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All Our Yesterdays

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Outside the secret military base where Em is imprisoned, war rages. The world has been coming apart at the seams ever since the U.S. government cracked the code of time travel and built a machine to weaponize time. The only chance Em and the body in the cell next door have to change this terrible present is to escape to the past and stop the man who created the machine.

Four years earlier, the biggest problem in Marina’s life is figuring out how to tell her shy and brilliant best friend James that she’s in love with him. That is, until he night an assassin’s bullet changes everything and sends Marina and James on a desperate hunt for answers, with a killer who seems to anticipate their every move right on their heels.

Marina will protect James at any cost. Em will sacrifice everything to rewrite her future.

Only one of them can succeed.

368 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 1, 2013

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Cristin Terrill

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,413 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
August 11, 2016

I'm still reeling from this book. I finished it with that sad, hollow feeling that makes it impossible to read anything else for a while because you're still living in the book's world and still caught up in the adventures of those characters. And I didn't expect to like this book anywhere near as much as I did. It's a science-fiction book with a romance that is central to the story and we all know how well those go. But it's well-written and compelling with a very interesting and seemingly original (to me) take on the concept and science behind time travel. It took me longer than usual to read this book; but sometimes it does take me more time to read books I really loved because I tend to savour them a bit more. I find myself pausing to read sentences again because I liked them so much, or because the emotions I feel are too much to process in one reading.

Some people might be tempted to call this book a dystopia, which is fair enough because it is about a future world gone horribly wrong, but I view books about time travel (especially ones as scientifically detailed as this) to be the more traditional brand of sci-fi. Though, for me, it still carries that key ingredient that I look for in a dystopia, that key ingredient that has had me spending many disappointed hours searching through the dystopian craze for a book that holds it. It's an element I've been addicted to for a very long time. When I was eleven I read Nineteen Eighty-Four and then when I was fourteen I read The Handmaid's Tale - these two readings sparked a thus-far lifelong interest in a future world that, no matter how realistic or unrealistic, is so well-crafted and well-explained that it's impossible to not believe in it. A world that you can see happening because the author shows how we got from here to there. They base it in science and facts and politics to make it seem like a very real possibility and to make you absolutely terrified from start to finish.

This book scared me. Ms Terrill managed to convince me completely that time travel was not only real, but a very real threat to the life we know. Think about it. What could a government do with time travel? What alliances could they break apart before they ever happened? What foreign powers could they destroy before they ever rose up against them? And I know what people will think - there's a time paradox, right? You change the past and then you change the future. But Terrill also offers a very interesting and convincing explanation for that. I've always been a bit of a nerd, but not so much a science nerd until I read the scientific foundations of this story with wide-eyed awe. Maybe it couldn't really work like that. No, probably it couldn't really work like that. But isn't that the definition of good science fiction? To take the impossible or the improbable and convince the reader that it's real?

Let's move onto the characters. They are so multi-layered and complex that they jump off the page. One of the things I loved the most was seeing Em as she is now, Marina as she was then and seeing how one could grow into the other. The growth of her character felt realistic, you could easily see how her experiences had changed her and the book touches upon the question of how much people can really change. How much of our adult selves lurks beneath the surface when we are children? If we do bad things, when did we become a person capable of doing bad things? Was it always there? This is such a fascinating book on so many levels - the science-y world-building aspect, the political aspect and the characters' struggles. But, above all, I adored Finn. And maybe that's why I don't care that the romance played quite a big part in this book, because Finn is fantastic. And funny. And wonderful. And I want a Finn too!

The main questions this book asks are: if you could go back and kill a man who would do terrible things before he had the power to do so, would you? What if that person was one you loved? How easy would it be to look into the eyes of an innocent who couldn't believe they'd ever hurt anyone... and pull the trigger? Is that person even the same as the one they'll become? This book not only scared me, it broke my heart too.

And that ending, oh god, that ending. Perfect bittersweetness.
Profile Image for "That's All" Ash.
158 reviews1,926 followers
September 21, 2013
I think this is the first time I’ve written a bad review for a 4-star book.

Is that even Goodreads-legal?

Here’s my problem with All Our Yesterdays: It was awesome… once I got past the beginning.

This was my status update at 17%:

‘Okie dokie. So. This is a dystopian book about a girl who’s already lived fourteen (fifteen?) lives and needs to get to a time machine so that she can jump forward to her past and it’s also a dual POV between her current self and her past self and the relationship with the boy who she now loves and hated back then.

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Are you tired yet?

And that’s just what I could describe using only 420 characters.

And I’m like:

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***Seriously, lady… why not just sell your book with a bottle of vodka, a Rubik’s cube, and a hand-written note that says, “Good luck.” while you’re at it?***


The Good Thing About This Book

It does have a beautiful story. And I know I probably scared you off about the beginning and all that… but honestly, when you get your footing with everything; it’s kind of amazing!

It’s about a girl who has to go back in time to kill someone who at one point, meant the world to her. But horrible things happen to that person, and that person becomes something menacing and a danger to mankind because he or she (I’m trying not to spoil it for you) invents something that shouldn’t have been invented. Because he or she wants to use it for reasons that would destroy everything.

And the reason why that girl has lived fourteen or fifteen lives is because she keeps failing at killing him or her. Because this is a person she has loved, does love, and always will love.

So I say read this book.

But use this:

---> ◊ Ash’s Chapter One Cheat Sheet ◊ <---

#1.Cassandra” is the time machine. *I*, for a good 15% of the book, thought it was a town. Or a bartender. (At this point in the story, I was kind of leaning towards the bartender. Because seriously? That’s what *I* needed.)

It’s not.
It’s the time machine.

So when the characters are running around in the first chapter yelling things like, “We have to get to Cassandra!” it’s because they have to get to the time machine.

#2. This book has a dual POV between Em and Marina. So when the POV suddenly changes from Em to Marina; and you happen to be like me: and you’re thinking as you come across Marina’s POV: “Who in the fuckety fuck is Marina?!” (because it’s not explained before the POV shift)

*Answer: Marina is Em. Four years ago.*

#3. When Em gets that note that says, “You have to kill him.”… it means the doctor. (And no; I’m still not spoiling anything by telling you) Okay? You would figure it out later, but I wish *I* would have known that sooner. So that’s why I’m telling you.

#4. Pay close attention to James.

That’s all.

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Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,030 reviews1,045 followers
October 9, 2015

3 to 3.5 stars

I’m both impressed and disappointed. Impressed because I had no idea this was going to be about time travel so it was a complete surprise because the concept (Marina and Finn try to save the world by going four years back to the past to kill their best friend, James aka Doctor who invented the machine that will allow people to time travel that consequently will cause the world’s doom) is quite unique. I’m a bit disappointed because I honestly thought this was going to be an action-packed dystopian novel which I’m really eager for at the moment. :/

I enjoyed the story like I would a sci-fi movie about time travel. It would have been so much better if I liked the actors. :/ Perhaps if I read this 365 yesterdays ago, I would have loved it! Now however, I couldn’t seem to connect much with the heroine and the hero (also the antihero) and that’s when I struggle most in reading. It could have a really good plot but if I couldn’t feel the characters, it usually ends just okay for me. Good thing there’s another hero- Finn, the only character I loved and the main reason I enjoyed the entire story.

Those opening and closing chapters were the best but honestly, there were maybe three to four chapters in the middle which I skimmed because the alternating POVs of the future and the present Marina couldn’t hold my one hundred percent attention. The entire time travel concept although very imaginative was a bit blurry for me. The characters kept talking about how bad the world has become because of time travel but I wanted more proof. I wanted a clearer picture of that world. Or maybe I’m just bitter that most of my friends have already read and loved this and this is my own little way of revenge. (Feeling this villainous vibe.)

Kidding! Lol.

The events toward the end were really intense and impressive and those were the parts where I was completely attentive and where the other characters finally earned my empathy. It was heartbreaking! In the end though, I think, what were mainly resolved were the main characters’ personal issues and paradoxes.

Still a good read though, still a good read so please, don’t rely too much on this review because I have a strong feeling that this is a “it’s not you book, it’s me” case. Also, I would lurve to see a movie version!

Thanks to Fatima's five star review that encouraged me to read the book. Do check out Rachel's awesome review too.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,458 reviews8,561 followers
January 16, 2015
All Our Yesterdays made me:
- grip my Kindle so hard it left an imprint on my forehead
- whisper-scream in anticipation and outrage
- believe in its time-traveling, dystopian premise
- cry soft tears that landed in my orange juice
- drink my own tears (see above)
- wish I had read it so much sooner

I have so much love for this book, my first five-star read of 2015. It centers on Em, a young woman stuck in a cell with nothing besides the voice of a boy in the cell next to hers and a list of instructions she finds inside a drain. She has made multiple attempts to stop the creation of a time machine that will destroy the world, but every try has landed her in the same position: trapped and tortured in a cell by the man called the doctor.

Meanwhile, Marina, a rich, insecure girl who goes to a private school, has fallen in love with her handsome and intellectual neighbor James. But when James loses it all one night, Marina must fight to save both him and herself. Soon, Em and Marina's stories intertwine in a way that leaves both of them reeling.

I finished All Our Yesterdays in less than 24 hours, and I would have swallowed it whole in a second if I could have. Cristin Terrill writes with intensity and purpose. Every scene contained well-paced action, deft characterization, and snappy dialogue. She balances a tricky concept with a neat set of characters, and both her world and its inhabitants made sense. The development of Marina, Em, Finn, and even James left me in awe, and the bittersweet ending of All Our Yesterdays pierced my heart in the best possible way.

I cannot recommend this book enough, in particular to fans of YA fiction of any genre. While I feel unsure on whether I want a sequel to this book - it works so well as a single volume - I hope I have the opportunity to read more of Terrill's writing in the future.
Profile Image for L A i N E Y (will be back).
394 reviews677 followers
February 9, 2018
I’m offended.

I don’t know what this book was actually trying to do but all it accomplished was just to compound the thinking that ‘if you need something done, do not send teenagers to do it’.I’m not a teenager by any means, but come ON, they deserve better representation than this.


It failed at ‘thrilling’ since most of the book kept focusing on the ‘wrong’ things. Like why are we spending so much time listening to these clueless characters having a back and forth on the same old things over and over?? We found out from the very first scene Marina appeared, basically the first page she was in, that she and 250 pages later, we’re STILL talking about this? We already KNOW. Don’t you have more important things to tell us?? I thought it’s imperative to fucking save the world, right?

Then I saw this.

Marina: “Nobody loves me, and why should they?”


While the writing was good when exploring the characters’ stories, a lot of action scenes felt contrived and in dire need of tension.

Not to mention “unrealistic” and I’m not talking about the time travel aspect here. When the book was just in contemporary timeline like when they were so desperate to avoid the mob of press that Really now? I don’t think that’s how professional security personnels operate but whatever, I’m done with you

May 12, 2014
4.5 Stars


Yes, yes I know it's a really amazing sci-fi,time travel thriller, that's chocka-blocked full of action and suspense and a liberal dose of angsty teen love. This I know, but my reaction towards the story completely surprised me!

Firstly if you plan on reading this book, here's a tip: Keep your wits about you, there's so much going on and every detail is so important, you can't miss anything! Secondly. OMG about halfway through this book I was getting major Butterfly Effect vibes, not even vibes they were freaking quakes! I loved Butterfly Effect! Look, I mean the stories are completely different, it's the entire feel of the book and certain scenes made me think of the movie.

The story has three main characters. There's Marina our heroine, she's been in love with James since she was in diapers (well almost) she's constantly pining over him like any hormonal teenaged girl would. In the beginning of the story, she annoyed so bad I second guessed my decision on reading this book, she was spoiled, bratty and had serious self esteem problems. But trust me her faults are vital to the story, Marina does some serious growing up over a short period of time. Her transformation is fundamental to the story.

Then there's James. a child prodigy, he's busy studying to get his PHD in God knows what, he's a brain, that's all you need to understand.
He's also this really awkward kid, who got really good looking overnight, and hasn't adjusted to his new image. You see, his older brother Nate is a congressman, and these attributes give his "popularity" a major boost. But ultimately he's still the same gangly nerd who couldn't fit in. He also has behavioral problems...

And finally we have, Finn, the oddball in the lot. He's background isn't as affluent as Marina's and James. He's James' best friend and the bane of Marina's existence, because wherever James is, Finn is there too. And how the hell is Marina supposed to get James' to notice her if Finn keeps getting in the way??? *insert eyeroll* Finn is sweet, quirky and the cutest this under the sun and I absolutely loved him! No matter how horrible his situation is he never let it show, and he always cracked a joke.

I'm about to get all cheezy and teary eyed. This book will evoke intense emotions, feels! Forget about the fact that is science fiction and dystopian and just read the story. It's unforgettable, keeps you wondering right till the end and then some. It's a coming of age story in a really weird and warped way. I didn't give you any details about the actual plot because I feel like all of that would spoil. Seriously, if I was to write a detailed review, it would take me days, that's how intricate the plot is!

Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,364 followers
August 15, 2013
There's been a slew of time travel books lately and All Our Yesterdays is another one that I can add on the short list of those that impressed me. The time travel concept introduced, while hard to grasp like any and all time travel science, explains how paradoxes fixes itself in a manner that's utterly fascinating, while giving us a plot that is both thought-provoking and exciting.

All Our Yesterdays has a past/present setting that involves a unique double characterization; even though our main character is a singular person, both her younger and older self form the dual POV of this novel which I found especially interesting. Marina can be hard on herself; even though she admits to turning heads, she doesn't think she's pretty or anything special. I didn't connect to Marina right away because this attitude kept me at arm's length, but her caring heart does grow on you. Em is more my kind of gal with her strong will and tough attitude. She is just as caring, if not more, and having learned to love herself makes her personality more attractive. Because of this hardened shell, both narratives are considerably different, though with a likeness at their core. Each perspective introduces a set of secondary characters with which the protagonist has a peculiar bond. It was striking to see the changes in their relationships as the story progressed. Finn became my favorite side character, but James's exceptional intelligence and obvious instability had me compelled. With a dual narrative consisting of past and present characters, it allowed for twists to be dropped at regular intervals which unveiled the mysteries of what happened in the future that changed everything to such a degree. These almost always caught me off guard and often shone a new light on certain characters.

Romantically, this novel contains a unique spin. I can't divulge very much, but we see how one love crumbles and how one flourishes. It's kind of bittersweet at times, but I loved how it turned out in the end. Even though its presence is constant, and its role integral to the story, the romance never overpowers the plot; it's fused into its roots. The book as a whole is well paced with the right amount of suspense and tension. The described political controls of the future are realistic under the circumstances, raising moral questions while at it. Once or twice, to make the plot move forward the author uses opportune happenings that required a little forgiveness on my part. As an example, after Marina gets nothing but a few alphabetical letters from Nate, she has it all figured out and everyone's quick to agree to a goose chase based on this vague thread of information. However, these instances are insignificant in the grand scheme of things and I still consider the plot to be solid. As for the ending, I had to re-read it and think for a bit for it to make sense. I may not even be correct in my interpretation, either way it makes for a good time travel paradox discussion.

With flawless writing and an unwavering pace, Cristin has weaved time-travel, romance, political intrigue, and mystery into this page-turner of a novel!

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Ariana.
938 reviews1,302 followers
March 20, 2015
Oh my! This is what a true time travel story should be about.

The suspense, the confusion, the puzzled pieces that start to fit together, the world building, the character development (both in the past and the future)… Should I really tell you how much I loved this story?
It was absolutely AMAZING! It blew my mind, of course I loved it!

I’d spend all my yesterdays reading this book only to feel this joy with which it filled my heart, because there’s nothing better than finding a new favorite book – and this one here is a keeper.


I love the concept of time traveling, still it’s usually hard to find a good book that touches this subject. So, why “All Our Yesterdays” worked for me you wonder?

Well, it doesn’t spend a lot of time explaining how things work, but the details it gives seem believable. Also, the connection between present and past is really strong – the characters are completely different now, you see how time has changed them, but you also feel the need to see why is it that they changed so much, how wrong did things turn out for them in the time between, and how the future selves might make things better.

The decisions are hard to make, the plans go wrong more than right, there are turnarounds after turnarounds and even though you might feel that things don’t add up, in the end you will see that they actually do.
Did I tell you how much I loved this story?! Oh, my!


My incoherent book description (also called ‘babbling in my new love language’):
Run before the future catches up with you;
Hide between your yesterdays until you make it right;
Fight for a version of yourself that might chase to exist.
… It’s all worth it, because when the past and the future collide and you’re running out of time there is only one thing holding it all up: hope!
And maybe, just maybe, that will be enough.

