Review: All Our Yesterdays
Released by Bloomsbury on 1 August 2013
Genres: Science Fiction
Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn't happened yet.
Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture - being kept apart, overhearing each other's anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There's no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It's from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that's about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future.
In 2013, All Our Yesterdays was released. I had heard about it before its release already and got curious. A book about time travel? Yes sign me up! Why did it take me so long to actually read the book? No idea, maybe it was because I was waiting for that gorgeous cover to be released in paperback? I really do not remember why it took me so long to read this book, but after finishing it it made me wish time travel exists so I could travel back in time and tell myself to read the book right away. (I’d create a paradox, but hey apparently that’s not such a big deal). So yeah, I guess I could say I really enjoyed this book! I’m sorry but this review might contain a couple of spoilers, so beware.
All Our Yesterdays is about Marina and Em. Marina is in love with James, and has nothing to really worry about. Em has been in prison for a long time and only has one goal – to escape and kill him. Together with the boy in the cell next to hers, she must escape back in time to ensure her past self will never have to suffer the way she suffered. But that isn’t as easy as she had hoped it would be.
I really got sucked into the story right away, mainly because it starts right away with a scene that makes you think ‘what happened?’. It starts with Em in a cell, staring at a drain wondering why she feels that drain is so special. And it doesn’t get less exciting from that point, in fact – I really thought this book was very thrilling and I told myself to at least finish the chapter before going to eat, sleep or work. I really liked the way this story was written, I think the author did a very good job. I would love for her to write more books, but not a sequel or anything – just another book. Personally, I think a sequel wouldn’t fit. Because this book kind of got a happy ending (maybe not a Disney happy ending, but I never expect books to have that kind of happy endings), and I don’t think a sequel will add anything to this story. No, I just want the author to write another book with a complete new story. Though I wouldn’t mind her writing about more time travel, hahaha!
Character-wise, I really liked Em and Finn. I felt a bit dumb when I didn’t immediately realise who they were though. I actually had to reread a part of the book because I thought they were but wasn’t sure. The one person I did ‘recognise’ almost immediately was the doctor, so I guess the other two would have been obvious as well – but I just completely missed that. It didn’t bother me too much though, because I just enjoyed reading about Em and Finn – I loved reading about their relationship and their determination to kill him. I also liked Marina and James and their relationship. I loved how she tried to take care of him after the event that kind of started all of this, and I really wished for them to have a happy ending. View Spoiler »Even though I already knew that was going to be impossible. « Hide Spoiler
The only thing I was a bit bothered about in the beginning was the fact that Em and Finn were creating a paradox by traveling back in time and killing the person that created the time machine – thus erasing that timeline. But then, in the story it was explained that paradoxes weren’t really that bad as everyone had thought and that everything would work out eventually. Other than that, I was also a little bit bothered by the flashbacks. Because they were the same font as the normal story and not italicized or anything – or a different paragraph. It was a bit annoying because I couldn’t really see where the flashback started or ended. But hey, there weren’t that many flashbacks so it wasn’t super annoying. What I am still a bit confused about is that ending. Because how did that happen?! View Spoiler »I mean Finn got shot and died. How is he suddenly still alive after that, and how does Marina not remember anything that happened to her in that cottage? I have the idea maybe the author wrote this while she still had the sequel in her mind, but ??!?! I’m just a bit confused about this ok. « Hide Spoiler
In the end, I really enjoyed All Our Yesterdays and it’s really made me want to pick up books I’m interested in right after they get released. Because maybe I am missing out on a book like this because I’m not too sure if I’m going to like it. If it sounds interesting, I really should just buy it and read it. If it’s not that interesting after all – it’s a shame, but if it is – I won’t be that person that finds out about it two years after it’s release!
My opinion in one gif: