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book reviews

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

0 4

Two universes collide in Cristin Terrill’s debut novel, All Our Yesterdays, both filled with mystery, urgency, pain and confusion. Marina lives in politically nightmarish Washington, D.C., where she ends up tangled in the middle of a highly guarded affair. Four years into the future, Em is imprisoned at a secret military base, struggling to find a way to break free and save the downward-spiraling human race. Marina and Em's connection is hinted at early on, but its true depth isn't laid out until later in the novel.


Marina lives a privileged life. Her only concern is getting her best friend, the complex James, to fall in love with her. As Marina becomes more attached to James, she learns the dangers that surround him and does all she can to try and protect him. Will Marina be able to save James? Will he ever be able to share her love?


Em, meanwhile, has been living in a very different world than Marina. Imprisoned by 'The Doctor' at a military base while war rages outside, Em's entire life consists of a list of instructions taped to her drain and the familiar voice of Finn, a boy who lives in the cell nextdoor. Em's instructions—ones she herself has written—are all crossed out save for one last one, the most daunting. Em must complete this horrifying task in order to restore humanity and save her life, but does she dare?


Terrill brilliantly tells the story alternating between the narrations of Marina and Em. Marina starts off as a stuck-up teen, but changes her tone as she watches her love's life crumble apart. Marina opens up to the reader, letting you see and connect to her vulnerable imperfections. Em's a tougher girl, hardened by years of failed attempts to save mankind and escape from the dreadful captivity she's stuck in. However, she still maintains slivers of hope that some good remains in every person. Both girls provide unique, relatable tellings of their stories as they mature before your eyes into stronger and smarter young women.


Cristin Terrill provides a phenomenal piece of work as her first novel. You will love the emotional roller coaster of All Our Yesterdays. It’s packed with happy peaks, stomach-dropping surprises, fast-paced action and a crazy sci-fi twist.


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0 4
published September 11, 2013