I’ll keep it at that, not wanting to spoil anything for you, but be assured that the action keeps you on the edge of your seat at ALL times, switching back and forth between time perspectives, only making you want more from both of them.


I liked how all the characters developed over the time.
They kept consistent, even though there is this innocence that has been lost in the past years. You see how strong they are now, how weak and naive they’ve been in the past and you wish to find more about the things that made them change that much. But at heart, they are just the same; they wish for the same things, they fight for the same reasons, only at a different level.

Time is coming for us, and coming fast.

What I loved the most is that the characters are flawed, they make mistakes, but they have also depth; they fight for the right things, but they still have a heart to lead them. They seem real and they question the things they need to do, they fear the possibility failure (they can even accept it) and they simply want to make things better for each of them. I loved them all and it pained me to see how unfair life can be sometimes, and how easily some beautiful things can break into thousands of pieces just in an instant.


Where do I preorder this? Because I want it on my bedstand next to a few other beloved stories.

Think Unraveling (with the fast pacing and the mind-blowing turnarounds), Pivot Point (because of the two perspectives) and Across the Universe (sorry, but I will keep this to myself) – all in one.

If I were to be really honest with myself I would give this book 4.5 stars because the future didn’t change as quickly as the characters interacted with the present and I wasn’t really sure why was that (it gave me some sort of unsettling feeling). The theory might work even so, but I feel like the future could have been altered just a bit by some events.. maybe. And also, once or twice the characters’ reactions were a bit slow, they made the connections between facts really slow and I even felt smarter then them (not that I complain, but I wanted to yell at them to just open their eyes, LOL).

But these are some very minor things, I loved this book to pieces – loved the action, the suspense, the romance.. everything. And guess what, this is a debut novel – and if the first one is this good, I am keeping my eyes on you, dear Cristin!

Happy midnight reading!

* This review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com
** ARC received from the publisher for review - Thank you!


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Profile Image for shady boots.
500 reviews2,036 followers
December 2, 2014
Holy fuck. That was probably one of the most intense, gripping finales I've ever read in my life. This book completely messed with my mind and my emotions. I'm still reeling.
589 reviews1,031 followers
July 28, 2013
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Thank you Bloomsbury for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

'But it's the last line that makes me scramble for the toilet in the corner of my cell.
You have to kill him.'

I guess it's no lie that I am an absolute stingy person when it comes to giving out 5 stars. To me, they are the rarest gems of the pile. Being this, I believe I should be permitted to just throw confetti across the room and say, "READ THIS BOOK AND I WILL LOVE YOU AND YOU WILL LOVE ME! It's a double deal!" So that's what I'll do. With a death threat added to the end, don't forget. But of course, if you cannot resist my awesomeness, read on.

All Our Yesterdays broke me, tore me into shreds. I'm still shocked. I'm still dazed. I'm still mind bended into awkward places. I'm still shipping James and Marina. And I'm still clasping onto Em and Finn's hands, not letting go. All Our Yesterdays burned into my stomach, churned a hole that's still there. Entwined with assassination attacks, politics, romance, strong characters and an enormous amount of imagination, Cristin Terrill debut is not to be missed and will sweep readers off their feet. Miss out on this novel and you will regret it.

A brief summary of this novel is that we have three main characters, who in which create six main characters in all. Don't get it? Good. Otherwise you'll be hunting me down if I explained any further. The book opens up to Em, who's closest neighbour is Finn, fellow imprisoned victim, with desperate searches for escape, Em finds a list. It's full, and all have been crossed out except one. She has told herself to kill her past love. To save the world. To save herself. Utterly suspenseful till the last page, All Our Yesterdays can also hint about another paradoxically ambiguous question, how does each action affect our future? Our tomorrows?

With really only three main characters, Terrill accomplishes well with her limited selection. All I couldn't help but grow to admire. There is Em, who's narration is one of determination, humour and heart. James, reserved and complete nerd. And Finn, oh Finn, sweet, sarcastic and wholly deep. The way these three developed together and unravelled the story was captivating, I could truly feel emotions reflecting off their eyes into mine. So genuine and heart breaking.

All Our Yesterdays may be plot driven, however our subplot unequivocally stands with the friendship and romances illustrated. Craftily and conducted with fantastic dynamics, Terrill clearly knows what she's doing, it's magnificent beyond words. While there is a hint of a love triangle, my usual rush of eye rolls did not appear due to how complex this relationship was and how, at the same time, was just a trio of best friends. While Em, Finn and James may not all get it their way in the end, giggles erupted and tears were shed. The depth of the connections in All Our Yesterdays simply can't be further pressed upon.

In terms of world building and wiring, Terrill has excelled. I didn't feel blind when reading this novel- I could construct the world that Terrill set as a foundation- I could sense the wider image sharper and more concise, the details and information of this This sci-fi, war tainted world wasn't dumped but slowly shredded, so strategically. All Our Yesterdays' writing is something to be commended for. It's heart breaking and confronting. Raw and loving. Terrill's writing is chilling, scaring and completely beautiful.

A well plotted and drawn world with a fantastic handful of characters, All Our Yesterdays overwhelmed me with epicness. The writing was bold and raw, the world was dark and hopeful. For a debut, Cristin Terrill shows an ambitious set of work and I will be sure to read her future novels. And like I said at the beginning, read this!
Profile Image for Scarlet.
187 reviews1,156 followers
October 7, 2013
Is it just me or does All Our Yesterdays have a distinctly cinematic flavor? I feel like I've just sat through a fast-paced movie about time travel and two people on the run trying to save the world. I'm not sure if that's a good thing but it kept me interested and intrigued till the very end, which is more than I can say about most YA books. And considering this is a debut, I'd say that's an impressive accomplishment.

Em and Finn escape from a prison cell and travel 4 years back in time to prevent the world from becoming what it has due to the misuse of time travel. This is their 14th attempt to save the world, and their plan this time is to kill the "doctor" who invented the time machine. But the doctor in the future is their best friend in the past. So Em and Finn are actually on a mission to kill someone they both once loved, and in some small measure, still do.

The things that stand out in All Our Yesterdays are pacing, characters and plot, in that order.

The chapters are alternately narrated by Em, who has come from the future, and Marina, who is the younger version of Em in the present time zone. Em knows everything that Marina is yet to find out so by constantly switching from one to another, Terrill not only manages to reveal the story one piece at a time but also builds up a mad sense of urgency. I was never bored while reading and even when the romance bits were underway, the pace did not dwindle.

Having the future and present versions of the same character in the same frame carries the risk of creating a disconnect between them. But Terrill's protagonists are just so well-etched. As different as Marina is from Em, I could tell they were both the same person with individual perspectives warped by time. This also applies to Finn, who, irrespective of time-zones, is a complete sweetheart.

The only character I had issues with is James a.k.a the doctor. While the James we meet is a complicated young boy, he's also drastically different from the future version, who only appears toward the end. I'm not convinced someone can change so much in 4 years.

The plot is pretty ambitious for YA and a little far-fetched (for starters, you must assume that all security personnel are stupid enough to be continuously outsmarted by a bunch of teenagers) but I liked it. Time travel is not used as a mere plot gimmick in the story, it is the story. Even though there is a fair bit of romance, it does not out-weigh the sci-fi element.

However, the plot focuses only on the present and the future. What happens in between is not explained. Just like I don't see how James could possibly become the doctor, I don't get how the world could possibly change so much in 4 measly years.

There are many brain-bending paradoxes about time that I'm sure must have holes but I'm too intimidated to try and explore them. It took me some effort just to understand the ending. The thing with time-travel is that it's hypothetical. We don't know how it works. How do you fault the kind of logic that doesn't exist?

Overall, All Our Yesterdays was an exciting read and one of the better YA sci-fi offerings this year. It definitely works as a standalone, so I don't see the need for a sequel.

3.5 well-earned stars for an impressive debut.

*With thanks to Netgalley for the free digital copy*
Profile Image for Brigid ✩.
581 reviews1,821 followers
December 6, 2013
Thank you to NetGalley and Disney Hyperion for providing me with an ARC of this book!

Actual rating: 4.5 Stars

"Is that breakthrough what you were going to tell me about?" I say. "The night you came home?"

James nods but doesn't look away from the road. "Yeah."

