The walls of her tiny prison cell and the soothing voice of the boy in the cell next to hers make up Em’s world. She waits, dreading the moment the doctor will come again, because she knows he’ll use whatever means necessary to force her to reveal the location of coveted documents. When Em finds a message hidden in the cell’s drain, she knows following the instructions are the only way she can be free. She must find a way to kill the doctor and prevent the creation of the time machine that will destroy the world as she knows it.
As Marina prepares to attend a prestigious political dinner with her best friend James, all she can think about is finding a moment alone with him to reveal her feelings for him. Before she has a chance, an assassin’s attack throws the evening into chaos and threatens the life of the person James holds most dear. Determined to protect James, Marina and James’s best friend Finn launch their own investigation into the identity of the assassin. What she uncovers forces her to reevaluate everything she knows about the one she loves most. Marina’s investigation and Em’s mission collide in a desperate struggle that could destroy everything.
Because it’s a story about time travel, many characters appear more than once as different versions of themselves. Terrill handles this really well, allowing the readers to experience through these different character versions the effects of disillusionment, torture and desperation on once innocent, ordinary teens. Finn is probably my favorite character. I loved the banter between him and Marina, and the way that his relationships with other characters unfolded.
In this story, Time is sentient and can take action to keep the universe from totally unraveling as a result of changes made during various trips back and forth through time. While I loved this concept of Time being almost a character in its own right, I wanted more. I kind of wanted Time itself to play a role in the resolution of the story, so I was a little disappointed when the concept wasn’t developed to play a more important role. Still, this was one plot that kept me guessing. I kept making predictions about what the characters were going to do to restore some kind of order to their future lives, and often I was wrong about how that was going to come about.
The ending was a little bit jarring – there’s kind of a disconnect at one point where things sort of jolt forward or reset and I felt like it was a little bit of a weak transition. I think we’re meant to assume that Time has taken action to protect itself, but that seemed like a bit of a stretch to me in this instance. I’d have liked to see that transition more smoothly and would have liked some of the gaps to have better explanations. Overall, though, I still really enjoyed the story and totally fell in love with the characters.
At one time this book was intended to have a sequel. Since then the author has issued a statement saying that All Our Yesterdays will remain a stand-alone novel. While I am curious what happened next for the characters, I think that was probably a smart move. All Our Yesterdays is a stronger story on its own. Fans will be pleased to know that Terrill has released a short story taking place several months after the end of the story on her web site.
Mild profanity used infrequently.
During some pretty intense kissing, Marina removes her shirt. Things break up and go no further. Em and Finn have a romantic relationship and share kisses and sleep together. No details.
In this story, Time is sentient and capable of self-preservation.
Em and Finn are tortured for information regarding missing papers. An assassin tries to kill James and his brother. Torture scenes are brief but intense. The assassin uses a gun.