All Our Yesterdays by Cristin TerrillAll Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays

byCristin Terrill

Hardcover | September 3, 2013

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"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 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. 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.

*"Time travel done right.

Narrator Em and her boyfriend, Finn, escape from their totalitarian future, time traveling back four years to commit a heart-wrenching assassination of a loved one in order to prevent time travel from being invented and the future from turning so wrong. The future's hinted-at horrors are threatening but expertly backgrounded, avoiding dystopia-fatigue. The clever, accessible time-space treatment isn't weighed down by jargon. Em and Finn's proactive mission means the characters are the hunters instead of the frequently seen on-the-run teen protagonists. The other side of the storyline, taking place in the past that Em and Finn travel to and starring their past selves, is narrated by Marina (Em, in this timeline) and involves her brilliant yet interpersonally challenged best friend (and crush) James and his friend Finn, who annoys Marina, as they deal with a tragedy in James's family. The believable, complex relationships among the three characters of each respective time and in the blended area of shared time add a surprise: A plot ostensibly about assassination is rooted firmly in different shades of love. Perhaps richest is the affection Em feels for Marina-a standout compared to the truckloads of books about girls who only learn to appreciate themselves through their love interests' eyes.

Powerful emotional relationships and tight plotting in this debut mark Terrill as an author to watch."
--Kirkus, starred review
Cristin Terrill has a bachelor of arts degree in drama from Vassar College and a master of arts degree in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. She currently lives outside Washington, D.C.., and teaches creative writing to children and teens. You can find her at or @cristinter...
Title:All Our YesterdaysFormat:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 9.38 × 6.38 × 1.25 inPublished:September 3, 2013Publisher:Disney-HyperionLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1423176375