"What is it?" Finn asks.

"It's something I've been working on for a long time. I'm finally starting to make some real progress, and those pages there are the crux of my formulations."

"What are they for?"

"Travel in the fourth dimension."


James's gaze flicks into the rearview mirror and back again. "Time travel."

I've listened to James talk about this for years, so it doesn't faze me, but Finn clicks off his seat belt and scoots up between us. "Say what now?"

"I know it sounds ridiculous, but I think it's possible and Dr. Feinberg agrees. When I finish those formulas, I'll prove it."

James's fingers tighten around the steering wheel until his knuckles turn white. His passion has always been one of the things I love most about him, but it worries me, too. I've learned a lot about James these last two days, and I see more than ever now how he's like forged metal, strong but brittle, unable to bend.

"What happens when you prove it?" Finn asks.

"We fix the world."


Em is trapped in a secret military base, where she has suffered through interrogation and torture for what seems like forever. A note she finds taped inside the drain––a note in her own hand––informs her that she has been through numerous attempts to avoid this situation and to destroy a time machine that has gravely endangered the world. After all these attempts, it seems she only has one choice: to kill the time machine's creator.

The only problem is that the boy who invented the time machine is her childhood best friend, James. The two of them grew up next door to each other, and as they grew older and became closer, they began to develop strong feelings for each other. But when a devastating tragedy changed James's life forever, things began to fall apart––leading to James becoming a completely different person with some terrible intentions.

Em knows she may have to do something horrible to prevent James's invention––but if she doesn't, James's plans may lead to widespread paranoia that will drastically change the world.

My thoughts:

When I first read this, I rated it 4 stars. But after thinking about it for a few months (I know, I know––I'm so behind on reviews), I've bumped it up to a 4.5. It's not quite a 5 for me, but it is a really good book and one of the most memorable things I've read in a while.

All Our Yesterdays really blind-sided me. I saw a few fellow reviewers posting things about it, and when I looked it up I thought it sounded like it might be cool, but I didn't plan on reading it unless I got an ARC of it. As it turned out, I did get one. So, I figured I would give it a shot. Before I read it, I'd read a few other ARCs from NetGalley that had been really disappointing, so to be honest I wasn't expecting much. Starting out, I thought this seemed like a pretty typical dystopian book of some sort; I didn't really know what I was getting myself into.

I was pleasantly surprised. Very pleasantly surprised.

I found the story confusing at first. There are two storylines (kind of)––one from the point of view of Em, the other from her former/alternate self, Marina. In other words, they're the same girl but in different … times? Dimensions? Whatever, hopefully you get what I mean.

It was all pretty unclear to me at first, but once I got more into the story it all started to piece together. And once it did, I was really hooked. Somehow, I unexpectedly found myself very engaged in the story and characters. It may seem like a typical sci-fi movie plot on the surface, but I actually found it quite thought-provoking and emotional. I was surprised that, by the end, I was nearly in tears.

It's kind of hard to explain what was so interesting and powerful about this story, especially because it's pretty complicated. But basically, I thought it took a somewhat clichéd concept and made it very original and memorable, with complex characters and a riveting pace. It wasn't perfect and there were still some things I didn't quite understand, but I thought it was a great book over all.

What I liked:

- It's difficult to write a book about time-travel without making it horribly confusing. And although I was pretty mystified when I started the book, as it went along I felt that the author was able to handle the complex issues of time-travel pretty well. Although in the end there was some weird paradox stuff that I wasn't sure quite made sense, over all I found the plot fairly easy to follow (despite the fact that time travel usually just confuses the shit out of me).

- Building off of that, I loved the alternating perspectives of Marina and "Em." What's so interesting about it is that they are technically the same person and yet they are very different characters––since essentially they are the same girl but in different times/dimensions. Usually I'm not a fan of multiple first-person points of view––and you'd think in this case it would be even more confusing to tell the perspectives apart––but surprisingly I found it quite easy to differentiate the two voices from each other.

- The story really kept me guessing. It has a great balance of suspense and action, and I was constantly on the edge of my seat and wondering what on earth was going to happen. Although I kind of saw the ending coming, it wasn't until late in the book that I thought I knew how it was going to play out. For most of it, I had almost no idea what the conclusion would be.

- It was cool how there was not really a concrete "villain" in the story. Although James is sort of the antagonist, it's not completely black-and-white because we get to see two versions of him––both his innocent past self and his more sinister future self, and I found myself getting torn as to whether I should love him or hate him. And of course, Em is going through the same dilemma and the reader can really feel her struggle to decide what to do when she can't separate the James she grew up with from the James he turned out to be.

- In relation to my last point, I was impressed that the whole "evil villain plot" was quite original and actually kind of made sense. Of course, I use the term "evil villain" loosely because, as I said, I can't really bring myself to label James a "villain." But anyway, I was wondering how this whole time-travel thing was going to be used as a way to "endanger the whole world" and whatnot, and I was nervous it was going to be some totally half-assed and illogical explanation––but when I got to the explanation behind it I stopped and was like, "Wait … that's actually a pretty cool idea." (And I mean the author's idea to use as the explanation, not that the actual "evil plan" thing was a good idea.) Of course, I'm not going to give it away (except under the spoiler), but I can say that I found it to be quite intriguing.

- As I said in the beginning, I was surprised at how emotional this book became for me. I went into it having little-to-no expectation to become attached to the characters, but by the end I did really sympathize with them all. And when it came to the climax of the story, my heart was literally pounding and I was just so invested in it and worried about what would happen. Once again, I won't spoil anything without hiding it under a spoiler tag––but wow, the end is super intense in a lot of ways and bittersweet and I actually almost cried.

It was just so emotionally taxing that after I finished it, I literally lay down on the floor and rolled around. I'm not kidding.

What didn't work for me:

- I did really like the ending, but I was also kind of confused about some things. After thinking about it for a while I basically figured it out, but it involved me actually sitting down and writing an explanation to myself about how the ending worked out. If anyone cares to read my (three) complicated explanation(s), here it is:

- The only thing I can think of that bothered me was pretty minor … It was just that I was kind of annoyed by the way female characters (besides Marina) were portrayed. Marina has a few female friends who––although they're extremely minor characters––are the pretty stereotypical "lol boys and make-up" type and don't seem to have any actual personalities. I know it's such a small thing, but … yeah.

The final word:

I went into this book with pretty low expectations, and I was glad that it surprised me in such a good way. I became very invested in the plot and characters, and this is one of the most original and compelling books I've read in the past year.

I was a bit nervous to find out there's going to be a sequel, since I thought this was very powerful as a standalone––so I hope things don't go downhill. But nevertheless, I highly recommend this book and I think Crisitin Terrill is a new author to look out for.

~ Flying Kick-a-pow! Reviews ~
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
March 14, 2017

Solid 5 stars and I'm currently crying. It's rare to find a book with a plot that's so exhilarating you can't stop reading. It's even rarer to find a book with well-crafted characters and well-built relationships. This book had both.

This book is about... time travel? All Our Yesterdays opens with Em and Finn in a research studio, living in cells right next to each other, before they break out and pop into a time machine bound for a day four years ago. Don't read reviews of this book and get spoiled, because you WILL regret it. Cristin Terrill incorporates so many twists and turns, which I truly was not expecting. Just when you think you have everything figured out, there's a twist. Multiple times my expectations got flipped within a page.

In terms of relationship building and character work, this book absolutely rocked. Em and Marina are complex, interesting narrators, and I grew to love them both. Em especially stands out; she's resourceful and clever, but so full of love and caring beneath the surface. Marina's character development was amazing, and I went from disliking her to feeling immense sympathy her. James is one of the most complex characters I've read about in a while, and needless to say, he broke my heart.

You know how I have very few book ships and am very picky about romance? Terrill managed to make me love her couples anyway. Em and Finn were just... perfect. They work so well together and are so honest with each other. I want my relationship to be that healthy and loving. James and Marina broke my heart too, despite how much they bored me at the beginning.

I basically only have one complaint, and that is the first 100 pages. Em's opening moments are awesome, but Marina's chapters are superficial and annoying. Trust me, that goes away with a bang; a twist that left me desperate to keep reading.

