All Our Yesterdays

All Our Yesterdays

4.02 (22,936 ratings by Goodreads)
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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
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 162 x 238 x 32mm | 454g
  • United States
  • English
  • 1423176375
  • 9781423176374
  • 282,370

Review quote

gYou have to kill him. h So reads the final entry in a note that Em fishes out of the sewer pipe in her prison cell, a note written by another version of herself whose attempt to travel back in time and prevent the dystopian future that Em now finds herself in obviously failed. Now she and her prisonmate/boyfriend Finn must break into the lab where the time machine is housed, travel back four years, and murder the gdoctor, h the inventor of the time machine. Meanwhile, in a parallel storyline, sixteen ]year ]old Marina is romantically frustrated by her childhood pal James, whose usually eccentric personality takes a turn for the worse when tragedy strikes his family, and she fs forced to partner up with his annoying friend Finn in their attempts to help him recover. Terrill makes the wise decision to reveal Em as the future Marina and James as the hated doctor early on, making this more a story of the ways in which people change under duress than a guessing game of who fs who. The narration alternates between Em and Marina, accelerating the pacing and the tension as Em and Finn close in on their target. More significantly, it allows the book to explore the connection between Em and her former self: Em fs palpable affection for and forgiveness of Marina fs insecurities and mistakes are bittersweet and heartbreaking, and her emotions will likely strike a chord with older teens as they come to terms with who they are instead of who they fre trying to be. Effective and thrilling, this will find an audience among fans of action sequences as well as those who enjoy a solid emotional drama. KQG BCCB"
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About Cristin Terrill

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 @cristinterrill.
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Rating details

22,936 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 39% (8,883)
4 35% (8,022)
3 19% (4,278)
2 5% (1,197)
1 2% (556)

