Monday, May 15, 2017
Review: All Our Wrong Todays
Title: All Our Wrong Todays
Author: Elan Mastai
Year published: 2017
How I got this book: I got this as an e-arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
My rating: 3 stars
You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren's 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed ... because it wasn't necessary.
Except Tom just can't seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that's before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life, but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.
But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and -maybe, just maybe - his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom's search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future - our future - is supposed to be.
I went into this book wanting to like it, I really did, but I just couldn't. Something didn't feel right to me, and it just irked me the wrong way. With that said, if you have read it and enjoyed it, I'm happy for you. People enjoy different things, and this review is just how I feel about it. This does not mean that any other opinions are wrong, they are just different, and I respect them.
I have to start with Tom, our main character. He is obnoxious, arrogant and incredibly self-centered. Yes, he is the narrator of this book, but I haven't disliked a main character this much in a long, long time. Several times throughout this book I just wanted to slap him, and yell at him to get himself together and stop acting the way he did. But I couldn't do that, because, obviously, he is just a character in a fictional book.
All Our Wrong Todays is written as a memoir, from Tom himself. This is clear throughout the book, and I did enjoy that it didn't have the normal narrative style. However, this also made me dislike Tom a lot, maybe more than if it had been written like a novel. One of my biggest problems with Tom is his obsession with Penny/Penelope, depending on which reality we're talking about. He is so infatuated with her, that he literally goes back in time to make sure she doesn't die. However, in doing that, he erases his entire timeline, and ends up in "our" 2016. You would think that would be the end of it, but no. He somehow finds Penny in the other reality, convinced that they're supposed to be together. Never mind the fact that she has now idea who he is, or that time-travel is possible. He is so obsessed with her, and I just couldn't take it. It really irritated be throughout the story.
The author included a lot of science in this book, which some probably finds really interesting. I wish I did, but it made me lose focus, and I ended up skimming about half the book. I didn't really care for all the science-talk, it only distracted me. And even so, not all of the science made sense. Or even all of the plot, some things were really confusing, and made it hard to follow the story.
To me, it seems like Elan Mastai had a great idea, but he was, unfortunately, not able to execute it that well. I appreciate the idea he had, and it is interesting, but the book didn't do it for me. The 2016 Tom comes from seems great, and I really wish we could have seen more of that, because that really intrigued me with this story.
Though I am sorry to say that I will not be recommending this to any of my friends, I have to say that this book isn't terrible. If you like time-travel, science, or this book just seems interesting, I think you should give it a go, and hopefully, you'll enjoy it more than I did.
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