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Wow. That was one fantastic ride.
Just so everyone knows, I love Time Travel stories. This adoration started after I read Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor
, where a young woman finds a man from the 1500s transported in her time and she to his later.
The idea of changing the future by going back to the past was just excitingly intriguing to me, and I've been on a hunt ever since for books with the same concept and quality. Unfortunately, the ones I've found were very disappointing, and I was beginning to think I wouldn't be able to find a book as good as Deveraux's. Then came All Our Yesterdays.
And right now, all I'm thinking is, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!?!
This book is seriously mind-fucking good. I don't even know where to start.I loved how it has that sense of urgency, that feeling where if we don't read fast enough, we'll run out of time, that everything will end, and our two characters' efforts will be for naught.
Into the future, we see the tale unfold in Em's eyes, as she and Finn must go back to the past to make things right, and the only way to make it right is to kill him.
This proves to be quite difficult, however, as they find themselves running against time, especially since the sight of their younger, inexperienced selves make the task even harder.The plot is incredibly fast-paced, and kept me on my toes every single page, my heart pounding, my throat tightening, as I anticipated what was going to come next.
I kid you not when I say there was never a dull moment in this book. And you know the best part is? THEY EXPLAINED VERY WELL THE SCIENCE STUFF! We all know the paradoxes that can result from time travel, but it was explained here very well how time is not exactly linear, and that there are forces that avoid such things from happening. So those loopholes that I've found? Poof! Right out of the window. You can really tell the plot and world-building were well thought-out and I absolutely appreciated that, especially since I'm quite cynical.But the strongest factor of this book is neither the plot nor the world-building. What made All Our Yesterdays spectacular were the characters - Em, Marina, the two Finns, and even James. They were so three-dimensional and well-rounded that I couldn't help but imagine they were real people, and that made me feel so much for them.
Em is absolutely kick-ass – she knows what she needs to do and understands the gravity of their situation, but even though her heart has hardened and her resolve like stone, she still has gentleness within her that makes her hesitant into becoming a killer. Many times she had the opportunity to kill the one she had come to kill, a person who was very dear to her in the past, but in these same instances we see her reluctance, her resolve unwavering at the sight of their younger, innocent selves.And Marina? Even though she did questionable decisions and was whiny, insensitive, and mean sometimes, I got to love her, anyway. She was insecure and badly in love that her actions were merely because in her heart, she believed she was doing the right thing.
The intentions were all there, and even though some of what she did were not exactly the best things to do, you know that she's got heart, anyway. It was so heartrending to see this bubbly sixteen year old and then Em, so hardened with the miserable experience she had and what Marina will endure as well if they don't change things. It's the contrast of the before
that got to me, and made me understand how much the future Marina wanted to protect the younger one as much as she possibly could.This book also has one of the most bittersweet endings I've ever read
. I don't want to spoil it (even though throughout reading it, I've restrained myself greatly from taking a sneak peek of the last page just to see if things will be alright in the end) as it will take the magic away, but it seriously made me tear up. On the outside, it may not really look that powerful, but the context of the whole novel and the understanding we get from the future selves made its impact just so emotional and equally thought-provoking.
Overall, I'm excited for the rest of the world to read this. This novel is more than just a sci-fi thriller. It has values as well, and reminds us that technology is a double-edged sword, and that too much power can even blind people with good-intentions. More importantly, this book also calls everyone to love and respect ourselves more, to be strong and confident, to be humble. This is a stunning debut, and Hyperion hit the nail on the head with this one.Final Verdict: 4.5 / 5 stars!An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for a review. This did not influence my thoughts in any way.