My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A woodland creature walks along a fairly dusty road, when his eyes catch upon a shiny-something-or-the-other. He picks it up, has his elbows and ass blown to pulp and smithereens, end of story. Thank you very much.
Disclaimer: I am in no way propagating, or perpetuating, violence, especially against a species of logic-defying, nauseatingly cute, shallow creatures of the woods(hah!) of the magic variety. Any form of aggression shown towards a specimen of the concerned species shall be independent of my jokes and/or very definitely not instigated and disseminated by me.
What do you do when you a book to be reviewed, a review that can’t be written, a heart in shambles and a woodland creature bugging you from afar?
Now, we’re done.
There were a girl with a spoon and a boy with no face, in a cage in the future; there were a girl with love and a boy with a life, in the normalcy of the past. People ate, shat and occasionally popped out a wee baby.
All these things, and a thousand like them, came to pass in and close upon four years around now. Environed by them, those two of the female species, and those other two of the male species, trod with stir enough, and carried out tasks that tried them through time and again.
All Our Yesterdays is a book that takes you places, whether you are keen to visit them or not. It’ll hold your hand and dip alongside you in cold fire, watch its pages burn and as you breakdown, slap you across the face with urgency, telling you to wallow later. A fist to the heart and the last page later, it’ll abandon you but not its memories and the dilemma it cast inside you. Besides being a mesmerizing and brilliant tale of friendship, love and betrayal(jeez, I make it sound like a typical soap opera), it gently probes the darker side of ambition and the will to do good, with the definition of good being subjective.
The characters are also so human and intriguing. Terril doesn’t do her characterization by plunking down a list of contradictory adjectives to make her characters multidimensional, instead she molds them gently in a landmine of human emotions and circumstances that ensue, and the woe that befalls us all. As the shit shoots across the stars, every step of their journey develops Marina, Finn and James into persons of interest and dimensions. Someone that it hurts to lose, and it hurts to observe. Marina, the shallow but devout girl, slowly but surely sculpts into Em, the one who never got away. It broke me as I watched her try to save her past self, her love for the girl she once was, the girl who would soon face horrors beyond her most terrible nightmares.
Reader Random Trivia:
Any character whose name starts with the four letters: Finn, is bound to burn you heart and pluck all your feathers of indifference. Cases in point:
Finnikin of the Rock: Finnikin of the Rock
Catching Fire:Finnick Odair
All Our Yesterdays:Finn Abbot
And James was a creature bound to soar across the galaxies and comets… He was the wildcard, but also his future was definite, his actions were set in stone. Perfect case for a nature vs nurture study. Does the bad always lurk beneath the surface, and no matter the circumstances, it’ll come out? Or is the other way around, do the circumstances(and future selves) shape us? Is our potential decided as children, or do we shape it as the world around us sashays its arse around us?
However, the question that haunts me, that exacts of me both ruth and regret, is: Is it okay to snuff out the life of a beloved innocent, like a candle flame, to stop the future he’ll bring along, or would you be even capable of doing that?
Another cookie point(or thousand, you take ’em all) to Ms Terrill is for simply and clearly explaining the conundrums of time travel, and its consequences. The political ramifications and the wars that could ensue, how you could prevent larger calamities by instigating tiny ones and how one could set their past in motion. The book worked on and around the definition of evil given by a very creepy guy:
Evil is the bad that believes it good.
The parallel between the Stein;s Gate are unmistakable. BUT, for me, being a story about a guy his desperate fervor to save his best friend from his own actions, Stein;s Gate had a wholly different impact on your truly. It was sorta James’s story. On the other hand, All Our Yesterdays is Suzaha Amane’s story, except more bittersweet and severe, because Em knows and loves the one she has to kill. In the end, they are both CAPITAL AWESOME and you shouldn’t experience one without the other. Or you know what you’ll be and you don’t wanna be that
Ms Terrill managed to terrify, break and remake me, in not that particular order. The book is sure to frequent my daydreams for times to come. And I am dying here for the sequel(if there even is one)! Of character-starvation! Somebody fix me! Or not, I really don’t mind it!
Side problem with the editing: The first POV’s of chapters 15 and 33 have been denoted erroneously.
A review copy was provided by the publishers and they didn’t even charge my soul or first born(probably because they realized I had neither). Even so, I’d have gladly gotten one(a soul) on the black market for them, had they asked.