Book Reviews

Review: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

This book was heartbreakingly real and its pages left me aching with compassion and understanding. After a relationship ends, we are always left with regrets, secrets, and question not to mention pain and longing. So many moments were universally relatable and reading this novel was like looking back into my own teenage past – full of angst, pain, and ex-boyfriends.

Summary

When the death of Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend Theo occurs, his whole world shatters. Feelings and histories come into motion as Griffin must come to terms with both Theo’s death, and his own future. However, the only one who can truly understand the depth of his pain is Theo’s most recent boyfriend and in an attempt to reconcile their loss, Griffin steps onto a path that is full of heart break and secrets.

Review

If bringing up the past annoys you…know that I’m sorry, but please don’t be mad at me for reliving all of it. History is all you left me. (1)

This book had me from page one and hasn’t put me down yet. It is beautifully written and the book is littered with sticky notes from my markings. The writing and the characters are so real, but also so vulnerable. They open up to you, share their darkest secrets, and because of their honesty, the secret feelings inside of you open as well. We are all left, after a relationship, with the relativity of our experiences, of our history. All left with questions and regrets, things we wish we had said or done. This lack of closure, of answers, is universal. Silvera draws on this well of emotions and brings it to the surface in a compelling and moving story.

The Perspective

You were finally able to speak back to me, Theo, and I don’t like everything you had to say. (118)

Because of the juxtaposition of older memories and the present, the mystery within the story unfurls, bringing us deeper downward into the guilt as Griffin begins his downward spiral. This has to be one of the reasons why the whole plot just works. The raw pain that Griffin feels is immediately followed by memories of happiness and the whole thing ends up being one bittersweet walk down memory lane.

It touches your soul and we have all been there – trapped in our own film reel, wondering how we could have changed thing, and drowning in our memories. The book also deals with the self-destructive ways we focus on the history, keep ourselves from moving on or coming to terms with the past. We cry with Griffin at the unbelievable tragedy of Theo’s death as we are reminded of the first experience we ever had with a death too soon.

Additionally, Griffin’s OCD is dealt with wonderfully. It strikes a balance between something that does not utterly define Griffin, but instead blends seamlessly into his characterization. It forms an important quality, not merely serving as a plot device.

In Conclusion,

This book covers it all: all the shades of the human heart moving from anger, to guilt, to betrayal and ending with resolution. People change, make mistakes, and get hurt, but the hardest thing is to live with them. We can honor our memories and histories without being stuck, recognizing that they are forever a part of us, and then taking the next step. It is an absolutely phenomenal book that is perfect for all ages and brings us right back to these tender and evocative memories of love, heartbreak, and moving on.

You can, and should, pick up History is All You Left Me on Amazon(US), add it Goodreads, and visit Silvera’s website.

Discussion

What’s the last book you read that moved you?

Subscribe for more reviews

8 thoughts on “Review: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

  1. I really wanted to love/like this book but I really didn’t and then I found that it was quite forgettable. A week after I read it I could barely remember the plot and the characters. Isn’t that a weird thing, how much one person will like a book and another won’t like it at all. That happens in book club quite often. I will like a book and will be shocked that others don’t like it.

    It has been a while since I’ve really been moved by a book , to see it’s beauty and vlaue but one that I read a few months back, The Hate U Give, was the nearest to that in a long time.

    1. I totally get where you’re coming from. Sometimes it also happens to me that a book I thought I’d love and everyone else loves, doesn’t strike me right. But I also really enjoyed The Hate U Give! So we have that in common 🙂

  2. So glad you liked this one! I haven’t read it yet, but I have an ARC. I read More Happy Than Not and it wasn’t my favorite book, but I want to give Silvera another chance so I’ll definitely be reading this soon. Lovely review 🙂

  3. There were actually two… The Happiness Index of Juniper Lemon by Julie Israel and A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland. They were two incredibly special books. A Semi-Definitive though, that book spoke to me on a down deep level. It moved me more than any book has in a long while! And The Happiness Index was just plain special. I would recommend them readily to any person who loves an amazing, emotional and uplifting story!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *