All Our Wrong Todays: A Novel - Elan Mastai


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.

All Our Wrong Todays is about the versions of ourselves that we shed and grow into over time. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. Filled with humor and heart, and saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.


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.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.