Published by Disney Book Group on 3 September 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Suspense, Young Adult
"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.
*I received a free ARC of All Our Yesterdays from Disney Book Group via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
All Our Yesterdays is a quite exciting science fiction / time travel thriller about Em and Finn, and the lengths they will go to in order to survive, and to change the past – or is that the future? In some ways, the story is quite confusing, as it goes away from the pat of many other time travel stories and the flash-backs aren’t always easy to get once there is a shift in the storyline.
At the beginning, All Our Yesterday completely grabbed me, and I was delighted to read a time travel story that was so intricate. Soon, though, as Em and Finn go back in time, after escaping their prison cell, things become more complicated to follow. The readers follow a young girl who is getting ready to meet her best friend, and crush, after three weeks apart. And her girlfriends seem really shallow and not very nice as they tell her how to better seduce James. The way the story hops from this girl to Em and Finn takes a while to make sense, and didn’t really bring a lot to the overall story and plot in my opinion.
I also wished there would be a little bit more about the actual time travel, there was a lot about the consequences of it, but not enough about how it was possible and the reason why it actually started. All Our Yesterdays also is more about one single trip back in time, but where Em and Finn actually understand more than they had before, and have decided to finally do something very drastic to save both themselves and, possibly the world as a whole.
All Our Yesterdays does touch on a very important subject, though, and that is if it would really be a good thing to try to change the past. I guess it just didn’t really go into the depths of these changes for me to completely embrace the time travel and the main characters’ plight. There is a lot of suspense, a lot of heartache, and a big dose of sadness. My emotions were certainly invested throughout the story, but I still felt like there could have been more, somehow. The writing is captivating, and the characters are well fleshed out.
The ending confused me, as well, but I will not get too much into that for fear of spoiling something for those who haven’t read All Our Yesterdays yet. And I think it’s a book that’s good enough to be read, and as a huge fan of time travel stories, I’m certainly happy I did.
Whatever horrors I imagined haven’t come to pass – at least, not yet – but the drain still dominates my attention. It’s like a lodestar to me, pulling my focus back to it again and again.
My stomach growls at the sound of the boots against the cement, the sound like a bell to one of Pavlov’s dogs. It must be lunchtime.
The drain is open and exposed, finally. I reach inside of it, the rational part of my brain telling me that I won’t find anything there but a cold pipe, but something deeper and more instinctive inside of me whispering of… what? Purpose? Destiny?
“The lira has gone straight to hell today. Italy’s going to need someone to bail them out, but Germany’s not biting. Thank God the euro never went through; the whole continent would be screwed.”