I’ve been wanting to read All Our Wrong Todays every since it came out earlier this year. I decided to finally pick it up a few weeks ago, when I wasn’t really in the mood for anything, and it ended up being a great choice.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
(From Goodreads) 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 one of the most unique things I’ve read this year. It is a science fiction novel that recalled a few of my favorites – specifically, Dark Matter and The Martian – and made for a fun, engaging read. I really enjoyed the science fiction elements of this novel. I thought the time travel premise was interesting, and I found that the scientific “facts” provided a good basis for what was actually happening in the story. A few of the more elaborate details might have gone a bit over my head, but I think they made the book feel more realistic and grounded. That said, if you thought The Martian featured too much science, you might have the same issue with this book. But, if you’re like me, and loved that element of The Martian, I think you’re really going to enjoy this book. Especially since it has a similar sense of humor.
I liked that this book was very character-driven, especially in the context of science fiction. I thought it was brilliant that the main character, Tom, is decidedly average. He is stuck with a genius, though distant, father, which propels him into a situation in which he makes colossal (and relatable) mistakes that change the world as he knows it. This is not a sci-fi book where the protagonist solves every problem with his amazing knowledge. I think it’s very unique in that way, and it’s definitely one of the things I enjoyed most about this book.
I’ve read a few reviews saying this book was a quick read. And while I enjoyed it, that wasn’t really my experience. Despite the humor, this book was a bit more dense than I was expecting. I was engaged by the story almost immediately, but I found I could only read so much at once before I started to glaze over all the science. It did get a bit better towards the end – or maybe I had just gotten used to it by that point – and I finished the last third of the book in a single sitting. This might not have been a particularly fast read for me, but I still loved it and found it entirely worthwhile.
My only criticism, really, was the ending. It felt very anticlimactic. And, for some reason, the big conflict at the end didn’t excite me, which was a little bit disappointing. It fell a little flat. However, I honestly don’t think I would have been satisfied with any ending to this book, because the book wasn’t set up that way. And, I think a few parts of the ending got a little too weird, even for me, and I don’t think it flowed with the rest of the story as well as I might have liked.
★★★★☆ – Overall, I really enjoyed All Our Wrong Todays. I thought it was creative and original and fun. I am glad I finally got around to reading it, because it is easily one of the best science fiction novels I’ve read in a while. If you loved The Martian, you are going to like this.
All Our Wrong Todays is available in bookstores now – you can pick up a copy on Amazon.
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose All Our Wrong Todays as one of your two free books.
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