Monday, September 2, 2013

All Our Yesterdays (Cassandra Chronicles #1) by Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays (Cassandra Chronicles #1) 
Cristin Terrill
368 pages
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: September 3rd
Rate: Loved it

"I've been scared of so much stupid crap in my life. Making a bad grade or not fitting in. God, I was scared of you. And it was all such a waste. None of it matters now that the real scary shit is here."

Present Day: Em is locked in a bare cell, alone and with Finn next door, the only person that makes her want to still be alive and not give up. Because If she gives up, not only she's dead, but Finn, too. 
Back then, she have hated him. Always in the middle, always putting Em on edge. But back then, she was different and so was he, but he kept making Em smile and laugh despite their horrible future.
The Doctor is only keeping them alive with the intention of finding something from Em, torturing her and Finn until he finds the thing that Em stole from him. 

Four Years Ago: Meet Marina, Finn and James. All friends. Maria is in love with James, James is keeping a secret and Finn is in love with Marina. Everything goes down when Nate, James' brother, is shot. Nothing makes sense any more and James is willing to change the fact that his brother, and only family left, might die.

Four Years Ago: Finn and Em arrive four years ago, when the world was still okay and wasn't suffering from the Doctor's and Cassandra's actions. This is the fifteenth time they travel in time through Cassandra to prevent James from building it. This time there's no other way: they have to kill him.
There's no other way, because If they don't do it, there would be no time for love in the future world, no time for freedom and there'd only be one power: time travel would make its owner rule the world.

When the uncertain future and the encouraging future collide, trouble, chaos and murder is allowed. The time is clicking and the future is in Em and Finn's hands. The only thing they need to do is kill a person to save the future. But what happens when the person you have to kill is the person you love?

This summer I read a lot of time travel novels and this one was one of my favorites. Always in constant movement and with a mission, this book is full of magic, a little bit of science, romance and the idea of having a better future.

Cristin Terrill theory of time travel is a good one and the way she explains it in the book makes you believe that its real, that maybe today you will find a paradox of yourself around the corner. She creates this machine that would make possible the time travel, Cassandra. She also presents time not as a linear thing, and that this creates paradoxes and the possibility of creating chaos If a past version of you sees the future version of you. What I liked the most? The paradoxes. How Cristin "freezes" some scenes in the book and justifies it as time trying to prevent changes in the past. At least, some important changes. And that the natural course needs to be restored and that means that time tries to erase paradoxes (aka Em and Finn). I loved how she takes advantage of that scenes, where time tries to "catch" the paradoxes, and makes the main characters from the future (Finn and Em) revive some events from their past, like vivid memories that feel real, almost like its happening at that moment.
I really liked her theory and her idea and I was truly impressed to the point of falling madly in love with it.

And what makes this book a great story is that you not only experience a lot of emotions while reading the book, but you're not bored and you're always in tension, feeling the anxiety of the future characters always with a mission and trying to save the world. I remember that the first feeling I had when I finished the book was sadness. I felt sad for everything. For how an ambitious man can cause a damage so enormous to the world and arrive to a point to loose himself, to even hurt the people he loved the most just to have power. I was also sad for him, for The Doctor, because I knew, deep down, he didn't want to be bad and he yearned for an approval from the people he loved. And, finally, I felt sad for Finn and Em, their situation and the ending. At this point I was heartbroken. But my first thought was: "It must be really exhausting and must tear you apart, psychologically speaking, saving the world". 

"I'm suddenly very scared. Not of the explosion, which defies my comprehension, but of what I'll have to do when it's all over. Of what all this is for.
You have to kill him."

Another thing that makes this book so interesting is the fact that, at first you don't know everything. You know that two of the main characters are imprisoned in a cell, not knowing exactly what for. You also know another character named The Doctor, aka the bad guy, who keeps them locked down and tortures them in order to find something Em stole from him. And when they use Cassandra for the "first" time in the story everything starts to make sense, slowly. You start to receive the information along with the event that keep happening four years ago, in Marina, Finn and James' time. You know that the Finn from four years ago is the past version of the Finn who tries to safe the future, but there's no Em's past version. Or so we think at first. You also don't know where's the James' future version and why he's not with the two main characters. It's like you're part of an action movie and they are all keeping a secret and when you start to approach the end, you start to visualize the whole plot, the whole story and the secret the author was "keeping" from you. And that would blow your mind.
The exciting thing about All Our Yesterdays, as I mentioned before, is that you're lost. You don't really know what is going to happen and most of the things are so unexpected that you are always gasping and trying to predict the next move. Although when the author gives you more and more information, you start to guess some things and the astonishment and the twists are even bigger than you thought it would be. 