ISBN - 13:9781423176374


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from Out of Time All Our Yesterdays is that kind of story where you know heartwrenching decisions must made but you still hope that at the end, it'll end in happy ever after. Cristin Terrill grabs readers and throws them into this brilliantly created world before readers even realize they've grown attached to the characters. Being a teenager that watches a lot of Doctor Who in her spare time, I was very open to this book and its idea. I, myself, don't actually understand the laws of time, nor have I really wanted to. The laws of time are very bent as everyone has a different perspective of what can or can't be done. Personally, "time" as a topic (associated with "travel") has to be "dumbed down" if used for a book in YA. The laws the author creates has to be easily explained as well as an understandable concept. If you make it so only theorists can get it, no one's going it. That being said, Cristin Terrill was wonderful about the way she wrote and how much she explained. I could understand very well what was going on and how time worked in her novel. It also didn't give me a headache so that is also a plus. The main plot is "fix the past, fix the future." Something in the past went wrong to lead to a downward spiral of horrible future events and it's up to Em and Finn to travel back to the past to kill the person who started it all. This is the person who invented time travel before it should've been invented. I'm sorry if my summary sucks, but this should be better explanation wise: This novel is written in Em and Marina's point of view. Let's get something straight. This novel gets very confusing if you don't read it slowly. Marina and Em are basically the same person in two different timelines. This isn't really a spoiler because if you don't get this, the novel will be TOO confusing. Because you've got a future and past version of the same character, addressing them in a way where they're distinguishable can be difficult. The reason it's 4.5 stars is because of the ending. Near the end, past and present meet in a "showdown" of sorts, but that's where it got REALLY confusing for me. It was like Young Marina and Marina; Young James and Old James; Young Finn and Finn. I didn't like that and I was like "which is which?" It was very confusing and kind of hard to understand at that point. The thing that sticks out to me the most in this novel is how interesting it is writing from two characters who are technically the same. Their knowledge of certain things is different. Like Em knows what's going on, but Marina's like "I need to figure out what's going on". It can be a bit hard because you're flipping between two minds with limited knowledge. It's also very interesting because the story could've probably sufficed with just Em's point of view. It was Marina's point of view that gave readers the chance to fall in love with the villain, even though he was the villain. But it wasn't dependent on just Marina as a character. The supporting characters were very important in helping the story progress. That's something that's happening less and less in YA. It isn't supposed to be the "Marina Show" and if it was, the reader won't feel any attachment to the characters and ultimately, just give up on the novel. The story itself is really good though. Cristin Terrill's writing was captivating, detailed and far from awkward. I really cannot believe this is a debut novel.
Date published: 2015-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I COULD NOT put this down, and it grabs you from the very beginning, no having to wait out all the introductory stuff to get into the action. Just wow. This is a stay-up-all-night, read-it-in-one-sitting book that will grab you from the beginning and won't let you go until the end, so be sure you have lots of time to spare when you pick this one up!
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put this one down! "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrowCreeps in this pretty pace from day to dayTo the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted foolsThe way to dusty death." - William Shakespeare  Actual review Oh boy where to begin, there were so many things that just utterly blew me away in this book and there's absolutely no reason for me to dock this one any stars. Let me just start off by saying that I'm not the type of person who will stay up all night or into the wee hours of the morning reading a book. I LOVE reading and usually will get some done before I go to bed, but I love sleep more. I need my sleep ok I'm sorry I just do and me staying up till 2AM is just not happening... or so I thought until I read this book. I was literally incapable of putting this book down. I stayed awake till 3AM and by the time I finished I was so overwhelmed with emotions that I couldn't even fall asleep.. and here's the kicker... I DIDN"T CARE. THIS BOOK MADE ME FORGET ABOUT SLEEP GUYS OK IT WAS THAT GOOD! GAH  Reading this book was like sitting in a theatre and watching a total mind blowing thriller unfold before your eyes. In that aspect I found All Our Yesterday's to be similar to Marie Lu's Legend, the plot was wonderfully fast paced whilst not disregarding character development. I felt so genuinely attached to Em, Marina, Finn, and James and it's for this reason that the ending was so totally heartbreaking and left me completely distraught. Theses characters were fantastically well written; they were relatable and flawed and incredibly strong while still being vulnerable and in each of these characters I think there's something any reader will be able to connect to.  I can't even pick a favourite aspect of this book because they were all so well done, but I think the most enjoyable for me was the plot and the way the story unfolded. At the beginning we're immediately immersed into the story, but at the same time as a reader you're completely in the dark. Once things start clicking and coming together it's like everything falls into place, and that's when the story takes off. I myself have never read any books about time travel before so I was skeptical as to how much I would enjoy it, but the time travelling aspect of this book was perfectly executed. It definitely takes having some imagination as a reader and keeping an open mind to such an abstract idea, but by the end of the book I was thinking to myself "soooo time travel... TOTALLY POSSIBLE" (I'm sure it's not, but still... read it and you'll see what I mean"). All in all I could just go on to gush about this book forever. I highly HIGHLY recommend reading it as it's quickly made its way to being one of my favourite books I've ever read. As I've said I loved every single thing about it and a highlight for me was definitely all the interactions between Finn and any other human. He is the perfect human let's just leave it at that. ANYWAYS if you haven't read this book GO READ IT!! This is not a book to be overlooked!! (Ha! That rhymed ok bye)  PS I totally fell in love with this book the second I saw the quote from Macbeth on the first page.. A+ Cristin Terrill... A+
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super SCIFY and Dystopian Blend! "All Our Yesterdays" by Cristin Terrill is a strong mixing of science fiction and dystopian ingredients blended with a strong dose of time travel and romance. When the story opens Em Marchetti and Finn Abbot escape from their prison cells in a secret research installation to travel back in time four years to try and stop the creation of a machine that has not only brought unspeakable evil to them but also to the world they live in. This is an emotionally-charged, addictive story where time is used as a weapon, resulting in an evil that not only undermines the fabric of civilization, destroys friendships and a first love, but which will require a great sacrifice to rectify the wrongs done in the name of progress. The plot is well-structured and complex with parallel storylines that merge as events progress and the action heats up. The characters are as mesmerizing as they are multi-dimensional and add depth to the story. Marina Marchetti is the spoiled and sheltered daughter of affluent parents. Although she's independent, shallow and snobbish like her self-assured friends Tamsin and Sophie, Marina lacks self-esteem and thinks of herself as ugly. In contrast Em, her alter-ego is tough, determined, stubborn and tries to mask a strong compassionate streak. The younger Finn Abbot is funny, charming, kind and patient hiding his sensitivity behind his bravado, while his older double has many of the same traits but has grown hard and unbendable. James Shaw at seventeen is shy, highly intelligent, temperamental and somewhat antisocial, but as years progress it is the worst of these qualities that will transform him into a cruel, overly ambitious monster. It is these traits in all the characters that emotionally- charge this imaginative plot and make it chilling in all its intensity. This young adult novel is a must read for all those who like science fiction and dystopian thrillers. It's riveting from the first page to the last; a powerful story from Cristin Terrell, and I can't wait for what she has in-store next for her readers.
