BOOK REVIEW: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin TerrillAll Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
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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 hated this. No, wait, I loved this. No, no-I hated it….Right? Still, even after having finished a day and a half ago, I still don’t know what I think of this book. It played with my heart on the deepest emotional level possible…and, for once, I don’t know if that was a good thing.
Dealing with matters of the heart are messy. There is no way to make rational decisions when your heart is split down the middle-I believe that with my whole soul. And, believe it or not, I’m not even talking about a love triangle. This is a good old-fashioned torture of the heart, a total mind-fuck…and I’m not sure I handled it all that well.

When I picked up this book, I thought I was starting a run of the mill dystopian/sci-fi fantasy novel. Honest to God, I might have rethought my decision to start this had I known how it would rip my heart into shreds. I keep telling my friends all the events of the book and we all came to the same type of stuttery, open-mouthed, grappling for words conclusion-Even after countless reviews and a neurotic fetish with making sure it fit all my criteria (I do this for every book I’m about to read, lest I make bad decisions), I still wasn’t prepared for what this book was truly about. If you simply read the blurb, you see it’s about two different couples in two different times, so to speak. You realize it’s all about time travel and deciding what you would change if you could: Are you really fixing something if you go back in time and alter the past? But what that damn dirty blurb doesn’t tell you is this-This book is far deeper than even it’s author lets on. This book has such raw, magnetic moments that you can’t help but to be manipulated by each individual character and each individual motivation. This book is so multi-layered that you won’t know what side you’re on, who you’re rooting for, or who you should be rooting for. The simple truth is this: there is no good or evil, it is simply what your present self knows the future to be. It’s what you’re willing to do, what you’re willing to sacrifice to make the world a better place-even if it destroys you to have to do so.

Im sorry, but this story? It’s characters? Their struggles ? They killed me. Each moment killed me. And in the end, no matter what needed to happen…I still don’t know If I’ll ever fully get over it.

I loved the characters, all of them, and I think that’s why I was so heartbroken at each and every turn. This book was everything I’ve come to love as I’ve progressed as a reader…and maybe it was so PERFECTLY DONE that I wasn’t ready for it. Maybe it was so perfectly fucked up and so twisted that I literally was kicked in the chest, blind-sided by the brilliance that was this beautiful piece of a fucked up world.

It doesn’t make sense, and I guess it doesn’t have to. I, the girl who named herself after the peril she so desperately seeks, could. Not. Handle. The. Peril. Emotionally or otherwise. It tore me to shreds. It knocked me on my ass. And, in the end, I was a blubbering mess curled up in a ball who wanted a better end for these best friends who never had a fucking chance. Not all of them, at least.

Read it. Don’t read it. I don’t care-I am a mess. The vulnerability, the love, the sacrifice-God I loved that…but after it’s all over…my heart couldn’t handle it. Maybe another time, another place. If only I could use that damn time machine to transport back a couple days and slap myself in the face so I would be more prepared…Hmm. Oh well. Check-Mate, Motherfucker. Chelsea loses.

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