and another in the present. The pacing was fast and I felt a distinct sense of urgency as I read that mirrored the character’s. I won’t go into too much detail about the actual story arc because All Our Yesterdays is best experienced as you read it.

The Characters:
Terrill’s main character Em was instantly likeable to me and I felt attached to her and her situation. I was enthralled with what she did to end up imprisoned and who she was talking to in the next cell. What was their history? I felt Em’s connection to her cell-mate and felt her frustration and desire to keep him safe.

Marina is written as a naïve, sheltered, and wealthy teenager who is desperately in love with her neighbor and best friend, James. Suffering from a low self esteem Marina holds her feelings close; waiting until the perfect moment to finally tell James how she has felt. Even with her faults I was able to connect to and understand her motivations and unease with how her feelings had developed and changed. I felt that Terrill developed and progressed her character realistically and at a pace that was appropriate for what she was experiencing. I could even understand her jealously and unjustifiable dislike of James’ newest friend, Finn.

Finn was a wonderful foil to James and Marina, where they are serious he is able to summon a sense of joviality that his situation does not merit.  I loved his snarky comments and his soft hearted nature, making him the purest of the characters.

I felt James’ intensity and intelligence which is impressive since he is a secondary character. Though I disagreed with his actions for the most part I could understand his motivations and reasoning. Terrill created a cast of characters that are well rounded, developed and realistic.

Final Thoughts:
All Our Yesterdays is simply one of the best books I’ve read this year. I loved Terrill’s characters and ability to carry me through her story-telling.

Look for All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill out September 2013 released by Disney-Hyperion



  1. says

    Fantastic review! I do believe you have convinced me that I should read this. I wasn’t super convinced by the summary alone but I haven’t seen a negative review for this book yet! Going to take the plunge. Glad you loved it!

    • says

      Since I hounded you via Twitter I don’t need to here but I hope you read it and love it. The summary is not nearly convincing enough. but that cover is pretty amazing 🙂

  2. Danielle D says

    I just recently heard about this book, and I love the idea of the story. The time travel aspect have me very interested in what is going on and why, and what the final outcome will be. Thanks for taking the time to read this and post a review. 🙂

      • Danielle D says

        It’s been added to my future to read/wishlist. So I do ahve it on my list to remind myself to go and get it when it comes out 🙂

  3. says

    Yes! I’m so glad it worked for you! I had some mixed feelings to begin with, but I really liked this book overall. I should probably write my review soon actually. 😛 I do agree with you about both Marina and Finn. The ending felt quite definite to me, but I hear there will be a sequel now, so I’m curious to see where the story will go next. Great review, Kristen. 🙂

    • says

      This one hit me straight-away. Just loved Terrill’s writing style. I can’t wait to read your review Sam. Very eager about the sequel…believe it is just two? And…welcome back!

  4. says

    You’re such a tease. I was going to hold off on requesting this book and I had to request it after hearing that you loved it. My ARC pile hates you for all the awesome book recommendations you give me 🙂 Great review!

  5. says

    Eeep, I’m so glad that you enjoyed this one so much!! I found this one only a few weeks ago, but I’m already dying for it. Like you, I haven’t read too many time travel books. But this one seems like a total mind-bender, which is great. 😀 And it’s great that she kept the science simplified, as one of the reasons I tend to gravitate away from time travel books is simply because I can never quite grasp everything. All the characters also found fabulous, especially Em. It’s also awesome that even though you disagreed with James a lot of the time, you were able to relate with him too. That’s the mark of a talented author! 😉

    Lovely review, Kristen! <3

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

    • says

      Hi Aneeqah! Glad you visited the site. I hope you get your hands on it soon and love it! Let me know once you read it…very excited to see what you think of the story and characters. I truly loved it.

  6. says

    Omg. This book just sounds so amazing 😀 So, so glad that you loved it. <3 I cannot wait to read it 😀 Ahh. I need to meet Em and her next door cell mate. <3 Hih 🙂 Love your review! Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

  7. Pili says

    Your review has really piqued my interest for this book, I’m surely gonna be adding it to my list of books to be read!

  8. Vivien says

    I’ve heard really good things about this book. The premise is definitely something I usually go for. I absolutely need to get my hands on this book.


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