Review: ‘All Our Yesterdays’ by Cristin Terrill

Review: ‘All Our Yesterdays’ by Cristin TerrillAll Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Series: All Our Yesterdays #1
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Published by Disney Hyperion on 2013-09-03
Format: Hardcover
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What would you change?

Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside. 

Marina has loved her best friend, James, since they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it... at least, not as the girl she once was. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

While the synopsis for All Our Yesterdays seems quite lengthy and as if it might cover everything that happens in the book, it doesn’t even come close to properly describing the book. Of course, that’s because it’s best to start reading this book knowing as little as possible.

That said, the extent of what I can write in this review is extremely limited. So much of what I want to share about the book is wrapped up in a snowball of spoilers! I guess that just means you all have to read the book to know all of the shocking plot details! But there are some things I can talk about — mostly more general elements of the book.

All Our Yesterdays is chock-full and brimming over with action! No part of the plot ever really seemed slow, as some sort of shoot-out/car chase/espionage always seemed to be going down. The book was pretty hard to ever put down, and by the end the action and suspense had made me into an emotional ball of nerves!

In fact, it seems like this book would make a great movie (Hollywood, take note!). The pacing is on par to that of a good action film, so there would be not problem in making the movie adaptation. But more importantly, a movie could make a clearer visual representation of some of the more confusing parts of the book. Because the book takes place in both the past, future, and an ever-changing present (because of the time machine mentioned in the synopsis!) and is told through different perspectives (Em and Marina), it sometimes is difficult to immediately distinguish what is happening; a movie could easily portray these differences.

An added (good) surprise was that All Our Yesterdays is set in and around D.C.. Since I’ve lived near D.C. for quite a while now, if was fun to recognize places mentioned in the book, and to be able to imagine where some of these crazy car chases and shootouts were taking place!


View of Georgetown taken from the Kennedy Center balcony.

To sum it up,  All Our Yesterdays is well-written, “brilliantly plotted,” and really examines what affects who a person becomes. Are some events in our lives key to determining who we are? Or are we mostly destined to become who we are no matter what happens? It really made me think.


Action-packed and full of plot twists, I could not put this down!


  • Renee Purtscher says:

    Looks like an exciting read!!

  • Oh gosh I LOVED this book. Everything was so amazing. I loved seeing how Em & Marina were actually the same person and all the paradoxes and even the romance. Gosh everything about this book was amazing. Great review!!
    Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms recently posted…Our Thoughts on The Fault in Our Stars MovieMy Profile

    • I was mad with myself that I didn’t see some of the plot twists coming…I kept suspecting things, but then dismissed them as ridiculous! Cristin Terrill was very sneaky with keeping all of it under wraps in the beginning.

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