Not only did this book manage to make me fall in love with its characters, it also was a major mindfuck. Seriously, this book is plotted crazily well. And that ending was pitch-perfect in every way. Recommended to everyone under the sun.
Profile Image for Taylor.
767 reviews420 followers
January 30, 2016
I had this book on my TBR shelf for 3 years before I finally picked it up and I'm so glad I did.
I love this book right away. I loved the setting of the first few chapters and I absolutely loved Em. She was so funny and well written. I actually enjoyed all the characters. I thought they were are really cool and interesting.
This plot was a lot faster paced than I thought it was going to be so that took me by surprise. The first quarter of this book was really crazy and I couldn't put it down.
I loved the concept of this book too. I normally don't like books with time travel but All Our Yesterdays is one of the best I've read.
Profile Image for majo .
653 reviews280 followers
November 10, 2017
*4,5 stars*

I don't know how to start this review.

I could probably say that I regret not reading this book sooner. I could say that if you haven't read this book, you have to give it a chance. I could say that there were a lot of good things about this unique story that I loved, and I hope that you could love them too. The thing is, that whatever I'm about to say, is never going to do this book justice.

I keep thinking about this story because it just blew my mind. It blew it.

So I'll do my best attempt to review this. (a.k.a just mumbling about how fantastic it actually was)

I'm not gonna describe each character. I'll just say that this is a sci-fi novel about time-travels. More specific one time-travel mission about this two people who are trying to stop some terrible things to happen by destroying any possibility of the creation of time-travel machines in the first place. Because when this scientific, this "doctor" discovers the secret of time-traveling, the world goes to hell. And a lot of good people dies. So the best thing to try, is to stop this doctor to create it in the first place. Things get a lot difficult when these people travel in time. Because this book is narrated by two girls, one of the future and one of the past, and in the past you would never EVER had imagine that the evil doctor from the future, is just a normal teenager, with amazing friends. He's actually a good person.

I loved that this book built this villain, and we get to know him when he was just another normal boy. And the way the two pov's in this book get intertwined is one of the best plot- twist I've ever read. Because at the beginning I didn't understand how those two girls were connected. And when I found out....WOW. Just WOW.

All our yesterdays was a surprising book for me.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
839 reviews3,759 followers
February 15, 2021

"James leans against the wall, letting it takes his weight. "You two agree on this?"
" I know, it's weird," Finn says. "I feel dirty."

All Our Yesterdays has been lingering in my mind for almost 2 years now. That's why it deserved a real review, even if talking about the plot is pretty challenging without spoiling anything. I tried my best, okay?

Let's talk about the plot....

... without really talking about the plot??

(yes, I can do this?)

*sharp intake of breath*

All Our Yesterdays brings us in a shattered world where time travel is not only a reality, but also a oh so frightening weapon when hold by delusional and powerful hands.

Time travel, REALLY? Okay. I must admit that while I often like time-travel stories except when they involve old Scottish marriage rules because really, what the fuck I usually spend a great time suspending my disbelief something fierce - of course I know that I'm reading a science-fiction book, hey, I'm not a fool but I need to be able to rely on some believable explanations or I'm not buying it.

I mean, lazy much?

So, All Our Yesterdays? I have to congratulate Cristin Terrill because I find myself accepting and believing the explanations The Doctor gives us - The Doctor aka The Evil, and no, I won't say anything else about him, except he's the creator and user of the time machine, Cassandra (I can't be the only one noticing a messed-up joke in that name?? Cassandre? Reaaally?)

Verdict : I finished that book with the *almost* absolute certainty that it could be possible to create such a dreading machine - and what a scaring possibility, I'm telling you!

About the ending :

There's no denying that I loved these characters. WHY?

That's pretty simple actually : they're so realistic I could almost grasp them. Throughout the story we witness their evolution and I enjoyed their growth a lot : Call me cynical, but I never believed in this bad guys/good guys dichotomy. Indeed I think that sometimes people drive on a thin ice without knowing it, and as we say in French, l'enfer est pavé de bonnes intentions, understand : even if we think we're doing the right thing, unexpected really bad things can arise from our so-called good actions.

We're in real life here, and from a sci-fi novel, I say bravo. Both Em or Finn grow fiercer and fiercer, all the events and suffering they have to go through making their final resolution completely believable and understandable.

"I glance at Finn to see if he's starting to sweat and shake the way I am, but he seems unaffected. He's probably been working out in his cell, the vain little bastard."

How can we recognize a good characterization?
Huuuum, Let's see :

Option 1
Character A is character A at the beginning of the story.
Character A is put in the middle of a war-a wild and frightening world-whatever, OKAY?
Character A never changes and stays Character A in the end of the story.
Character A is a robot. He bores me to no end. I want him to die or to come back in his little village (you know who I mean, don't you?)

Option 2
Character A is character A at the beginning of the story.
Character A is put in the middle of a war-a wild and frightening world-whatever, OKAY?
Character A evolves through the story and becomes Character A'.
Character A' is believable. I love Character A'.

As you can guess, in my opinion All Our Yesterdays belongs to the second option. Plus, icing on the cake, I loved Finn's character from beginning to the end, from the sarcastic and loyal best-friend to the adorable and fierce cell-mate.

Saving the world is not easy, but if I had to choose a teammate, Finn would seem a really great option. Trust me.

To sum-up, what do we have here?

- A compelling, fascinating and fast-paced plot served by a never boring writing enlightened with sparks of humor.

- The underlying issue of the natural attraction humans feel for Power and the changes it can lead to.

- Flawed, believable and fierce characters including a heart-warming and funny male-lead.


"But maybe it's simpler than that. Maybe it's that Finn has this magical ability to make you smile even when things are grim."

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,890 followers
August 19, 2013
All Our Yesterdays starts with one of the most impressive opening scenes I’ve come across in a very long time, possibly since Shatter Me. A drain in the floor seems like a very simple thing, but one that can become absolutely terrifying in the eyes of a prisoner. According to Cristin Terrill, it was this detail that prompted her to write the book in the first place, and it seems to have been an excellent place to start.

With that infamous drain in the very first sentence, getting pulled into Em’s and Marina’s respective stories proved to be almost effortless. Chapter after chapter, All Our Yesterdays is chock-full of action and tense moments. In addition, the two points of view from two-but-not-two narrators make this one of the most challenging and fascinating YA reads, narration-wise. If there’s one thing that needs to be said about Cristin Terrill, it’s that she used her excellent ideas to their full potential.

When it comes to time travel, I’m not ashamed to admit that I always struggle with the concept. All Our Yesterdays presented somewhat of a challenge in that regard, as I found it difficult to wrap my head around all those timelines, but I did enjoy trying. The psychological aspects of the story were equally interesting. Terrill explored the past and the present, the changes people go through and what they can and cannot influence. I don’t think there’s a person in this world who didn’t, at one point, wish to go back in time and shake some sense into their old self... or someone else, for that matter.

However, even with all the excitement and action (or precisely because of it), All Our Yesterdays failed to reach me emotionally. My feelings were those of admiration, enthusiasm and, more than once, outright fear, but to say that I was fully invested in the fate of these characters would be giving my relationship with the book far too much credit. When I remember how intensely I felt things when I was reading Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris, which is in many ways a similar book, All Our Yesterdays simply pales in comparison.

All grumpiness aside, please let me make this abundantly clear: All Our Yesterdays is a book you’ll definitely want to read. Terrill managed to bring something new to the table, and I don’t know about you, but thrill rides and romances are just about the only things that can hold my attention in this awful heat, and All Our Yesterday has more than enough of both.

This book is part of a duology, and although we still don’t have a release date for second book, I’m excited about it already. The first book wraps up nicely, but since that clearly isn't the end of things, I can't wait to see what is.

Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
724 reviews1,205 followers
February 8, 2017
Via Book Reviews by Niki Hawkes at www.nikihawkes.com

[4.5 stars] All Our Yesterdays seems to garner mixed reactions from the amazing book bloggers I follow. Because it wasn’t getting across-the-board rave reviews, I decided to pass on it. I have to thank the marketing team at Netgalley for putting it back on my radar, because I absolutely loved it! It had me from the first page, and I set aside all my other books until I finished it (which is a rare thing for me, as I usually have about ten different books going at once).

One of my favorite things about this novel (there was a few) is how well the story was organized. Everything unfolded almost effortlessly, yet I know it must’ve taken a ton of work. It flowed so well that I forgot to take notes for this post (which, with really awesome titles, I don’t need the notes anyway because I’m so fired up about them). In my eyes, it was brilliant.

While the concept and world building were amazing, the real strength of this novel is in character development. Each character was distinct, vibrant, and written well enough to make me feel personally invested in their struggles. The range of dynamics she was able to get surrounding each individuals’ personality blew my mind. They were incredibly profound characters, and I guarantee I won’t be forgetting about them anytime soon.

Time travel is difficult to do well – there always seems to be several frustrating plot holes. If there were inconsistencies in All Our Yesterdays, Terrill hid them well within her explanations of how time travel works. Her concepts mixed with the clear, beautiful writing has me convinced she is a truly brilliant author – you can tell this project took a lot of thought and planning. Even though I read this as a free digital copy, I liked it so much I bought the hardcover the day it came out. I will definitely be reading anything she publishes in the future!

Recommended Reading: this book is fighting for a place in my top five favorite dystopians! Because of that, I plan on recommending it to fans of that genre – especially to those in the mood for something slightly different. Also to anyone wanting an atypical love story.

Thank you NetGalley and Disney Book Group for the chance to read and review this title!
Profile Image for Brandi.
329 reviews798 followers
July 18, 2013

""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.

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."

I think that the synopsis is perfect and have nothing to add to it, which is why I've decided to use it in my review. I loved this book! The writing is wonderful; full of tension, some mystery, angst, humor, and pain. I wasn't even five chapters into the story before I could tell it would be a book that I'd love; it didn't have to grow on me or require me to be forgiving to enjoy it. I plan on reading whatever Cristin Terrill puts out next, because she knows how to write a spectacular character driven story!!

It didn't take long to realize who the Doctor was that Em is so afraid of, but it did take me a minute to realize who Em was, lol. It isn't a secret that Em is going back in time to stop the creation of that time machine (it's the only one in the world as far as we know), and what I thought were two characters are actually just one. This was so horrible to experience with Em because really, what would you do to protect a younger version of yourself from such horrible events?! I teared up a few times while reading this late into the night, and though the ending was slightly too perfect for my tastes, I still wish it had been longer just so that I didn't have to let go.

Finn is on my list as one of my favorite males, and he kind of reminded me of Roar, though less platonic, lol. Marina was wonderfully realistic, and it was interesting to see how she and Em compared to each other. James...James is harder for me. On one hand I really liked his shy nerdiness, and on the other I found his evolution to be slightly hard to believe. Not that I didn't believe almost all of what he became, but the part where he keeps insisting that Em 'betrayed' him, referred to the paper she had as 'documents' that I didn't understand why he would need considering he completed his research, and what he was doing during the climax of the story...was a little much I guess. Not bad, just a little much.

If you're like me and a well written character driven story is what makes you happiest, then I can't recommend this book highly enough for you! If you like a wonderfully tense and layered plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat, then I can't recommend this book highly enough for you! If you just like good stories, then--well you get the idea.

Read this.

Profile Image for Faye, la Patata.
492 reviews2,115 followers
July 19, 2013
Hey, PH readers! Want to win an ARC of All Our Yesterdays? And to the rest of you, want a finished copy of the book? Join my giveaways now! Head on over the blog to get a chance to win!

Wow. That was one fantastic ride.

Just so everyone knows, I love Time Travel stories. This adoration started after I read Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor, where a young woman finds a man from the 1500s transported in her time and she to his later. The idea of changing the future by going back to the past was just excitingly intriguing to me, and I've been on a hunt ever since for books with the same concept and quality. Unfortunately, the ones I've found were very disappointing, and I was beginning to think I wouldn't be able to find a book as good as Deveraux's. Then came All Our Yesterdays. And right now, all I'm thinking is,  WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!?!

This book is seriously mind-fucking good. I don't even know where to start.

I loved how it has that sense of urgency, that feeling where if we don't read fast enough, we'll run out of time, that everything will end, and our two characters' efforts will be for naught. Into the future, we see the tale unfold in Em's eyes, as she and Finn must go back to the past to make things right, and the only way to make it right is to kill him. This proves to be quite difficult, however, as they find themselves running against time, especially since the sight of their younger, inexperienced selves make the task even harder.

The plot is incredibly fast-paced, and kept me on my toes every single page, my heart pounding, my throat tightening, as I anticipated what was going to come next. I kid you not when I say there was never a dull moment in this book. And you know the best part is? THEY EXPLAINED VERY WELL THE SCIENCE STUFF! We all know the paradoxes that can result from time travel, but it was explained here very well how time is not exactly linear, and that there are forces that avoid such things from happening. So those loopholes that I've found? Poof! Right out of the window. You can really tell the plot and world-building were well thought-out and I absolutely appreciated that, especially since I'm quite cynical.

But the strongest factor of this book is neither the plot nor the world-building. What made All Our Yesterdays spectacular were the characters - Em, Marina, the two Finns, and even James. They were so three-dimensional and well-rounded that I couldn't help but imagine they were real people, and that made me feel so much for themEm is absolutely kick-ass – she knows what she needs to do and understands the gravity of their situation, but even though her heart has hardened and her resolve like stone, she still has gentleness within her that makes her hesitant into becoming a killer. Many times she had the opportunity to kill the one she had come to kill, a person who was very dear to her in the past, but in these same instances we see her reluctance, her resolve unwavering at the sight of their younger, innocent selves.

And Marina? Even though she did questionable decisions and was whiny, insensitive, and mean sometimes, I got to love her, anyway. She was insecure and badly in love that her actions were merely because in her heart, she believed she was doing the right thing. The intentions were all there, and even though some of what she did were not exactly the best things to do, you know that she's got heart, anyway. It was so heartrending  to see this bubbly sixteen year old and then Em, so hardened with the miserable experience she had and what Marina will endure as well if they don't change things. It's the contrast of the before and after that got to me, and made me understand how much  the future Marina wanted to protect the younger one as much as she possibly could.

This book also has one of the most bittersweet endings I've ever read. I don't want to spoil it (even though throughout reading it, I've restrained myself greatly from taking a sneak peek of the last page just to see if things will be alright in the end) as it will take the magic away, but it seriously made me tear up. On the outside, it may not really look that powerful, but the context of the whole novel and the understanding we get from the future selves made its impact just so emotional and equally thought-provoking. 

Overall, I'm excited for the rest of the world to read this. This novel is more than just a sci-fi thriller. It has values as well, and reminds us that technology is a double-edged sword, and that too much power can even blind people with good-intentions. More importantly, this book also calls everyone to love and respect ourselves more, to be strong and confident, to be humble. This is a stunning debut, and Hyperion hit the nail on the head with this one.

Final Verdict: 4.5 / 5 stars!

An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for a review. This did not influence my thoughts in any way.
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews747 followers
July 26, 2013
Wow this book was utterly amazing. I know I’ve read some great reads this year, but All Our Yesterdays will definitely stand out from among the rest for a long time to come. What I loved most about this book was that I hardly knew anything about it before going into it. I read the blurb ages ago and was totally excited, but when I started reading I was utterly amazed and surprised with what Terrill had planned for us.

The basic crux of the story is time travel, two characters Em and Finn are dedicated to changing the future, it’s crucial they do this, as all the future entails for them is torture, and heartache, it is pretty much a bleak future no one would ever wish upon. At first I had no clue as why Finn and Em were hell bent on changing the past, we were given a brief snippet into what they had to deal with, but as the story progressed we got to learn the horrible truth I was so surprised but also a little bit hurt. Because the story alternates with flashbacks to what’s happened in the future and what’s happened in the past, I found it so hard to comprehend just how significantly a character could change. We were shown painstakingly obvious evidence right in front of our eyes, but maybe because I didn’t want to accept that this particular character in the past and in the future could be the same person. It kind of broke my heart, as I actually started this book with this character being my favourite. They did have a lot to deal with and so I could fully understand their slowly changing behaviour. But they were so lost I just wanted to hug them. And then I felt even more wretched for feeling sorry for them when I was given snippets of their tender and caring side after everything Em and Finn had been through. Seriously Terrill sure knows how to trample all over your heart.

Finn and Em were amazing characters, I adore the insecure and under confident Em in the past and the tough and still torn Em of the future. She reminded me a bit of Tris from the Divergent series, she was at first always unsure about herself, but she proved herself to be one fearless and clever character. I loved the banter between her character and Finn, and just their entire relationship; it had changed so significantly that I was just glad they were constantly there for one another.