With the main characters, Cristin Terrill, makes sure that there's a huge change between the future version and the past version. While the past version of the main characters are genuine and happy, the future version have lived a terrible live and seen horrible things and what seemed like the most simple things, like pancakes or a Christmas, is the most beautiful thing they see in a long, long time. It's almost really sad knowing the anxieties and desires of the future versions. 

Em is a fighter. Strong and almost a wild version of her old self. She's willing to do whatever it takes to prevent the horrible future she's from and she's willing to give her old self a second chance in life. Although If that means that she would disappear. 

Marina is what you could call a naïve version of Em. I wanted to slap her and hug her at the same time. She's so blind with James that it makes me want to shake her until she comes to her senses. She has an awesome guy next to her, always attentive and hoping that she sees him like she sees James, that it made me want to cry. And why I felt sad? Because she doesn't realize what her future is and that James is not interested in her. He might care about her, but I knew from the first instant that he didn't love her. I was hoping that she would realize who really was there for her and who really loved her.

Finn is what bring the idea of true and pure love to the story. He has a great heart. Not only his future version, the tortured one that even in the darkest days he tries to keep smiling and making Em smile, but also his past version. I am madly in love with him and not only because I imagine him super, super hot and super, super cute and good person, but because he always tries to make Em smile and his old self is always helping his mom and being a responsible guy. (*sigh*). Yes, ladies, I fell in love. And what makes him the ideal boyfriend? He's always thinking of Em's feelings. Sweet, I know. Even If that means breaking his own heart. (*double sigh*).

"He sighs, "I just wish I could see you."
I scoot closer to the wall, until I'm pressed against it, and I spread my fingers against the concrete blocks like it's him I'm touching. It's foolish, and I'm glad he can't see it, but it makes me feel a little better. "Me too."
"Remember when you used to hate me?"
I laugh-sniff-hiccup. "Well, you used to be insufferable."
"I think incorrigible is a better word.""

The Doctor is the great representation of what ambition, power and some ideals might do to a man who once was a good boy with a shy and geeky character. He kills in cold blood and thinks that everything is fair in the game he's playing. He's going to be important and he's going to do great things. He'd safe a lot of people by killing a thousand or a hundred, but he thinks that that's what you could call "collateral damage". 

James is the good, shy and geeky boy. The usual next door boy with a high IQ and with a lot of ideas and visions for the future. I was really sad to see that he was keeping his ambition in secret and that he is willing to pursue his ideas and dreams even when people tell him that he's going to rip the world apart. I felt also sad when I discovered that, deep down, he was still an innocent boy who didn't want to be like The Doctor and that this innocence makes him still believe that he has the chance to be a good person and do things right.

I was kind of crying at the end of the book and didn't want to read it. However I didn't expect anything different from it. It was almost like destiny. The ending was perfect, and a little bit mysterious. I am definitely waiting for the second book in the Cassandra Chronicles and hope to see a happy, happy, happy (yes, three happy) ending.

Book Addicts, we are giving this wonderful and fantastic world a five gorjuss dolls because you know now that we are madly in love with it and that we not only liked it, but absolutely adore it. We are waiting for the second book and this anxious feeling is only left but an incredible story and a must read book. So listen to us, Book Addicts, and give a chance to All Our Yesterdays. It's a worth reading book and you'll get hooked by the story from the first page. Tomorrow Bookdepository will send me my paperback copy and I can promise you that I would read it again and again!
Enter into Marina, Em, James, Finn and The Doctor's world and let Em safe the world!

""Finn," I say, "if we can do it, if we change things, I'll never fall in love with you. And you'll never fall in love with me."
"Don't be so sure," he says, pressing his forehead to mine. "I think I was in love with you long before any of this started."

William Moseley as James
Holland Roden as Em
Daniel Sharman as Finn

What do you think, Book Addicts?

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