When you have read a book six months ago and, yet, it still resonates with you today, you know that you’ve read a great book; All Our Yesterdays is that book for me.
In the not too distant future, Em is being held in a secret government facility. She has papers describing a machine that can send people back in time (in order to change the future) and Em has been imprisoned and tortured by “the Doctor” who wants her copy of those plans. The future has become a nightmare; the Doctor is using the machine to change the past and amass power for himself. Personal freedoms and rights have been set aside in the name of “security” and America has become a police state. But, Em can change it. All she has to do is go back in time. But, she has gone back and tried 14 different solutions to fix the future. None of them have worked. This is her last chance and all she has to do is the unthinkable – kill the person she loves most in the world.
In general, I dislike time travel books, but All Our Yesterdays got such great reviews I thought I would try it. And, this books proves that time travel isn’t that bad – if there is logic and good writing behind the plotline. The ending of this book is a little convoluted and I wondered if the teenagers this book was intended for would understand it. But, once you get past it, it makes total, logical sense. This book presupposes the reader is intelligent enough to take the actions at the climatic moment of the book , backtrack, and apply those changes to a “new” past/present. Will teenagers get it? The popularity of this book says they do.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has action, it has heart, it has teenage angst, and it has a love story that isn’t quite love and doesn’t quite end up the way you thought it would when you started reading. It also makes you think, “If you had the chance, would you go back in time and try to change to past in order to change your present? Would you kill to do it? Would you kill the person you loved the most in the world to do it? Could you?”
Read the book, see what Terrill’s characters do, and then try to answer that question yourself.