The entire concept that Terrill created was just so unique in my eyes. I’m not typically a person who reads time travel books, but Terrill’s immense world building and gorgeous writing lured me in from the very first page. (You should have seen my kindle it was full with highlights of passages which ripped my heart). Terrill has also the knack of creating characters that you never want to let go, the characters in this book were fresh, charismatic and always bringing something different. I adored watching their friendships develop and how each character tried to deal with so much inner turmoil along the way.

All Our Yesterdays was a wonderfully executed debut, it had everything I love reading about; flawless characters which show exceptional growth, a scary but totally realistic world, non- stop action, a story which kept me on my toes with me having no idea which way things could end and of course a nice pinch of heartache. But it also had many things which make me eager to jump into books of a similar genre. Terrill has weaved a beautiful story in All Our Yesterdays and for that I encourage you all to pick it up.

This review can be found on The Readers Den
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
512 reviews298 followers
February 21, 2020
**Warning: this text may contain spoilers** This is my first time travel book. I used to avoid them because I thought that it would become to confusing for me to understand. But after hearing about this and knowing the basic plot line I decided to give it a shot. Let me tell you I don't regret it. I have never read something so complicated but absolutely brilliant at the same time. The world building in this book was told to us by Em. Even though it was told to us you can see that the author put quite a bit of work into this. I don't think I have ever read about such a complicated world. In a way this novel is a dystopia. As well as Sci-Fi. I think there are a lot of lessons to be taken from this book. For example with James. At eighteen years he was sweet and innocent but as the doctor he was insane and corrupt. I think specifically what you can take from is while you have your dreams and desires you have to make sure that doesn't consume you the way it did the doctor with Cassandra. He became so obsessed with 'doing good' that he lost himself along the way. From Marina you can learn that you do in fact have loved ones and you do have a right to love yourself. And lastly from Finn you can learn to sacrifice your own happiness to make others happy. And when make others happy put a smile on your face and make some pretty funny jokes. I recommend this to everyone!
Profile Image for Rachel E. Carter.
Author 9 books3,496 followers
January 27, 2023
"There's always hope for us..."


Love, love, love that this was a standalone. The beginning was so dramatic which pulled me in right away (reminded me of the beginning of Shatter Me, I don't know why, I just love prison/dungeon scenes), and while a lot of things were predictable, the book was still a worthwhile read & really no boring parts. Loved Fin & Em and even, in some ways, James. I thought the action was perfect and the funeral scene at the end was great with the flashbacks with Fin & James (it made me cry twice!).

My only complaints are: 1) We never got to see the actual scene when Marina changed her name. I felt like it was never explained how she decided on "Em." Even a sentence would have been helpful, like: "My middle name is Emily." Maybe I missed this? 2) I wish I had seen a bit more into how Fin & Em fell in love on the run or even as Fin & Marina. Yes, I know that we know what will happen for them, but I felt like I wasn't as fully invested in them as I could have been in the two as a couple because I only got Fin/Em already-in-love and Fin/Marina friends-kind-of. Yes, there were small hints at more and that kiss scene while they were on the run but it just was missing a bit for me -like, how, in reading The Host I was never fully invested in Jared/Mel because the flashbacks were minimal, I was rooting for Wanderer/Ian because I got to see their relationship develop & that is always my favorite part.

That said, All Our Yesterdays really was amazing and even though I wanted a bit more of Fin/Marina, the author stayed true to her vision & everything she did made perfect sense, it's just a matter of preference for me. Still, I will definitely read her future books -this was a great book & I had so much fun reading it <3
Profile Image for Mitch.
355 reviews605 followers
August 8, 2013
All Our Yesterdays is I think the first book I've enjoyed despite the premise. I know that may sound like an odd thing to say, and maybe it's just me, but when I read the summary I really thought I was being promised a complex, mind-bending time travel plot. I mean, a girl travels back in time to stop a madman - that has Terminator written all over it, doesn't it? - but instead how Cristin Terrill handled the time travel made me want to travel back in time and erase the fact that I've read this. Still, I'm an honest guy ok so I'm a pathological liar - but I would never lie about how I feel about a book, integrity and all - so I have to admit even though the time travel didn't work for me, I still liked the parts of the book that happen in the present, because those chapters at least worked by reading like a pretty decent political thriller.

Here's my problem with the time travel: the alternating chapters between the future character (Em) and the present character (Marina) don't really mesh at first, and when Terrill finally gets them together at the same time (not a pun), she seems to do everything in her power to avoid time paradoxes. In other words, we have two chapters with Em in prison in the future, a few chapters of Marina being a shallow DC socialite in the present, then a chapter of Em escaping in the future - rather than feeling like a single cohesive narrative, it's like reading two completely unrelated plots that only barely come together at the end. For a book about time travel, it's just so poorly done; my guess is Terrill is still thinking in linear time, so the time travel ends up being a rather weak gimmick rather than a fully integrated part of the plot, you know where things that are happening butterfly effect out to affect things that happened earlier in the book, the way time travel is supposed to be done. In fact, I'm not kidding when I say Terrill goes out of her way to avoid time paradoxes - one of the first rules she lays down about time travel is that time is sentient and takes care of the paradoxes on its own, and I'm sorry but WTF that's like saying length or width is intelligent and my desk drawer will organize itself because those dimensions will know when something is out of place. I don't know if it's a good thing then that time travel only comes into play twice, once with how Em escapes at the beginning basically recycling a fairly common time travel trope involving causal loops, and once at the end resolving the whole thing with yet another nonsensical time travel rule . Yeah I'm disappointed, a well done time paradox for me makes a time travel book, even in Terminator we have a time paradox with Skynet basically causing John Conner to be born by sending the Terminator back in time to kill him, and Terrill's approach in comparison is just lazy.

With that rant on time travel out of the way, I do have a few things to say about the characters. First, apparently (spoiler alert) it's not supposed to be entirely obvious whether Em is a future version of Marina, but I don't see anyone who's confused about that and considering Finn calls her M... yeah, it felt to me like Terrill wanted to leave some ambiguity about it but kept forgetting as she was writing and the end result is Em's relationship to Marina seems so wishy-washy. As for Marina herself, I don't think I need to say more than this quote from the author:

Don't worry so much about making Marina likable in the beginning. She's a rich bitch with a heart of gold; embrace that. Once you do, she'll come to life for you.

Definitely embraced alright. Then again, it's hard for me to see how the characters grow from their present selves into their future selves, Marina's about as superficial at the end as she is throughout the entire story, and I don't think enough's done to make James feel like he could grow into a threat in four years time, so while the idea of stopping a monster was intriguing, I didn't get the sense of James being that monster required to really make it work; it was almost like they were killing a completely separate person. As for Em, she doesn't do much besides angst over whether to shoot James for much of the book and I found her storyline so much weaker than Marina's and constantly wished I could be past her chapters so I could see how Marina's much more interesting storyline was playing out - oh, and how stupid can she be to think looking at her past self will destroy the universe? That's not how physics works.

Ok, I know I'm being a downer, considering I did like this book after all, so here's the part where I assure you the raving reviews all have merit. Terrill's writing is fast paced and being a DC kid myself I love how the story when it's not about time travel - most of the book actually - reads like a young adult political thriller, sort of like a cross between Gossip Girl and 24, but definitely way better than the images that comparison may conjure up. There's a pretty intense side plot involving an assassination attempt against James's brother Nate, and despite how the time travel is the talk of the town here, for me it was actually the government conspiracy stuff that saved All Our Yesterdays from being a total dud. I liked seeing James and Marina trying to get to the bottom of it, watching Terrill develop James's character in relation to his whole political family, and it's all pretty easy to appreciate because Terrill keeps the conspiracy stuff compartmentalized and distinct from though tangentially related to the time travel stuff, but then the time travel has to rear its ugly head almost like a marginally logical twist that I knew was coming and even with all the heart put into James and Finn I just can't reconcile the parts of the book that involved time travel with the parts that didn't, what was an interesting and intriguing story just fell prey to a climax and ending of manipulation and convenience - I really think it says something when I feel the beginning, Em's chapters, and the ending are the weakest parts of the book.