Date published: 2013-12-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great story! Two different characters, two different story lines, Em and Marina are at different points in their lives and once they discover there’s a plot for the world to be destroyed, they stop at nothing to stop the villain. Fast-paced and emotional, All Our Yesterdays has your mind reeling with emotions! At first when you’re reading this, you have no idea what’s going on, and only bits and pieces are unraveled. There are times when this was super frustrating, but that’s probably because I’m impatient. I just needed to know! What unraveled from the crazy story line was incredibly compelling and I’m glad I read this one so early on after it was released. I just love time travel and some of the aspects can be a bit confusing because there’s some scientific need-to-know, but Cristin makes sure it’s simple and easy to understand. Sometimes it turned out to be a bit jarring, only because you’re busy trying to dissect what it means, as well as follow along with the story. The story moves right along and I was never ever bored (that’s saying a lot!), and even though there’s a ton of dystopian right now, this one is not to be missed out on. What was the most annoying aspect of this book? The fact that Em fails every time at doing the thing she has to do. It drove me crazy. She’d go back and forth debating about it and it ends up being too late. This was a case of me yelling at her and telling her to just do it! I know that was part of the struggle of her character, but it was super annoying. There’s also the fact that Marina was this selfish and spoiled teenager in the beginning. So glad that changes throughout the book. I love seeing the two different sides of the characters and even though there are hints, the twist is still pretty jarring once you realize it. I loved their relationships with the boys. Their past dictates their future, and you clearly see it in their love for them.
Date published: 2013-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lacklustre start, wonderful ending. Where Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone focused on the romance, this one did its best to explain the manner of which time traveling works. It made for a sometimes confusing read that had me entertaining the thought of quitting right around the middle. And while I like the effort that she's put through simplifying the mechanics of it all, I found out that scientific explanations - even ones that are not too exhaustive - can get daunting. Don't get me wrong; I'm baffled as well. Many times I've whined about the lack of explanation necessary for readers to understand the book better. Yet, here I am contradicting myself... again. To be honest, my interest waned a little bit at a time as I got deeper into the story. I'm not sure if it has to do with where I was (on vacation) but I had a hard time keeping my focus. Part of the problem too was that Em kept on stalling and failing to do what needed to be done. It was frustrating to have to constantly dampen down the urge to scream at a character because she knew, in her heart, what she had to do but just wouldn’t do it. I do get that her hesitation is due to her past relationship with the doctor, but knowing that didn't stave off my annoyance. Regardless of that hiccup, this book still has the corner on originality. It starts in the future and works its way to the past, specifically the overlapping of time and the events that would lead to the jarring statement from Finn that Em agreed to whole-heartedly. "You have to kill him,” That’s the crux of brilliance of this book, in my opinion. The identity of who they must kill and the final showdown. I love that she wrote this book in two perspectives, which basically is one character but of two different time periods; one character but two different personalities. Props to the author for pulling that off – to be able to differentiate the two in one novel takes talent. The level of suspense rose up to a nail-biting peak and readers would have to exercise their analytical mind to process how each of their trips to the past have changed the future. Terrill didn’t really do much in that department but rather than complain about it, I’m truthfully grateful; it’s not too often that a book actually had me thinking and re-thinking about certain events that enabled me to use my imagination further. With its mind-blowing twists and turns and well-paced action sequence, this time-travel book will get your heart pumping at a steady pace. Terrill managed to pull off a complicated storyline in nearly flawless fashion. The romance though, one of those all-consuming type, was deceptively subtle. To be honest, I hardly paid it any attention. Everything else pretty much took up most of my interest.
Date published: 2013-10-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hard to Put Down Pros: compelling writing, brilliant characterization, minor romance elements, stand-alone story / Cons: close calls start to feel contrived, ending feels abrupt / For Parents: some violence (murder, torture), no swearing, off screen sex / When Em finds the note in the drain of her prison cell, she knows she and Finn have travelled back in time 14 times, and that they've failed in their objective to save the future. There's only one course of action left to them, to kill the man who made time travel possible, their former best friend and the man Em used to love. / This book was VERY hard to put down. The characters feel real, their emotions felt true to life but without the overarching angst that sometimes makes YA hard for adults to enjoy. Marina has complex relationships with everyone in her life. She's afraid her best female friends only like her because they want to get closer to James. Her parents are having trouble in their marriage, using her as a go-between. She loves James but isn't sure he feels the same way. And she's jealous of how close Finn and James have become, and so treats Finn badly, even if he doesn't always deserve it. / It's the first YA novel I've read that captured how conflicted I felt as a teen, so I really connected with Marina's character. / Em and Finn - the future versions - are equally complicated characters, having to make a tough decision knowing the pain it will bring their younger selves. / The two guys, one girl, formula sounds familiar but Terrill does great things with it. Marina loves James and dislikes Finn. Finn likes Marina, but recognizes that she doesn't like him back, which makes him snarky and bitter towards her at times. And James... well, it's unclear what he feels. Even their older selves have a unique dynamic. / Though I felt that Em's compunctions about killing her former crush were realistic, I started to feel the scenes involving close calls with him became contrived towards the middle of the book. The last quarter of the book shook things up again, which I really liked. / There's little told about the dystopian future the teens are from or the science involved with time travel, so if that's what you're looking for, look elsewhere. / The ending felt abrupt, but on further reflection - and rereading some scenes - I realized that it fit what the author said about time travel. This is a great book to reread, as you pick up all sorts of details you miss - especially in the first few chapters - the first time through. / Finally, it's great to read a YA dystopian novel and have it stand on its own. I highly recommend this one.
Date published: 2013-09-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put Down All Our Yesterdays is told from the POVs of Em and Marina, one is a girl who’s been tortured by a man called the doctor and is trying to prevent the invention of a time machine that will lead to a horrible world to live in and one is a naïve girl in love with her best friend and trying to hold him together while his world is falling apart. This book has a lot of the things I look for while choosing what to read. Characters I liked forming bonds/relationships that were interesting, a plot that I enjoyed and kept me reading, and growth of both characters and plot that was at a believable pace. I really enjoyed the different views from Em and Marina, seeing who they started out as and watch as they grew and faced realizations no one should have to face. Finn was absolutely adorable and stole my heart and I felt so bad for James. The growth in all the characters as the book went on was at a pace that was believable for their circumstances and it never felt rushed. The plot really intrigued me, just from the synopsis. Right away Em is forced with the problem of killing someone to save the world and goes back in time to do so. I liked Cristin Terill’s way of explaining the happenings of time travel, not overly complicated so it didn’t come across as a fact-dump/science lesson but just enough to make it seems extremely plausible that this is something we should be scared of one day happening. I did see a few of the twists coming but even with that, I enjoyed it all. It’s a book with a question that has stays in the mind of the reader. Could you commit murder to prevent a horrible future from happening? right at the start of the book. And later, could you still do it after learning all the details? I have no idea when the next book will be coming out but when it does, I will definitely be reading it. * I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for a honest review
Date published: 2013-08-08

