I finished “All Our Yesterdays” by Cristin Terrill a few weeks ago and forgot to post my review on here (you can find it on my Goodreads, as well). But when a book is THIS awesome, I have to spread the word about it, however delayed it may be.
THIS BOOK BLEW MY MIND! It was the most gripping story I have read in a long time, and I felt a bond with each character. From the very first page to the last, the story is non-stop action and intrigue. I promise not to spoil the story for you, because there are plenty of plot twists, but every single character–past, present, and future–pull you in as a reader; you cannot help but feel drawn to them, and their actions and the reasons behind who they are make them seem incredibly real. I will admit that Marina and her friends bothered me a little at first, but her character growth was so incredible and realistic for who she was that I ended up truly caring for her.
As a fellow time travel author, I really appreciated–and loved!–Terrill’s take on the subject. It wasn’t too far-fetched or complicated for the reader to follow, but she still managed to throw in loopholes and scientific elements that added complexity to the story and forced you to pay attention, while also making the entire notion seem very real and possible. A few times I caught myself nodding and thinking, “Whoah, this could have already happened!”
There was nothing I didn’t like about the book!
The relationships are so different and have so many layers (Marina and James, Em and Finn), and Finn stole my heart in twelve different lifetimes! I also loved the younger characters, and Em, though rough around the edges, felt so real to me in her actions and thoughts, her fears and desires. I was in tears the last thirty pages, and my heart was literally clenched in dread. I bawled over the last chapter, but in such a good, sad way. Then I went into my sister’s room clutching the book to my chest with my red eyes, and she just nodded sympathetically, because she knew. BUT DO NOT LET THAT KEEP YOU FROM THIS STORY! It ends beautifully and perfectly, but I had to allow myself time to mourn the loss of someone’s future. The fact that this author forced me to love so many characters, even those who thrived in this life and those who might cease to exist, makes her an A in my book! I was a little surprised when I discovered that a sequel to “All Our Yesterdays” will be coming out soon, but I trust Terrill with my book-loving heart. Bring it on, girl!
The week of Gentleness brought to mind a few ideas; it reminded me of Kindness and Goodness, so once again I was faced with the dilemma of trying to come at this week from a different angle. I mean, it’s singled out like the other eight Fruits, so obviously there is a reason for that. My problem was figuring out just what that reason was, exactly. So I went back to my mental checklist, going over the similar characteristics, and somehow the term “meek” popped into my head as a synonym. But, stubborn as I am, I pretty much shrugged it off, because that adjective brings to mind one word: weak. And I did not think that you all would take too kindly to me telling you to be weaklings, and it just didn’t seem right.
“The meek shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
But meek was the term that kept showing its face in the pile of Kindness, Goodness, Love, and Patience. So I did a little research and was reminded of the verse above. I still wasn’t getting it. Okaaaaay, so we let ourselves get plowed over and stand down, and that means we’re deserving? That did not seem right (I’ve learned during this challenge to trust my gut and keep digging; I usually discover what I’m looking for). Then I looked up the definition of Gentle. The first few definitions didn’t surprise me much (kind, amiable, moderate, etc.). But then it stated that Gentleness implies being of good birth, honorable, respectable, to ennoble; dignify. All right, I could deal with that. And then it defined Gentle in a way that really threw me: entitled to a coat of arms. Are you trying to tell me that by being meek and Gentle—weak, by my assumption—one is actually embodying strength? Ka-pow! That was my mind being blown. The two seem completely opposite to me, but there it was. Then I looked at this verse again and realized that different translations make it clear that if God’s people are humble and honorable servants, then He will give the earth to them. I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty hefty promise.
Being Gentle doesn’t mean that you have to by weak or feeble-minded. No. It means embodying a Gentle strength that that will win battles and rule nations—some of the greatest wars are not always fought with brute force. Gentleness also requires you to put your Kindness and Love and Goodness back into practice, but I also think it means that you have to use wisdom to know when to remain silent and when God is calling you to act.
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
When you’re young, you feel like the current moment and relationships in it will last forever. But the minute change occurs, it feels like the end of the world. Graduation means leaving behind the familiarity of four years spent in the same lunchroom with the same group of friends. You promise to stay connected as everyone goes off to different colleges, taking career paths that draw everyone in opposite directions. Sometimes you keep in touch and maintain those close friendships you had in high school. But, oftentimes, you grow apart and lose touch as everyone forges a new life for themselves.
I was homeschooled up through high school, so I never had to say those painful goodbyes on graduation day. That’s not to say I haven’t had my share of farewells to bid. My family and I have moved around several times, and I’ve had to leave friends behind in the process. Over the years, I lost contact with many of my friends back in Colorado as we changed and drifted apart. But a bump in the road often reveals who your true friends are—someone who will walk with you in both the sunshine and the shade. My friend, Rebekah, is such a person. There are too many good memories of our times together to pick a favorite. Friends since infancy, we have shared countless sleepovers where our secrets and wildest dreams were whispered in the dead of night over a bowl of popcorn and cans of Dr. Pepper. I smile when I think of her dancing like a crazy person to “U Can’t Touch This” to keep awake, and then her priceless reaction to me consuming three dill pickles after midnight. Rebekah was the childhood friend I laughed hysterically with over absolutely nothing, and she was the first one I would call and cry to when it felt like everything was caving in.
It’s odd; her friendship was the only one that I should have been truly concerned over losing in all the moving madness, and yet I never even considered the fact that we might drift apart. Sure, we’ve grown up and changed, but I like to think our friendship has only grown with us—we’ve changed, but our bond has remained the same. This post is actually a day late because Rebekah Facetimed me while I was writing about her, and we spent two hours talking and laughing like we had just seen each other yesterday. She makes me smile when I think about all the crazy things we’ve done and the memories we’ve made together. There honestly is not a single word that you could use to describe Rebekah; she’s too fantastic and timeless to put in a box. There are some things that she does where those who know her just say with great fondness,” That’s so Rebekah,” because it really is! She’s the forever friend everyone should have.
I have come to the realization that true friends are the ones who walk in when everyone else walks out. A true friend is someone whom you can count on—someone who has seen your worst and loves you all the more for it. Change doesn’t mean the end of the world—not even close! I guarantee you’ll meet some incredible new people who make you smile and laugh and thank God that you have such true friends (Olivia, Gabriela, and Veronica—I’m talking to you ladies!). And there will also be those constant stars, like my Rebekah, who will stay faithfully by your side for the whole journey.
“When we consider the blessings of God—the gifts that add beauty and joy to our lives, that enable us to keep going through stretches of boredom and even suffering—friendship is very near the top.”