History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Publishing Date: January 17, 2017
Publisher: Soho Press
Young Adult Contemporary
The Premise from the Publisher: "When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course. To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart. If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life" (Soho Press).
My overall thoughts and review: This was my first Adam Silvera book, and I decided to go with the Audible version. Well done, Tom Picasso, for bringing the characters of Griffin, Theo, Jackson, and Wade to life for me. I just knew from the premise that I was getting into a book that did not have a happy ending, since it begins with Theo's death. I definitely got emotional a few moments listening to this book, so prepare yourself for the feels. Griffin, Theo, and Wade, were a trio of friends, and things got a bit complicated when Theo and Griffin confessed their love to each other and started dating. They were each other's first loves, and things got complicated when Theo was accepted early into university. They broke up, and thinking they both would be endgame, things didn't seem that bad, until Theo met Jackson. The story is told from two perspectives: present time & history. We slowly learn about Griffin and his relationships, while simultaneously seeing him deal with grief and mourning the death of Theo. Things get complicated when Griffin decides to befriend Jackson, because he wants to learn the truth of what really happened that day that Theo drowned. He also feels like he can ~be~ with Theo by learning about their experiences. At the same time, Griffin is also dealing with the fact that he has compulsions which lead to dangerous and destructive choices. His family is so incredibly supportive. I especially loved his father's loyalty to him. Even though Griffin does agree to get help and go to therapy towards the end of the book and work through his compulsions, I felt like this component could've been explored a bit further in the book. I would've liked to learn more about Griffin's recovery. His destructive choices were questionable and I found it really difficult at times to feel empathy for him, but it just shows that everyone deals with grief in their own way. I also really liked the friendship dynamic with Wade and just how there was a lot of friendship themes going on (Jackson also had his own problems with his friends). It really stresses the importance of friendship during dark times. The book did take a few twists that I did not expect, so kudos to Silvera for surprising me there! I really enjoyed the book and I felt genuine concern for these characters. I got to see them at their best moments and worst moments and I loved how authentic the entire story felt when it comes to death and mourning. I also really liked all the nerdy references throughout the book like Harry Potter & Star Wars. Overall, this is a lovely story about falling in love for the first time, coming out, and dealing with the loss of a loved one. I am already anticipating Silvera's next book They Both Die At End and I can just sense from the title of that one that it will once again bring all the feels!
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)
Available for purchase at:
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