Review: All Our Yesterdays

Author: Cristin Terrill
Date of Publication: September 3 2013
Pages: 360
Source: Library

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.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.


I am officially in a reading slump. It probably has something to do with the mood I am in, but it could also have to do with not finding a book that clicks with me very well. All Our Yesterdays is a decent book, except that I had very little interest in it.

I remember the hype when Terrill's book came out. I was convinced I would like it. It's been quite some time since that hype, so I can say that most of it wore off. I was ready to enjoy All Our Yesterdays.

The simple truth is that the we never clicked. The sort of story told in All Our Yesterdays does not get along with me. I didn't care for any of the characters and I thought the book was quite long for something with what I thought was a small span of actions. All Our Yesterdays never surprised me. I expected the story to have the ending that it did, and I think I didn't pick up on the urgency.

Em and Finn are in a horrific future but for me, there was a little too much of "this future is horrific" versus showing me this world and allowing me to convince myself of its horror. Because, as it stood, hearing about wars with certain countries did nothing but pique my interest, and that's only because I'm possibly minoring in political science and I'm interested in the breakdown of state relationships. So, the buildup of tension didn't work for me.

I don't know why I didn't like the characters. I think it's because they bored me. I'm sure Marinas, or rich kids with insecurity issues and awful parents exist, but I got that character all out of my system in seven and eighth grade. I didn't have strong feelings about Em or Finn, and James' character, well, let's say that I needed to know a little more. His story arch is another one of those things I'm really fascinated about, and would have liked more development for because it's something I have trouble believing.

Admittedly, a lot of this dissatisfaction is based on my personal world view and parameters of what can or can't happen in the world. You can easily chalk this up to mood. I'll try to focus on some positives now.

There was a strong friendship. The story was non-linear, and I always like that. It was creative.

Eh, I think I'll just call it quits. All Our Yesterdays did not work for me, but maybe it will work for you.



  1. Aw, it's too bad this was so disappointing for you! I was convinced I would adore it too, and ended up being disappointed a bit as well, so I understand where you were coming from. It's probably not all down to your mood when you were reading it. I did think it was very creative and the time travel aspect was interesting, so overall I'm glad I read it!

    1. I thought it was fun, but I guess I've never been into time travelling and my impression was that this is a good time travelling book for people not into time travelling. It was worth a shot!


  2. I actually really enjoyed this one. I thought it was very creative and I liked the authors take on time travel. I do agree about James' character though and the transition between present and future James


What do you think?