History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Rating: 6 stars (Griffin would like it that way)
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.
There’s something about this book that will refuse to leave your system, in the absolute best way. I can already see this being one of my top books of the year; I can see myself rereading it years down the line. I loved absolutely every second I spent with this book. I was in a semi reading slump since this weekend and none of the books I picked up stuck. I would pick up a book, read one or two chapters and move on to the next. Once I got to this one however, I was hooked from the start. I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t stop thinking about it when I did have to put it down (cause work, and sleep, you know?).
Adam does such an amazing job getting you inside Griffin’s head that you feel everything with him. You’re happy when he’s happy, you’re sad when he’s sad. You’re yelling at him when his destructive tendencies get the best of him. This book intertwines Griffin’s present as he deals with his ex-boyfriend/best friend’s lost with his past as they go from best friends to more and back to best friends. This method of storytelling allows you to be fully devastated while Griffin grieves in one chapter and laughing with the adorableness of new love in the next and I absolutely fell in love with that. I loved the rollercoaster of emotions, and I would get back on this ride again and again.
I was crying, I was laughing, I was yelling at Griff when he wasn’t being his best self. I even spent a bit of time so mad at Theo. (You know what you did Theo, and it was NOT cool, not cool at all.) There were times when I wasn’t quite sure where the story was going, but all along I trusted it. I trusted it to bring me to an ending that felt fulfilling while also staying true to Griffin and who I believed he was as a character. I don’t think I saw it coming, and when it started to form and become a possibility, I found myself so happy with the idea.
Jackson and I are broken, in desperate need of repair, but the only mechanic we’re interested in seeing is our favorite person—and you’re clocked out forever.
Griffin finds in Jackson what no one else can provide him, what no one else truly understands. They are both grieving Theo in the same way. They are both heartbroken and lost and missing their center. They find comfort and discomfort in each other, comfort in knowing someone else truly understands and discomfort because they had spent months hating each other over what each meant to Theo. I loved seeing their relationship change and develop as they both process how each needs to deal with Theo’s death. They lean on each other and push each other away but I love the place they eventually end up.
Griffin has these quirks that develop into bigger obsessive compulsions as time goes on; compounded with his grief, he kind of starts to lose control of himself and everything around him. My heart broke for him as he lost control. He was unable to deal with the grief and the compulsions and the weight if his secrets and lies. As he starts to truly open himself to accepting help and lets go of his lies, he finally starts seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. He finally starts to open himself for a world of new possibilities.
There’s so much more I could say about this book. I could probably talk about it forever, but I’ll stop now before I get spoilery. Cause I’m about to get spoilery. All I want is to get spoilery. [This is me not talking about the one thing… the one thing I didn’t see coming and loved. The one thing I won’t ruin for you if you haven’t read yet. But, I really want to… But, I won’t. Go read it and find out!!]
About Adam Silvera:
Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked in the publishing industry as a children’s bookseller, marketing assistant at a literary development company, and book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, received multiple starred reviews and is a New York Times bestseller, and Adam was selected as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. He writes full-time in New York City and is tall for no reason.
Represented by Brooks Sherman of the Bent Agency.