Publisher: A&C Black
Date Published: 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Time Travel, Young Adult
Audiobook Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
Audiobook Narrator: Meredith Mitchell
Source: Free audiobook download from Sync summer audio pairings
Description: 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.
All Our Yesterdays is essentially a story about stopping a terrible person before he becomes terrible. This pair travels back in time, again and again trying to change the future by fixing the past, and every time they end up in the same situation. This time, they know what they must do, and it is the hardest thing they can imagine.
The story unfolds in alternating narration between Marina (in present time) and Em (from the future). I liked that aspect because instead of getting two people to narrate, we have the same narrator with different experiences. I enjoyed the switching from the naive girl and the hardened woman Em becomes.
I also enjoyed the dynamic between Em and Finn. Their situation isn’t ideal, though, and the book doesn’t give time for romance. They admit/confess their feelings, but they know that whether they succeed or fail in this missions, time will erase them soon. Time travel isn’t the best place for a love story.
Something was missing in this book for me, though. Maybe it was the predictability of it though it tried to be shocking. Maybe it tried too hard. In the future, Em and Finn call him the doctor because he is no longer the man he was in this past. But his identity is easy to guess, isn’t it? And the outcome? Predictable – because there was no other way to stop the doctor. Em’s weakness bothered me in this way – she goes back in time to save everything, but her childish feelings may keep her from completing her mission? It is hard, but dammit woman that is not how heroines work. And Finn – I haven’t decided what his purpose was.
So that’s why only 3.5 stars – the idea was great, and I love stories with this type of premise. But something was lacking for me – the suspense, the romance, the shock element – that I was craving.