Review: History Is All You Left Me


history-is-all-you-left-meHistory is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Published by: Soho Press

Date of Publication: January 17th 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ

Pages: 320

Format: eGalley (Edelweiss)

Rating:★★★★★ ALL The Stars In The Galaxy!

 

*I’d like to thank Soho Press & Adam Silvera for the eGalley of History Is All You Left Me via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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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.

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History Is All You Left Me starts off with the main protagonist Griffin getting ready to attend his ex-boyfriend Theo’s funeral. Griffin has not come to fully accept the tragedy that is Theo’s death and so he begins to tell us his tale in chapters that alternate between  “History” and “Today”

Griffin and Theo were best friends since childhood before their relationship turned romantic. Griffin, Theo, and Wade were basically the modern day Three Musketeers who did everything together and their parents all knew each other. In “History” we get introduced to these three friends who enjoy playing video games, Harry Potter, reading, putting together huge puzzles, and inventing zombie apocalypse stories. During one of their usual excursions to Brooklyn on the L train (my borough whoop whoop!), Griffin & Theo’s relationship turns into something more than just friends. I loved the build-up to this moment and the chemistry between them was fully felt on my end. Wade expresses a bit of apprehension at the possible change in friendship dynamics now that he would be the odd man out but they promise to never put him in an awkward position. We get to see their friendship continue and get stronger. Things begin to change when Theo is advised by his school counselor to apply for Harvard early. Theo decides to skip on Harvard but does decide to apply to his top college of choice in Los Angeles which would mean leaving Griffin behind in New York. Griffin decides to be fully supportive even when the mere thought of not seeing Theo on the daily was suffocating and anxiety inducing. They decide to make the best of it just in case he does get accepted. I thought we were going to see them experience a long distance relationship but for some reason, I was glad that it wasn’t the case here. Griffin is a character who suffers from OCD and the representation here is one that I am beyond satisfied with, being that I myself have mild OCD. Griffin knows himself well and through plenty of self reflection he just knew that long distance & all of it’s pitfalls isn’t something he would be able to manage. Though they decide to maintain their friendship through Skype calls, handwritten letters and care packages, long distance eventually does take its toll. Theo starts to date Jackson who Griffin believes to be his real life clone and things take a turn for the awkward. Its during this time that Griffins OCD compulsions begin to take him down a path of self destruction…

In the “Today” chapters Griffin who hasn’t fully accepted Theo’s death, talks to him as if he were still alive and walks him through all of his emotions before and after their break-up. The things that he did while Theo was away at college and the things he did after learning of his death. History Is All You Left Me is a character driven book and one of the best ones i’ve read at that. Griffins mind isn’t one that can be forced to accept what he is not ready to accept. We get to see his thought process during his journey to acceptance and it’s not a pretty one but it is a more realistic one than if he were to have just completely moved on after loving Theo for so long. The “Today” chapters also see Griff come to terms with his secrets, ones that he can no longer confess to now that Theo is gone but nonetheless will bring to light since he believes Theo is listening & seeing all that he does.

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I couldn’t get enough of Griffin, Theo, and Wade which is probably why I finished this book in two days. Their friendship is pretty awesome and nerdy with plenty of pop culture references. The guys love leaving Manhattan and venturing into hipster Brooklyn or meet up at one of their homes after school. It was through these after school hangouts that we get introduced to Griffin & Theo’s parents who i’m just going to go ahead and say it…2nd fave set of parentals only to be beat by Molly & Arthur Weasley! They’re simply amazingly supportive, understanding, loving and welcoming human beings that I wish every young adult had in their lives. I also enjoyed Griffin & Theo when they were dating because of how positive this relationship was portrayed. Griffin & Theo truly loved each other, looked out for one another, and supported each other. Theo fully accepted Griffin’s compulsions and never once made him feel crazy. He learned all of Griffin’s ways and was the perfect missing puzzle piece (if you’ve read HIAYLM, you’ll know what I just did there LOL). I can’t forget about Wade aka the third musketeer who is an AMAZING best friend to Theo & Griffin but overall just a really cool guy. His besties decide to date each other & besides the initial conversation, he is fully supportive of them. I love that Adam gave us a chance to get to know Wade & that he didn’t fall back in the shadows of Griffin and Theo. I even ended up liking Jackson who was Theo’s new boyfriend in L.A. and I seriously didn’t want to but it happened *shrugs shoulders* maybe Griffin was right & Jackson really is his clone…

