Friday, July 1, 2016

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

This had potential but the focus on the romantic subplot over the time travel weakened it and made for some slow reading, particularly in the beginning. Marina is sixteen and comes from a rich family where the dad works all the time and the mom is unhappy with her inability to be successful as an artist. Marina makes friends with James, the neighbor, a couple of years older than her, whose parents died and is being raised by Nate, his Congressman brother. James has a 168 IQ and is working on his Ph.D. He struggles with relationships except with Marina and Finn, a friend from school. When a tragedy happens, Marina and Finn are there for James as they try to unravel the mystery.

I would have liked more focus on the mystery or time travel than the romance. There are too many gaps in it and the end rushes the answers rather than slowly unveiling them throughout the plot. The beginning pacing with Em was good but it went from clues into the romantic subplot. Marina has a girl crush on James but by the end it is supposed to be deeper, only it doesn't make sense after all he's done to her. In the beginning Marina's storyline as a young and shallow person is weak compared to Em's that is full of tension. I thought the tension got lost during the romantic subplot and some of the plot twists obvious. Except the ending. That was confusing and poorly done with flashbacks. Finn's background relationship with James isn't really explained. James is out of school but the two met in school? Except he's a new friend. Perhaps I missed something.

There are some stereotypes that left me uncomfortable. Marina's parents are one dimensional self-centered people, while Luz is the motherly type in Marina's life. This is not developed. Marina wears dorky pajamas Luz gave her over to James house that shows actually how much she loves Luz. There are more instances but they are few and far between. Also, the author tells the reader how Marina feels more than shows and it works against creating a complex character. The first person point of view also works against giving rounded characters. James becomes a one dimensional character and Finn isn't developed enough to understand his motives except being in love with Em. Time travel books and movies are found in abundance and when done well can be very interesting, but this one misses the mark for me.

3 Smileys

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