Basically - All Our Yesterdays is a neat thriller, but doesn't work nearly so well with time travel thrown in. Although, if Cristin Terrill were ever to write a political thriller, just a political thriller, I would totally be on board (hint hint).
Profile Image for Laurie  (barksbooks).
1,723 reviews674 followers
November 17, 2016
I’m going to keep this short and as sweet as I can because everyone seems to adore this story and sadly, I really didn’t. Before you beat me over the head with the fact that I am a moron who is too ignorant to follow a time-travel story, I have to say that I enjoyed both Stephen King’s 11/23/63 and The Time Traveler’s Wife so it wasn’t the time-travel bits that put me off. Those books worked for me because of the characters. Though this story has very strong characters and it was interesting to see how much Em changes as she matures, something about them just didn’t grab me enough to become emotionally invested in their story. I’m sure it’s a case of “it’s me, not you” and I’ll leave it at that.

Were I you and considering this audio I would recommend opting for the paperback instead. Something about the narrator’s tone, almost bordering on monotonous here and there, made it very difficult to get through and two of the characters, friends of Marina’s whose names escape me, were cringe inducing. One sounded like an insipid moron and the other sounded like some snooty old socialite with some sort of strange accent and I believe she was only 16 or so. The rest of the voices were decent but those two? Those two were truly awful. It's a good thing they only played bit parts or this would've been a DNF because the voices bothered me so much.

With that said, well, there's not much more to say. Everyone else loves it but I just thought it was okay.

December 30, 2014
I hated this. No, wait, I loved this. No, no-I hated it....Right? Still, even after having finished a day and a half ago, I still don't know what I think of this book. It played with my heart on the deepest emotional level possible...and, for once, I don't know if that was a good thing.

Dealing with matters of the heart are messy. There is no way to make rational decisions when your heart is split down the middle-I believe that with my whole soul. And, believe it or not, I'm not even talking about a love triangle. This is a good old-fashioned torture of the heart, a total mind-fuck...and I'm not sure I handled it all that well.

When I picked up this book, I thought I was starting a run of the mill dystopian/sci-fi fantasy novel. Honest to God, I might have rethought my decision to start this had I known how it would rip my heart into shreds. I keep telling my friends all the events of the book and we all came to the same type of stuttery, open-mouthed, grappling for words conclusion-Even after countless reviews and a neurotic fetish with making sure it fit all my criteria (I do this for every book I'm about to read, lest I make bad decisions), I still wasn't prepared for what this book was truly about. If you simply read the blurb, you see it's about two different couples in two different times, so to speak. You realize it's all about time travel and deciding what you would change if you could: Are you really fixing something if you go back in time and alter the past? But what that damn dirty blurb doesn't tell you is this-This book is far deeper than even it's author lets on. This book has such raw, magnetic moments that you can't help but to be manipulated by each individual character and each individual motivation. This book is so multi-layered that you won't know what side you're on, who you're rooting for, or who you should be rooting for. The simple truth is this: there is no good or evil, it is simply what your present self knows the future to be. It's what you're willing to do, what you're willing to sacrifice to make the world a better place-even if it destroys you to have to do so.

Im sorry, but this story? It's characters? Their struggles ? They killed me. Each moment killed me. And in the end, no matter what needed to happen...I still don't know If I'll ever fully get over it.

I loved the characters, all of them, and I think that's why I was so heartbroken at each and every turn. This book was everything I've come to love as I've progressed as a reader...and maybe it was so PERFECTLY DONE that I wasn't ready for it. Maybe it was so perfectly fucked up and so twisted that I literally was kicked in the chest, blind-sided by the brilliance that was this beautiful piece of a fucked up world.

It doesn't make sense, and I guess it doesn't have to. I, the girl who named herself after the peril she so desperately seeks, could. Not. Handle. The. Peril. Emotionally or otherwise. It tore me to shreds. It knocked me on my ass. And, in the end, I was a blubbering mess curled up in a ball who wanted a better end for these best friends who never had a fucking chance. Not all of them, at least.

 photo crushing-my-heart_zpsbeca2230.gif

Read it. Don't read it. I don't care-I am a mess. The vulnerability, the love, the sacrifice-God I loved that...but after it's all over...my heart couldn't handle it. Maybe another time, another place. If only I could use that damn time machine to transport back a couple days and slap myself in the face so I would be more prepared...Hmm. Oh well. Check-Mate, Motherfucker. Chelsea loses.

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Profile Image for Laura.
1,374 reviews207 followers
February 17, 2015

Time is coming for us, and coming fast.

Time takes and gives so much. We age, change, hurt and love. Over time, we can lose ourselves. Lose sight of what we wanted to do or be in life. If you had the chance to look back four or five years, would you recognize yourself? What has time done to you? Would you shake your head and giggle or cringe at your decisions? I look back and see someone so open. I want to reach across time and yell, warn her to protect her heart. But what would that change? Who would I be without the love I had and lost? Who would I be now?

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill tells a story of time, time travel, friendship, and love. Marina has been in love with her best friend and boy next door for years. James, the genius boy next door, is just beginning to make Marina believe they could have a future together as more than friends when tragedy strikes. Everything changes in a flash. From friendship to family to love! Anything and everything can change in an instant. Friends—James, Finn, Em, and Marina—learn that again and again in this time traveling, suspense filled ride! I loved these four characters. The way they argued, flirted, and laughed. Tension, banter and mystery all stirred together. They made me smile, think, and “aww”. Each character added a layer of love and life to the tale. Em’s courage, Finn’s “magical ability to make you smile even when things are grim”, Marina’s innocence, and James with all his GQ mad genius allure. I loved them all.

And the time travel! Ms. Terrill explains, plays with, and depicts the wrinkles and science of time beautifully. Simply. You believe it can happen! The suspense and twists and turns had me leaning into the pages at some points. Just trying to get closer to the action. Closer to the characters. I will never forget Em, Finn, James and Marina. What they do for and to each other is heartbreaking and hopeful. A story that made me think and ask—How well do you know yourself?

Highly recommended. Highly!

*Thomas—Thank you for the push to pick this one up.

July 19, 2019
 Reading my old notes about this book - "...Oh God! I'm laughing, I'm crying! What's wrong with me?!!??!?!?!!!!! I hadn't had this feeling for a looooooooong time after finishing a book. I'm gonna dream about this. I wanna dream about this. GODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODOGDGOD..." - I think a reread is definitely in order!

August 23, 2013
3.5 stars

Full disclosure: I was obsessed with Back to the Future as a kid. The scene where Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly goes BACK to his present and sees how much better his world is because his dad is no longer an uptight nerd and his mom actually wanted to marry him vs. just settling? OMG, goosebumps every time.

I mean, what's not to love? We had cute Marty McFly, Christopher Lloyd as enigmatic, brilliant Doc, and, of course, the:

All Our Yesterdays is not like that. We don't have the DeLorean. Instead we have Cassandra, a time machine that relies on quantum physics (like all good time machines do), an Evil Doctor (this is no Doc!), and two teens trying to save the world. There's a lot of action, some interesting conversations about the concept of time, and some scenes that will cause your brain to explode.

When the book opens, we meet Marina who pines for James, her childhood friend, now turned super smart hunk and brother to a US senator at that. James' other close friend, Finn, just annoys Marina. But that's only in the present where James and Marina are rich, and Finn is from the wrong side of the tracks. In the future, Marina and Finn are in love. But where is James?

I was transfixed with this book until the end, at which point I threw my Kindle across the room (metaphorically speaking; I would NEVER actually throw my Kindle) and screamed, "Oh no, she didn't!" The "she" in this sentence references Cristin Terrill, whom I believe, completely copped out on the ending.

It's bad enough that

But the icing on the cake was that

Some of the chapters at the end present a conundrum of alternate reality so great, the story becomes mired in a sort of stew of identity. Who is whom? When our future and present collide, what happens? Can we really change the past or are we just doomed to repeat it?

The time travel aspect presented here was mostly believable (I say "mostly" because I imagine that a thorough understanding of quantum mechanics or the time/space continuum would greatly decrease one's enjoyment of this story), although not as nuanced or subtle as in Stephen King's 11/22/63 for example, where time is an actual presence, a sort of force that doesn't like to be messed with (Terrill attempts to explain away the paradoxes associated with time travel, but I think the explanations here get a little muddled).

The paradoxes in this book will make you think, but once you think too hard, you realize that some things don't add up to a sum of their parts:

And finally, I have to give a shout out and big thumbs up for this being a stand-alone book and not part of (yet another!) trilogy!

Edited to add: WTF??? This is now apparently a trilogy? Boo! Hiss!!
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