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After reading More Happy Than Not last year, I knew that Adam Silvera would be an author to follow throughout his writing career. The emotions he was able to stir in me, made him stand out from any of the Young Adult or Adult Fiction I have read all together. I am very thankful to have received a eGalley of History Is All You Left Me, as a matter of fact I teared up the night that I received the e-mail. I knew that I was going to be reading an impactful book by a person who has now become one of my top 5 favorite authors. There is seriously nothing like experiencing one of Adams books. His characters grow within the pages while going through it & taking you along for the ride. The relationships he gifts you remain with you long after you’ve read the last sentence. History Is All You Left Me wasn’t any different. I lost track of the times that I smiled & wiped away my tears. It was heart wrenching and painful to see Griff lose his favorite person and yet this was more than a story about grief & loss. This is a story about self reflection, healing, acceptance, coping mechanisms, friendships, human error, love in all its forms. Adam gave us Griffin who struggles with OCD which was one of the things that interested me the most. He showed us the internal tug of war that is having OCD & how it can impose limitations. The scenes where we get Griff’s inner monologue were spot on accurate. During times of high stress, I myself, internally will go back & forth with my compulsions. At times it feels like you can’t move on until it is right, with Griffin it was even #’s at all times with the exception of the numbers one and seven or any number ending in seven. I happen to have the same compulsion of even numbers, but my OCD is more on the mild side than Griff’s. Besides the accurate portrayal of OCD, Adam also gave us healthy relationships on all fronts including the parentals in his book. The LGBTQ and POC (people of color) representation in Adams books, have made him one of my auto-buy authors. If you’re looking for a book that will touch your soul and make you self-reflect, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for your next diverse read with all around positive representation, this is the book for you. I was able to see myself in this book & since that is rare, I appreciate Adam Silvera’s writing and can’t wait to give this book a home on my shelves on it’s birthday 😉

“History remains with the people who will appreciate it most”- History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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Author: LairOfBooks

"Between The Pages Of A Book Is A Lovely Place To Be"-Anonymous

29 thoughts on “Review: History Is All You Left Me”

  1. I do not normally read this sort of title (I need to quit saying that haha), but this sounds so moving. Part of me thinks I would thoroughly love it, but then I am also afraid the emotions would stress me out! I am such an emotional reader. But this seems so lovely! Your review is moving 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmm….it’s a heavy read I won’t lie about that. I found myself grieving right beside Griffin. Although it seriously took me through a wide range of emotions, I got so much back that it was well worth the tears 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic review! Will definately be adding this one to my tbr list! I don’t have OCD but I do suffer with anxiety and depression which were made worse whenever I have been grieving so it will be really interesting to see how this is handled, also I am wanting to read more diverse books so I’ll be bumping it right up the tbr list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊💕 I was left very satisfied with how a Silvera handled Griffs mental disorder in this book. It’s a beautiful diverse book that will help a lot who are hurting over the loss of their loved one. I hope you enjoy the writing when you get around to it 😉💕

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  3. Great review for this book Lilly! I haven’t read anything by Adam Silvera yet but I saw a review for More Happy Than Not which convinced me to add it to my to-read list, and now your review for History is All You Left Me has convinced me I need to add this book to my to-read list. It sounds beautiful and moving and probably a book that will leave me in tears. The character development sounds amazing as well; I love that Griffin and Theo’s relationship didn’t leave Wade’s character in the shadows, and I’m interested to see how Griffin’s OCD is dealt with as well.
    Again great review Lilly, I’m really excited for this to be released now so I can get my hands on a copy! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Beth ☺️💕this book is beautiful & tragic all at once. I am very much attached to these characters & find myself thinking back to them throughput my day which rarely ever happens. More Happy Than Not seriously sucker punched me & although I was ready for History Is All You Left Me, it still sunk its words deep into my soul. Zero regrets & All the love for HIAYLM 💕I can’t wait to read your thoughts when you get around to it 😃💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right! ❤ It sounds like a beautiful and tragic book honestly, and wow that's kind of amazing that the characters stayed with you in that way as well. I definitely need to started More Happy Than Not, and I definitely want to get around to HIAYLM soon too! 😀

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  4. Adam Silvera sure knows how to spoil his fans — by continuing to write amazing books!
    What a thorough and heartfelt review, Lilly. ❤ Griffin, Theo, and Wade sound absolutely wonderful and I cannot wait to meet them next year! I feel like I've waited for this book for ever, but it's almost time! AND Adam Silvera is going to spoil us again with a second book in the second half of 2017. How amazing is he?!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s AMAZING! & really wish him all the success because his books are such a contribution to Diverse books. Thank you Naz <3! These 3 characters have a special place in my heart 🙂 I can't wait to read your thoughts on HIAYLM & YESSSS we're getting 2 more books! one of which is his 1st official attempt into Fantasy…I'm a little nervous for him but will support & see what it's about *excited face*

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  5. Great review! Now I want to meet these characters and have all the feels! I like that you mentioned the author handled OCD the right way, I try to make sure the reads I pick picture issues, syndromes and everything the best way possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Donna! Adam did an AMAZING job with handling Griffs mental disorder. I follow Adam on Twitter & last night he was tweeting about how realistic Griffs compulsions were for him because they are his own. I have tons of respect for this author & his books are some of my favorite. I hope you enjoy his writing when you get around to it 😉

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  6. Yep, I officially need to get my hands on all of this author’s books now. I’ve been eyeing More Happy Than Not because of all the raving I’ve been seeing lately but your review of this one just sealed the deal. History is All You Left Me sounds so powerful and moving. I can see myself falling in love with this book and making this author an auto-buy. Wonderful review, Lilly! 💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Melissa! ❤ ❤ ❤ History will hit you in all the feels and make you self reflect, this book was just what I needed after reading so much Fantasy. There really isn't anything like Adams books, his characters are so fleshed out and realistic. I do hope he becomes an auto-buy author for you 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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