Thursday, September 07, 2017

REVIEW: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Oh this book absolutely broke me.  There's such a sense of intensity in this book, so much so that I ended up needing breaks to just recover from how very sad or beautiful or honest it all felt.  I love books like this that make me feel so entirely.  History Is All You Left by Adam Silvera was such a heart-breaker of a book about love and friendship and grief.  I loved every second of it.

History Is All You Left Me is told in two parts.  The first part is in the past where the main character, Griffin, tells us of the progression in his relationship with Theo: from best friend, to boyfriend and eventually to ex-boyfriend.  This part of the story was so sweet and romantic and is filled with so much adorableness.  The second part tells us Griffin's reactions to the tragic death of Theo and the ways in which he deals with his grief.  Obviously these sections made me feel like my heart was being forcibly ripped out of my chest as the reader ends up mourning this huge loss together with Griffin.

I think what I loved so much about this book is how much Adam Silvera made me feel about all of the characters.  I ended up falling in love with both Theo (through Griffin's perspective) and also with Griffin.  I felt really emotionally connected to both these characters right from the start and I thought it was really skillfully done.  So much of the book is about remembering the details of this past relationship but also trying to work out a way in which to move on and dealing with tremendous emotions, especially those of guilt that Griffin feels.

The introduction of Jackson, Theo's new (and current at the time of Theo's death) boyfriend complicates everything further.  Because Griffin is sort of lost in his own grief and the only person who he feels understands that specific feeling is Jackson.  So while there are elements of competition (who feels stronger for Theo, who might Theo have loved more, who knew Theo better than the other) they end forming this rather odd and very unlikely friendship.

This book says quite a lot about relationships and the ways in which friendships and relationships vary wildly from different people and how they really aren't comparable in any way.  I loved the nerdiness of the boys involved and I love the ways in which Griffin and Theo's relationship impacts on the friendship with their other best friend.  Also, major bonus points for including a main character who is both gay and suffers from OCD. Intersectional stories make my heart happy.

History Is All You Left Me was such an incredible story: sad, beautiful and emotional.  I can't wait to read more by Adam Silvera.

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