Book Reviews

History Is all You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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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…

History is All You Left Me is a story full of heart and will take you on an emotional journey that you will never forget. I went through so many different emotions and feels reading this book, I had to set it down at times to just take it all in. Before starting the book I knew it was going to be emotional, I just didn’t think it would effect me as much as it did. I can see myself re-reading this book over and over again and it will still have the same impact as the first time.

History Is All You Left Me tells the story and history of the relationship between Griffin and Theo. The story flips between the past and present and we learn how the relationship started, developed and ended, and in the present how Griffin is coping with life Theo’s death. As the story progresses we find that the relationship was complex and had its complications because we are then introduced to Theo’s recent boyfriend, Jackson. As well as coping with the loss of his ex boyfriend Theo, Griffin also has to try and keep his OCD under control, as well as trying to mend his friendship with his friend, Wade. I don’t want to say much more than that because this is the sort of book you want to be going into knowing the bare minimum.

Griffin is a really likeable and relatable main character who I connected with almost immediately when I started to read the book. The book starts with Griffin being depressed and angry with life, but its still easy to feel for him and understand what he must be going through. Most Griffin’s experiences with Theo in the History parts of the story had me in tears. Their life and relationship together was so sweet it was hard not to fall in love with them both, but also because you already know what’s going to happen, it was all very bittersweet. There were times in the book that I didn’t quite agree with Griffin and my opinion of him did change a few times as I continued on with the story, but all in all out of all the main characters in the book I connected with  Griffin the most.

Theo was another interesting character and I did like him when he was together with Griffin, but because I connected with Griffin more, when the relationship ended I found Theo’s character to be a little selfish and mean. One character I thought I was going to hate as soon as I met him was Jackson, because he was the one who came between Griffin and Theo. However after getting to know Jackson as the story progressed I came to like and feel for him more. Wade as a character I felt was a little under developed and I really didn’t connect or like. I wouldn’t say he was a main character, but it would of been better if he was a little bit more developed to give some of the events in the story a bit more impact. 

I thought after reading the description for the book I knew the whole plot of the story, but I was completely wrong. The description for the book might give a very broad outline of the story, but so much more happens which keeps you glued to each page. Both the story and the characters make it very hard to put this book down, I stayed up until the early hours of the morning just to finish this book because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I read the very last page. The irony was that once I finished the book I couldn’t sleep anyway because I was a complete emotional wreck and couldn’t stop sobbing. One thing I didn’t expect was the little bits of humour dotted around in the story. The random bit of humour definitely helped with it came to read some of the more heavier parts of the plot. I was crying throughout the book, whether it was crying with laughter, happiness or sadness, this book had all the feels.

I absolutely adore the writing in this book. I have listened to the audiobook of Adam Silvera’s other book (More Happy Than Not), so this was my first experience of reading his writing. I found it to be really easy to read but still full heart and emotion. The writing raw and real and you can’t help but think you are reading a very personal account instead of a fictional story. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried many times reading this book, especially in the History parts of the story. The author writes a book about death and bereavement, but manages to make us fell so much love and happiness which is a credit to his writing and his storytelling.

I would recommend History Is All You Left Me to all because it needs to be read by everyone. Even though I had really high expectations for this book, it still managed to blow me away. I have never felt so many emotions while reading a book as I have reading this book. People in the past have said that a book has really connected with them and it felt like the book was written just for them. Well this book feels like it was written just for me, and I am sure many other readers will feel exactly the same. If you are going to read just  one book this year, please make it be this one, you will not regret it.

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I rate this book 5/5 stars.

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