Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: All Our Yesterdays

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: September 3rd, 2013
Source: Library, Audiobook
Date Read: 11/8/14 to 11/15/14
360 Pages
Rating: 1/2

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.
I picked up All Our Yesterdays from the library (in audiobook form), because I've heard so many good things about it, especially since it involved time travel. And although everything about it was absolutely amazing I felt that the ending really killed it for me. Which, unfortunately is a bummer.

Let's talk about time travel:

  • In All Our Yesterdays, it seems like time isn't directly looped. Sure if you kill your past self, your future self will die, but if your past self does something different, your future self won't remember it.
  • Time constantly tries to repair itself, and fix paradoxes. (Don't ask me to expand on this)
  • Time travel and time itself will always remain confusing and I don't know man. (yet even though I say this I still love time travel YA.

Here's the story. We have our two main characters, Em and Finn, who are determined to stop the time machine from ever being built because it leads to not only a totalitarian state, but also to them being locked up in cells. The thing is, they've managed to go back to the past so many times to try to fix the world, but nothing works.

Basically, this is their last time to escape, use the time machine Cassandra to go back in time, and fix things once and for all. Unfortunately, this involves their best friend, James, who, surprise, isn't their best friend anymore because of reasons I will not tell you.

Everything leading up to the ending is excellent. The POV shifts from Em's POV, and then to Marina, a girl living in the present time which is four years in the past. Since I was listening to the audiobook, I got a little confused with the drastic shift, but after everything started coming together, it was just awesome. Marina is a little shallow in the beginning, constantly clinging to her best friend James because she secretly crushes on him. And because of this, I felt really put off by her. But on the other hand, Em was less naive and more hardened from only four months of interrogation.

“I've been scared of so much stupid crap in my life. Making a bad grade or not fitting in. God, I was scared of you. And it was all such a waste. None of it matters now that the real scary shit is here.”

Finn is incredibly sweet, funny, and adorable. Like in my previous review of Parallel, one of the main focuses was the idea of soul mates. No matter through time, or parallel lives, you will always be with the one you're supposed to be with. There wasn't much romance between Finn and Em, because of the whole "saving the world thing" going on, but the two of them spending time together was sweet at least. GAH their lives are just so bleak it makes me sad! THIS BOOK WAS JUST SAD. But also action-packed.

And then. There's the ending. Le sigh. I tried working out how the whole timeline would be affected, and I figured some of it out, but I still have a lot of questions. And because of that, I felt that the ending was extremely unsatisfying for me. It just, wasn't what I expected. Also, there's this random out-of-place last chapter, and I'm not sure why it's there. In conclusion, I did not like the ending and I NEED MORE EXPLANATION. It sucks because I can see how you can't fit in an explanation, but I'm being stubborn.

Overall, I loved All Our Yesterdays. But that ending really blew it for me.

Also, now that I think about it, how did this NOT go down like Meet the Robinsons? Sure some things are different, but TIME-WISE. (ok I'm done)
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