Review: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

This review is a long time coming, seeing as I finished this book in the middle of May 😂🙈 BUT better late than never, right? I still wanted to share my thoughts with you wonderful bookworms! *Beware, there are mild spoilers*

Genre: YA/LGBT contemporary

Pages: 294 (UK Paperback)

Publication Date: 17 January 2017

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

“History is nothing. It can’t be recycled or thrown away completely. It isn’t this sacred treasure chest I mistook it to be. We were something, but history isn’t enough to keep something alive forever.”

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…

history is all you left me

To this day, I am having a very hard time processing my feelings about this book. From the moment I started it, I KNEW it was going to take a toll on my heart. It is a deeply emotional book (how I didn’t figure it would be sad with a title like that is BEYOND ME) that I don’t think I was fully prepared for. I did not go into this book with the mindset I think is necessary to truly appreciate a book like this. I can see where other people were full of the feels while reading this. Sadly, I just didn’t connect with any of the characters in this novel in order to have those feels.

History centres around a boy named Griffin who is trying his best to carry on with his life after experiencing the tragic loss of his first love, and best friend, Theo. The story alternates between “History” and “Now,” offering insight into Griffin and Theo’s relationship while Theo was alive, as well as how he is coping in the wake of Theo’s death. What comes out of this is a series of both funny and heart-wrenching moments (though mainly heart-wrenching because this book is HEAVY). In addition to dealing with Theo’s death, Griffin struggles with his worsening OCD and maintaining his friendship with Wade, who was also very close to Theo and struggling with his death in his own way.

On the surface, this sounds like a book I would LOVE. I mean, it’s got tragedy, humour, burgeoning love between teenage boys and the promise of FEELS. And yet, this book just didn’t do it for me. I did not feel that strong connection to the characters that I was so certain I would have. One of them was DEAD for the entirety of the book and I could not bring myself to care very much. Griffin was head over heels for this boy who was not all that great, in my not-so-humble opinion. He was quite inconsiderate and downplayed Griffin’s OCD tendencies as just cute little “quirks,” rather than work with him to cope with his tendencies. And post-Theo Griffin is no walk in the park either; treating people (i.e. Theo’s EX-BOYFRIEND) like they’re disposable for his own benefit because he was in pain over Theo’s death, or neglecting his friend Wade out of some twisted sense of loyalty to Theo.

“I’m sorry, but please don’t be mad at me for reliving all of it. History is all you left me.”

I wanted so much more out of this book. What it lacked in length, it compensated for with density, which is not something I look for in a YA novel. This book had such potential and I felt as though it was on the verge of being a novel I would fall deeply in love with AND YET I could not wait to be done with it. This book left me feeling sadder than I expected it to, seeing as the book did not end on a particularly sad note. So I guess I did get some of the feels? *shrugs* I’m still not 100% sure on this book and I think being so conflicted with my feelings on it has made writing the review one of the most difficult review experiences I’ve ever had! It’s been over a month and I am still all of the confused about this one…


Have you read History or Adam Silvera’s other book More Happy Than Not? Maybe you all can help me sort out my feelings on this book!

Until next time, my lovely bookworms!

-K

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