Our customer reviews

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 villian. 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 storyline 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 more
by Giselle SM
Someone caught in a tiny space, not knowing when or if they will ever be free again. That's the best way to start a story that I want to keep reading. Em our heroine finds herself in such a situation, confined in a cell. There are just so many unknown constantes in this equation, who is keeping her hostage, what did she do to get herself in there and how will she escape? It's the deperate search for a way out that always appeals to me on a very instinctive level. Seeing the main character caught in such a hopeless scenario is an immediate bonding guarantee for me. In the cell next to hers is a boy who we fast learn stars as leading male character and will make for a gorgeous love interest. With the looming threats of a mad scientist hunting them there isn't much time for romance so I even more savoured each scene piecing together their grand love story. Finn is one love interest who's worth a sleepless night equally spent reading and swooning. Finn and Em are so good together. They aren't trained agents or spies but they are just as bad-ass and determined. Being given a time frame of only a few days makes solving the puzzle and ending their task so much more urgent and thrilling. Em has to figure out the list she finds in her cell, written by her future self with some of the hardest decisions that will change her life forever. Destroy the life you know and work against another version of yourselves and friends to save the entire world. Working against your own past self has something very emotional and tricky about it. It's about the person you were and you could become in future if you just tried hard enough to change. Cristin Terrill wrote a story so complex and basically mastermind I'm sure she'll have countless fans by the time her second book comes out. The two different persons they are, Marina in the past and Em in the future, are in love with two different men. Finn and James. The (internal) character conflicts and love conflict proved to be very engaging and threw up a lot of questions. Every thing they change in the past makes the future even more unpredictable. It's like a never-ending (admittedly slightly confusing at times) mystery, a puzzle with endless pieces that needs to be solved. We are given information about the past, as Finn and Em are seeing their old selves living it in form of flash backs. And hints at what happens in the future if they fail, who has to suffer and who won't make it. This story works on so many different levels and is layered with so many emotions you better pick up a copy yourselves and make sure you don't miss Cristin's stunning debut. 5/5 ***** ALL OUR YESTERDAYS – A multidimensional quest of two teens set out to save the world, their future and themselves. Astonishing in its addictiveness, disarming in its time travel glory, ALL OUR YESTERDAYS will constantly have you pining for just one more page. I read ALL OUR YESTERDAYS expecting it to be a standalone and I really loved it. The story could've been wrapped-up in only one book but it definitely leaves room for more content. And I was so stoked when I found out there will be a sequel coming in 2014 because Cristin's characters Marina and Finn had grown on me so much I wouldn't want to let them go. Time can be a tricky thing and for all its endless possibilities it brings you love ALL OUR YESTERDAYS even more
by MissPageTurner
I'm sobbing right now, guys. SOBBING. Okay, maybe not literally tears-flowing-down-my-cheeks sobbing but I'm in this messy state of existence where my heart is in a million shards, and a helpless I've-finished-this-book-so-now-what-do-I-do guttural moan escapes from the depths of my soul every few seconds. Yeah. I've got it that bad. Now that you know my current state of emotional health (and of my drama queen tendencies), let me quickly summarize my thoughts on this book, in case you are not interested in reading my entire review in all its fangirly and incoherent glory: My. New. Favorite. See the direction in which I'm headed? All Our Yesterdays is thrilling, jolting, and one of the best time-travel romances I've ever read. Emphasis on ever. During a time of deep bureaucratic brew in Washington DC, Marina Marchetti finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a sensitive, highly guarded affair. As if her hopeless crush on her genius best friend, James Shaw, doesn't make her life-where she's too plain, too out-of-place, and too ignored-hard enough. Now, she's caught up in a dangerous political battleground, and there's no telling if her life-or James's-will be safe, or even significant, ever again. In another time-in an alternate, but simultaneous world set four years into the future-Em makes a dreadful discovery: in order to save herself, save humanity, she has to kill him. It's the only option she has left; her past selves have tried every other method, and each of them has failed, and proceeded to write them down onto a piece of paper which she finds in the drain of her prison cell. It's the last thing in the world she wants to do, but she knows there are certain sacrifices she has to make. Alongside Finn, the one boy who's suffered with her, comforted her, and loved her throughout it all, she's determined to succeed in this critical mission upon which the entire world depends... because this time, it may be her last chance. There was not one page in All Our Yesterdays that didn't have my full, aching attention. The plot moves quickly and it moves consequentially; it pained me even to blink because that's how desperately I didn't want to miss anything. The shifting perspectives between Marina and Em not only create a mounting sense of anticipation, but also masterfully connect the two different worlds, the two different narrators, which brings the entire story revolving around the pivotal time machine, into full circle. The intense storyline was enough to impress me, but on top of this, Cristin Terrill just had to breathe life into her characters. She depicts such a genuine dynamism in every single one-the kind that could only result from the affliction each of them has been through. Your heart will break along with James's, Marina's, and Finn's, I guarantee it. Marina starts off as a bit of a brat, and it isn't until the boy she loves hardens before her very eyes that she realizes the horrors of a dangerously brilliant mind and an equally determined heart. I connected with her in her imperfections and her tragic vulnerabilities; while