Editorial Reviews

Gr 7-10 Time-travel paradigms and a dual narrative combine in this fast-paced temporal tale. The two voices are that of the same character: Marina, in the present, and Em, in the future. Future Em and present Marina run parallel courses as Em tries desperately to change present circumstances enough to alter future horror. Marina's longtime crush James, a teen genius who discovers how to manipulate time travel, intends to use that discovery to save his assassinated congressman brother. Em and Finn (her future romantic interest and James's good friend) travel back to the present to change their own and the world's fate, but their multiple efforts result in imprisonment and torture by the mad scientist James becomes. Em/Marina's parallel stories converge in a violent confrontation where characters from the present meet their future selves. Time-travel tropes may not hold up under close scrutiny, but the limited number of major players and the carefully focused plot keeps the action moving. Characterization is fairly stock: James is a brilliant monster, and Finn is consistently levelheaded and appealing. The future Em is much more developed than the present Marina, which makes the inevitable loss of one and the saving of the other disconcertingly unsatisfying. The built-in tension provided by knowledge of the world that will result if they fail makes Finn and Em's efforts compelling, however, and the escalating pace and intertwined narratives keep the pages turning. The philosophical question is intriguing: What price is too high to change fate? Janice M. Del Negro, GSLIS Dominican University, River Forest, IL-SLJ