Book Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

13514612Title: All Our Yesterdays

Author: Cristin Terrill

Series: Cassandra Chronicles #1

Genre: Teen Fantasy

Rating: 5/5 stars!

The Overview: “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.

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 The Review:

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!

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