All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

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All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Time-travel romantic thriller! Cool! Exciting, fiendishly plotted and very, very romantic, this novel will hit the sweet spot for many, many readers. But we will note (perhaps for boys): it's 70/30 romance/sci-fi.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: August 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1408835193

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Em and Finn are being held prisoner by the Doctor. They never see each other but are able to communicate through the cell wall. This is a blessing but also a curse: they can each hear the interrogations and torture meted out to the other. Neither talks but how much can they take? And then Em finds a note hidden in her cell. It's from her future self and it tells of fourteen escapes. And fourteen failed trips back to the past to try to put things right. There's only one way left. Em must kill someone she loves.

Four years previously, Marina is oblivious of the horrors about to beset the world. She's a spoiled, shallow girl from a wealthy background, but her life isn't the cakewalk you'd think it would be. She lacks self-confidence, her parents show little to no interest in her and she's utterly, hopelessly in love with her neighbour. But Marina's life is about to collide with the future and everything will change.

Who must Em kill? Will this fifteenth journey back in time be the last? Will the Doctor ever be beaten? Can time really be altered? Will Marina find love?

Told from the perspective of Em, the prisoner from the future, and Marina, the naive, lovelorn girl in the past/present (whatever you'd call it when that timey-wimey thing is involved!), All Our Yesterdays is a real, barnstorming, page-turner. The opening sequence, in which Em and Finn are held in a secret facility and interrogated and tortured by the Doctor and the Director is mind-numbingly awful. But it hooks you in right from the get-go and after it the book has you entirely in its grasp. You won't stop reading until you get to the end.

I'm going to say - and please don't take it as a criticism - that All Our Yesterdays is 70% romance and 30% sci-fi. While the various scientific ideas and potential paradoxes involved in time travel are discussed and reasonably carefully incorporated into the intricate plotting, this is primarily a romantic novel about the relationships between a girl and two boys. I feel as though saying this is somehow denigrating the book. I don't think it is, but I do think avid sci-fi readers might not get what they are looking for here. So it does bear pointing out. Watch the trailer video on the right. It explains things perfectly!

But for those looking for a truly enjoyable romantic novel with a dash of thriller in a fresh and unfamiliar setting, All Our Yesterdays ticks all the boxes there are. It opens with a bang. It's exciting. It develops a central character in two time frames, which is incredibly fresh. It has a fiendishly complicated plot. And it's desperately, wonderfully romantic.

All Our Yesterdays is a crash-bang-wallop of a debut. It's going to find many fans. I'm absolutely sure of it.

Other fabulous YA novels with time travel include The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher and The Glittering Eye by LJ Adlington. If the sci-fi aspect of All Our Yesterdays appeals to you, then you might enjoy Ultraviolet by R J Anderson or The Starlight Conspiracy by Steve Voake.

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Buy All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill at


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