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A beautifully subtle kind of Sci-Fi,
This review is from: All Our Yesterdays (Paperback)
When you hear "Science Fiction", do you think of television series such Star Wars or Doctor Who?, or literature works like Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (later to be adapted into the film Blade Runner)? I do.
But when I picked up debut author Cristin Terrill's novel of time-travel, All Our Yesterdays, I wasn't expecting to start reading what is, quite simply, a love story.
Terrill captured me with the classic in medias res by starting the story with Em, a fierce, feisty and passionate young woman who has been captured by who we only know as "the doctor". I asked all the questions I'm sure Terrill wanted me to: why has she been captured? Who is "the doctor"? How will she escape? And because of this, I was unable to stop turning the pages in my quest to find the answer.
I next met Marina, a teenage girl who, like most of us at the tender age of sixteen, has a desperate need to love, be loved, and belong. She speaks in a fresh, unfettered and most importantly, normal voice that lacks the somewhat "flowery" poetry that I've come across in a lot of YA novels, instead making plain, bold statements that have the power to make you laugh and fall in love with her instantly. Em is very similar with her slightly older, significantly wiser and yet still bluntly honest narrative, and the two of them take you on a journey that is so honest and true to humanity that I'm sure I won't forget it for a long time.
One of the things I loved most about All Our Yesterdays is that Terrill was able to take such a simple idea and put her own, wildly entertaining and well-thought out spin on it. Many of us would love to go back and change the world as we know it, and when I finished this book, one of my first thoughts was that I'm surprised nobody has taken this angle already. The complicated plot is cleverly masked with normal, human rites of passage such as learning to love yourself, learning to accept love in any form, and accepting that even though the past may cause us trouble in the future, our inability to change it means that we have no choice but to learn from it. A very simple lesson which is taught to us in a funny, heart-wrenching, exhilarating journey with three friends that I'm sure in one way or another, anybody could identify with. Definitely a must-read.