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All Our Wrong Todays

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This intelligent, fast paced novel asks (and answers) an interesting question: what happens when the world you were supposed to have disappears...and it's all your fault?

2016 is a technological utopia - a fact largely taken for granted by perennial slacker Tom Barren.  A consistent underachiever, Tom nevertheless finds himself a part of the team of the world's first time travelers (thanks in large part to a little nepotism from his brilliant but emotionally absent father).  But when one wrong decision changes the course of the future, Tom finds himself in a very different 2016 - ours.

Told with a quick witted, honest, very often laugh out loud first person voice, All Our Wrong Todays is a sci-fi book that is accessible to even the most novice of sci-fi readers.  Fully engrossing and more than a little though-provoking, this is the kind of book readers will find difficult to put down.
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This sci fi futuristic novel posed a lot of interesting questions – think time travel, alternative universes and existentialism. This debut novel is witty and engaging, a treat even for those who ordinarily recoil at the thought of reading science fiction.

“Time travel is very bad at fixing mistakes. What it’s very good at is creating even worse mistakes.”

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I can see that this book has a potential audience out there, but I am not part of it.  The book is written in a very stream of consciousness/conversational tone that made it very hard for me to read.  Then there is TONS of science key to the plot, and I'm not talking about light science fiction, this is cold, hard graduate level science.  If you can't get past that part and enjoy it, you will really struggle with this book.  I could not finish it.  I had read 15 chapters without the true purpose being yet revealed behind the plot.  No love interest or anything.  I just couldn't get invested in the main character or anyone else by that point and didn't care to continue.
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I'll admit that I put this book down about 10% into it. There was way too much technical explanation about this rosy future and how everything worked. That really didn't sit well with me though because when I get these books to review, I take the opportunity seriously.
I am so glad that I picked it back up. If you can get past the technical jargon-which is necessary and occasionally mentioned by the narrator that it's a big much-it's well worth it. The middle of the story has some heartwarming family moments and great character development. The end of it reads like a movie and you have no idea where it's going to end up.
Just a quick synopsis-Tom is living in a different 2016 than we do. Many world problems have been solved by free and clean energy. Tom is miserable though-no close friends, his father hates him and his mother has died. This Tom is useless. After a strange twist of fate, Tom time-travels back to 1965 and through his own actions, ruins the 2016 he knew and enters a 2016 where he's happier but the world isn't. What should he do? What about when the alternate version of Tom from our 2016 pops up named John? I won't say anything else but there are tons of twists and turns-trust me that I haven't ruined the story for you!
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This one! This is a good one! I'm shaking my head slightly at how rapidly it moved but it was definitely a good one.

I've got to admit, this started off really slowly and if I wasn't reading to review, I probably would have put it down. However, once it sucked me in, it sucked me in hardcore. Probably around the quarter mark--or whenever the whimsically perfect yet tragically flawed character of Penelope was introduced--I became extremely invested very fast.

I felt like the final few chapters were rushed... As they basically encompass an entire lifetime, the book would have been far too drawn out, lengthy, and bloated if it had expanded upon these chapters so I'm not really sure how I'd fix that, but I did feel like it got to a point where Tom was speeding through the story.

On the topic of Tom. What a character. And again, the ending became too rushed. But the faucets of him that made him who he was, how all the various memories and parts of him intertwined to create him, those were strong. 

As with all books about time travel, there were some aspects of this that I found challenging to comprehend or really understand. However, I found the basic premises that the science of the book was based upon was believable and comprehensible, and I appreciate how it was explained by someone who seemed to have about the same grasp on science as I do.

I appreciated the understanding of human desires and the perspective that time brings us. While at moments it was heartbreaking, unfair, this was one thread of the book that really stayed with me.

This might take a little time to sink into and it was complex at points, but it was well crafted and compelling.
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All Our Wrong Todays is a fascinating take on what could be.. if one could time travel and follow the timeline that gives you the life you would have if you did things just a tad differently.   The set up for the book took a while to get through.  Once you get through it.. the book flows wonderfully!
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if you like strange , wunderous stories this is the book for you
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disclaimer – i received a copy of this book via penguin group/dutton in exchange for an honest review.

imagine that the world that is only is because the world as it was supposed to be changed as the result of one man’s decision to act. confusing isn’t it? the world that is isn’t supposed to be, only you don’t know that because you’re in the world that is. tom barren knows, though, because he made the decision that changed everything.

all our wrong todays is a sad, funny, honest, and lyrical look at the perils of time travel and what the term “alternate reality” really means. it combines complex science with beautifully heartbreaking memories of a life remembered but never lived. in tom barren, elan mastai has created a character who is relatable, compelling, and semi-tragic. even while yelling at him to not be so stupid, you can’t help but hope he can make it work.

