All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill, published by Bloomsbury on 1st August 2013
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.
It's no exaggeration to say that this is the must-read book of the year. Whether you've got to beg, borrow or steal a copy, I implore you to get your hands on it. Utterly tense, exciting and gripping, this book will keep you up all night reading, as well as the night after that when you'll be re-reading it all over again.
The opening chapters of the story were superb and provided a stunning start to a book which was consistently brilliant from start to finish. The plot centres on Em and Finn who must travel back in time to stop a catastrophic event from occurring. Guided by a note which Em discovers, she sets out to complete the hardest challenge she will ever face, attempting to avert tragedy in the process.
Time-travel is something which I love but it can often be confusing with time frames changing rapidly and characters jumping backwards and forwards throughout the story. In 'All Our Yesterdays' the time travel element of the story is executed brilliantly. Concentration is needed to keep the two strands of the plot separate but the reward is well worth it. There are no plot holes, no questions left unanswered and everything ultimately makes perfect sense to the reader by the end of the book.
This is not a straight-forward romantic novel but it features a romance which is not limited by the bounds of time. It's clear from the start that Em and Finn have been bonded together by their shared traumatic experiences and this links them in a way like no other could. While Em takes the leading role in the book, Finn is always there by her side. He's her strength when she doesn't know if she can go on and he's her other half, the one who understands her and loves her for the person she is and was.
Although compared to 'The Hunger Games' and 'The Time Traveller's Wife' which are two of my favourite books, these pale in comparison to 'All Our Yesterdays' which was truly amazing and extraordinary and which I'm already certain will be the best book I'll read this year. Featuring fierce characters, a plot which twists and turns through time, romance and a mission with life and death at stake, it delivered everything I want in a book. It had me on the edge of my seat, it made me smile, laugh and cry and at times it stopped my heart.
Cristin Terrill may be the new kid on the block, but she's certainly made her mark on the YA market with this tremendous debut novel. 'All Our Yesterdays' left me breathless and in awe of it's sheer brilliance. If you only read one book this year, make sure it's this one.