Review: Adam Silvera – History Is All You Left Me

Posted juli 21, 2018 by Laurie in English, Recensies, Reviews, Young Adult / 2 Comments

When I read They Both Die At The End during my holiday last April, I knew that I wanted to read Adam Silvera’s other books as well. I decided to start with History Is All You left Me since this will find it’s Dutch release in the end of this year. I can tell you, this book was down in two sittings.

Review: Adam Silvera – History Is All You Left MeHistory Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Pages: 294
on January 17, 2017
ISBN: 1471146189
Also by this author: They Both Die at the End, More Happy Than Not

You’re still alive in alternate universes, Theo, but I live in the real world where this morning you’re having an open casket funeral. I know you’re out there, listening. And you should know I’m really pissed because you swore you would never die and yet here we are. It hurts even more because this isn’t the first promise you’ve broken.

OCD-afflicted seventeen-year-old, Griffin, has just lost his first love – his best friend, ex-boyfriend and the boy he believed to be his ultimate life partner – in a drowning accident. In a desperate attempt to hold onto every last piece of the past, a broken Griffin forges a friendship with Theo’s new college boyfriend, Jackson. And Griffin will stop at nothing to learn every detail of Theo’s new college life, and ultimate death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin's own version of the truth – both in terms of what he’s willing to hide, and what true love ultimately means...

Whenever you start reading this book, be prepared to be thrown into an emotional rollercoaster immediately and there is NO WAY to escape from that rollercoaster until you finish this book. Because you will be confronted with Theo’s death on the first page. You grief along with Griffin and you just want to help him but you can’t.

I like the way the book is written. The present chapters are told in monologues from Griffin to Theo. Griffin is talking to Theo, trying to make his grief some kind of bearable. He speaks directly to Theo, while the history chapters are written in a storytelling point of view. Griffin is telling his history with Theo to us. I hope this all makes sense, because this is somehow complicated.

We get to know them better and seriously their relationship is cute, so is their friendship. However, we find out that Theo has had secrets. Even Griffin didn’t know. But then there is Jackson. Griffin always hated him, but was he right to do that? He, and we, will learn throughout the book. All friendships are kind of rock solid. I can’t tell you much more as for spoilers, but you will find out what I mean soon enough. It has to do with character development as well, but that will be a huge spoiler too. Because something happens and something is coming out. The story takes turns which I didn’t see coming and I was like OH. MY. GOD.

What about the mental health and queer rep? Great. The characters are queer and this has been intertwined into the story in a way that it feels natural, not forced at all. Like, the characters are queer, so what? It’s not the main theme of the book, because that is grief and loss. Griffin is dealing with OCD and anxiety. His compulsions play a small part in the story, but they don’t feel forced either. Adam Silvera manages to let this be quirks of the characters without making a huge deal out of it.

History Is All You Left Me is an emotional rollercoaster which I finished in two sittings. After just one hour, I was already on 1/3 of the book and I just needed another afternoon to finish it. Do I recommend this book to anyone? Definitely? It’s emotional, but the guys are cute together and the character development is great as are the queer and OCD reps. Well, why not a 5 star rating then? Uhhhh to be honest, I don’t know. Maybe because I somehow wanted an epilogue? Probably. Oh well, 4.5 stars is great too, I don’t give away my 5 stars so easily. Sorry.


2 responses to “Review: Adam Silvera – History Is All You Left Me

  1. See I DNFed this book last year, I couldn’t get on with how the chapters were written. I’d have preferred it to have maybe been split into half the past and half the present instead of alternating. I just couldn’t connect :/

    Loved the review though and I’m so glad you enjoyed the book!

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