she's not the kind of person I'd beg to become best friends with, she is a terrific protagonist and her account is not only mind-bending, but also highly moving. Em is a different kind of narrator. She's unwavering and she's clever-a lethal combination-and the past four years have toughened her up greatly. However, a wisp of that hopeful, loving person she used to be-the kind who just wanted to believe in the good in people-still resides deep inside of her, even after all she's been through. That is her weakness. Finn is by far the most affecting character. He made me laugh out loud and wince, my heart clamp up, and my gut drop. He's basically the perfect book boyfriend: clever, hilarious, strong. The thing is, Em, whom he's in love with, can't detach herself fully from her past... and that is his weakness. A fierce love's war meets The Butterfly Effect when Em and Finn realize time travel isn't a wonder; it's an abomination. Their efforts to keep everything that has ever happened from ever happening, however, does have its disastrous consequences, including putting their own lives and existences at stake. Time is complex and perplexing that way; it has a mind of its own, and whatever repercussions it delivers for messing with it, they'll have to withstand. After all, in this type of war, sacrifice is the only effective weapon that exists. All Our Yesterdays is electrifying, devastating, and THE GODDAMN REASON I'LL PROBABLY NEED THERAPY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. Sorry, I'm sorry. It's just that this book has messed with my emotions so much; I can't even control my outbursts now. I swear this is the last time I'll do that. Pros: Unpredictable and suspenseful // Unique take on time travel // Purposeful in message and tender in tone // Realistically frightening dystopian setting // Expertly portrayed dynamism in characters // Gorgeous, perfectly balanced romance // FINN FACKIN' ABBOTT // Just a bleepin' phenomenal book, okay?? Don't even ask, just go buy Cons: A couple plot holes, as expected from a time travel story with its paradoxes and whatnot; did not detract from my enjoyment, though (obviously) Love: "Ready?" I say, more to myself than Finn. I raise the key to the door, but before I can put it in the lock, Finn slides his hand around my neck and pulls me against him, muffling my squawk of surprise with his lips. He kisses me like I've never been kissed before. Kiss is too small a word for it. It's like he's pouring every ounce of love and lust and regret, every moment of pent-up longing from months in a cell, into me. I press up into him, and when he pulls away to rest his forehead against mine, I'm dazed and out of breath. "Now," he whispers, the words ghosting over my lips, "I'm ready." Verdict: Shocking, exhilarating, and breathtakingly romantic, this YA dystopian thriller will consume you and frighten you and shatter you to pieces. I promise you, All Our Yesterdays will leave you writhing, gasping, and reeling in the aftermath of its frenzied, enthralling story of what happens when time travel goes utterly, horribly wrong. With a powerful narrative voice, intoxicating characters, and a romance that is all of tender, complicated, and heartfelt, Cristin Terrill brings readers a staggering debut that simply cannot be missed. Rating: 10 out of 10 hearts (5 stars): I'm speechless; this book is an extraordinarily amazingly wonderfully fantastically marvelous masterpiece. Drop everything and go buy yourself a copy now! Source: Complimentary copy provided by publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, JKS Communications!).show more
by Karielle
I loved this book, and it is a well done time travel novel. I was deliciously confused as everything wove together. As far as Em. I knew that the world outside was falling apart, and I just wanted to know why she was witholding information and what got her locked up in the first place. She has an intense voice, and I connected with her because I saw good in her, a desire for freedom, and this sacrificial nature that I really admire. Finn was amazing. I loved their bantering and the chemistry between them. I also liked that there was a history there not just some kind of instant attraction. There was also the time and conversations shared while they were locked up together. As the story progresses you really get to see the depth there, and I love Finn more and more. There is a depth to him, and how he is with his family and with Em makes my heart flutter. At first, when it jumped to Marina, there was a startling contrast of normalcy. Marina is worried about a boy, and giggling with her friends, and I was so curious to see how it all connects. James is her neighbor and the boy she is in love with and has for years. Her support of him, and their history together was sweet to learn about and it became all so important later on, but I had no idea how as I was reading it. Cristin knows how to write a staggering romance, the stolen moments together on both side and things like a hand just the right amount of high on the thigh were all things that made me sigh. As the story unravels I begin to question everything I thought I knew, and examining characters I thought I loved because of pieces of each story that were revealed. And I can't believe it took me as long as it did to connect some of the dots, especially with the Finn clue. But it was still just so emotional and hard to see both sides of the story. It was pretty hard to reconcile the two parts of the story at times, because I didn't see the transformation as slow as it was, it was just the stark contrasts, and that made the story all the better though. By the way, this is one of the most complex and unique love triangle circle jumbles that I have read but since it is two points in time, it makes me love it and my heart was divided because of everything I knew. But it was all so believable. The ending is shocking, bittersweet and heartbreaking. But it wrapped up everything well. Even though I will jump at the chance to get back into this world, I wasn't left with that gaping, can I hurl this book because there is no way that its ending like this, and I am thankful for that. Though I will say that I was a little curious how some of it resolved with a few of the events, but I think I have pieced it all together, and I know that is no flaw on the book but on my reasoning. Great world building, superb romance, characters I loved and felt for, and beautifully woven together. Bottom Line: Intense roller coaster of action, breath taking romance and more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
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