Publisher : Soho Teen
Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary
Page Count: 320
Synopsis : 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. (From Goodreads)
I’m sad, guys. I truly, deeply am sad every time I think of this book because I didn’t like it as much as I wanted, as much as I expected. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’d know More Happy than Not was one of my favorite book of last year so you can imagine how humongous my expectations were and that was wrong, I shouldn’t have done it. WHEN WILL I LEARN? Mind you, I still enjoyed reading this book, all the perspectives it brought but it just didn’t win me over completely. And Puput @ Sparkling Letters with whom I buddy read it agreed.
History is All you left me has one of the strongest openings I’ve ever read, emotionally speaking, it was so gripping and just loaded which I thought set a great path for the rest of the book. The writing is in typical Adam Silvera fashion which means breath-takingly beautiful, his prose is light but still meaningful, each sentence is well placed for full impact. The book is written from Griffin’s POV alternating between “Today” after Theo’s death and “History” which is his story from when they started dating until their last conversation and it was good, it was a change in tone, in the mental and emotional state of Griffin and it kept it interesting. Theoretically.
I say theoretically because in all honesty, I was bored for more than 2/3 of the novel, it just didn’t grasp my attention like Silvera’s other book did. You’re going to tell me it’s character driver and I know that, those are actually some of my favorite stories but something just didn’t click here, I can’t put my finger on it but there was just so much space taken up by unnecessary information, or to put it otherwise, things I personally didn’t care for. Then comes the last 80 pages or so and things start flowing much better, I loved that last part because the story stopped stagnating and something finally happened, a thing I didn’t see coming but that made ALL the sense in the world once it was revealed and that “twist” (it’s not really one) was my favorite part.
I really liked Griffin, he was caring, sweet, even though that didn’t really show through the “today” parts because grief messed him quite the bit, he started making some decisions that were very questionable and turned him a bit selfish because his pain was so strong -almost tangible- that he stopped seeing that people around him were hurting too, and that was okay (albeit frustrating) to be honest because it felt authentic. Griffin also has OCD which gets worse after Theo’s death and I thought that the portrayal was so spot on (it’s #ownvoices) for some forms of OCD and very realistic in how it was handled.
Jackson is Theo’s “other boyfriend” and I liked how thoughtful and honest he was, and the relationship that was gradually built between Griff and him was raw and beautiful, even though it started because of their common grief it developed into much more. Theo is a whole other story, he’s a jerk. There it is, I said it. I just didn’t get why Griffin kept pining when he deserved much better than a selfish, spoiled child. He wanted him to wait for him while he went off with his new boyfriend and I really hated that. Wade is THE SOFTEST CINNAMON ROLL THAT EVER LIVED, hands down my favorite character in the book. He was Griff and Theo’s bestfriend, everything I loved about the others plus he paid attention to the little details and was just adorable and very huggable, alright?
One thing I really appreciated is how through all the characters that were grieving, the author was able to show how there isn’t one proper way to do it, grief is personal and intimate and different for each person.
History is all you left me was a big disappointment to me which now I realize isn’t a very popular opinion because everyone seems to adore it but I… just… wasn’t won over. I see what the appeal of it is and I can see why all these people love it so much but I just can’t seem to join them. Don’t think from these words that I hated it, I actually really enjoyed it, but you know.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read History is All you left me? If so, what did you think?
Who was your favorite character?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.