So. Em is in a prison cell and fixated on the drain and doesn't know why but eventually she steals a plastic dinner spoon and pries off the drain cover and finds a LETTER from several past iterations of her SELF and for a bit you are like, I am reading the second novel of a trilogy, somehow I have missed the first and that's why this isn't making sense, but you just have to WAIT.
It is worth it. TRUST.
And it's splendidly done. About 80 pages in, I figured out the identity of one of the shadowy future figures and it broke my heart a little bit, because I was already VERY INVESTED EMOTIONALLY. And Em is yet another strong female heroine, with emotions and insecurities and also stalwartness and there can never be enough of these to suit me.
And the writing is competent to good, occasionally venturing into extremely good. There's a moment where one character 'stares at the floor with a fine line creasing his brow. Like the thin maroon carpet has insulted him.' That's JK Rowling-level descriptioning right thurrrr.
There is a love triangle, obviously. How else would you know what genre of book it was? But I liked it, and felt like it augmented the Actual Story instead of leeching from it. All Our Yesterdays is, as far as I can tell, a stand-alone and not the first of a trilogy so way to break the mold on that one.
I mean that in all sincerity.
I don't want to say too much, not because it's all TWISTY, but because for some books, figuring out what's happening is at least a quarter of the fun. Maybe a fifth.
Eight and a half caterpillars!