all our wrong todays is a brilliant debut that masterfully weaves the present, the past, a new present, and another possible new present into a coherent whole without sacrificing character development or neglecting the overarching truth that in the end we all  have to decide what version of ourselves we want to be.

four out of five stars
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Tom Barren is a man who makes a rash decision to time travel to the past leaving his utopian world behind.  He ends up in 2015 through a malfunction of the time travel machine.  He has to decide if he wants to live his life in this alternative reality or go back to his utopian reality.  In his utopian reality, he is a "loser" in regards to his career and love life.  His overachieving father steps in and has Tom be an understudy of Penelope to be the backup in case she isn't able to time travel.  Tom doesn't understand the instructions given to him by Penelope.  He does fall in love with her.  Does Tom go back to his utopian reality?  

A time travel novel that at one point gets too technical for me to enjoy that part of the novel.  It is a different path of a story about time travel.  It is about relationships and finding where a person's life is able to exist with happiness.  This story does have comedy, romance and science fiction -- an unusual mix for a time travel novel.  It is a good novel but at times, I did find it difficult to continue reading it.  It put me off due to his writing style.
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On the surface, All Our Wrong Todays, the debut novel by Elan Mastai is a roller coaster ride of science fantasy with travel through time and place. Below the surface is an inward journey for the main character Tom Barren with philosophical statements on self-discovery, relationships, and life. Either way, the book is an entertaining page-turner that leaves me with a lot to think about.

Read my complete review at

Reviewed for NetGalley and the Penguin First to Read program
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Ok so I know once you read the synopsis of this book, many of you will think "Aw man, Sci-Fi Time Travel? Not interested." Then you will move on to the next book on my review list. But WAIT!!! This book is so wonderful please give it a shot. I had so much fun reading it. I was equal parts dying for it to be over so I knew how it ended and devastated that the end was quickly approaching because I was having so much fun reading it.

Tom Barren lives in 2016 just like we do (well did until the New Year a few days ago). But his 2016 is not like ours. He lives in the version of 2016 that was predicted to occur by scientists in 1965. A future where cars do not drive on roads they instead fly, getting dressed involves an automated system that cuts and stitches a new outfit every morning, mattresses subtly vibrate to keep your muscles loose, and targeted steam valves clean your body while you sleep just to name a few things. Doesn't that sound amazing?? Tom and his father have never gotten along. His father is a genius who is just about finished with his Time Travel Invention and Tom is just, well, a screw up. When Tom's mother dies, his father decides that Tom should come work with him in his lab and become the understudy to one of his Chrononauts. Chrononauts are basically Time Travel Tourists and this group of them are the original group testing out the machine. They are getting ready to travel back to 1965  in order to witness the beginning of their technological revolution. In July of 1965 a man named Lionel Goettreider created an engine that harnessed the power of Earth's rotation in order to power everything on the planet using unlimited clean energy. The night before the culmination of his fathers life work is about to happen, Tom and his fellow Chrononaut Penelope (whom he has fallen for) spend the night together which results in the termination of Penelope's ability to be a part of the mission to 1965. Because of this Penelope is heartbroken with tragic results. Tom, ever the great decision maker decides he is going to complete the mission by himself. Of course, as with most time travel things go wrong! What ensues is a exciting journey into an alternate version (our normal version) of 2016 in which his other self named John is a world renown architect. Funnily enough, the architecture he is most known for is based on the building designs Tom is used to where he comes from. There must be a little bit of Tom in John or vice versa. Tom considers our time a dystopia and I can see why after hearing about all the amazing inventions he lives with daily. In this alternate version of 2016, John (Tom) has a warm loving family with the addition of a sibling he can see is his everything. He also meets and very quickly falls for the Penelope (Penny) in this version of 2016 too. Now he is faced with a dilemma, does he stay in this wonderful time where things are going great, or does he try and fix his giant mistake in order to save everyone he lost from his world? There are so many cool twists and turns that I am going to stop my review here. I don't want to spoil any of the surprises! I really hope you read this. I will say that I wasn't a huge fan of the rushed ending. I liked the ending itself, but really thought more time could have been spent on it. A new character was introduced very late in the book and the explanation of where he was from could have been drawn out better with the details given to us slower. Not in rapid succession to move the story along. That's my only criticism really. I enjoyed the narrators quirky way of telling the story as if it was a memoir. He did the "direct talk" to the reader a few times to explain how he knew that some of these time travel science experiments were a bit hard to understand which I found endearing.

5 Stars! I feel like I am becoming a broken record with these 5 Star reviews and I swear I don't just give them out to all the books I read. I have just been reading a lot of good ones lately.
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Not for me, sorry. I slogged through the whole book, hoping it would get better/redeem itself, but it never did. Among other things, I found the protagonist unlikable,  and the ending disappointing.
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