Hi! I’ve been meaning to read this book for quite a long time, and finally got around to it after reading They Both Die at the End. (check out my review of that wonderful book). The month of May is truly my least favorite month, and I’m nervous to enter it. It holds all the stress of finishing a school year; finals, projects, presentations, grades, exams, everything! My reading time also takes a steep dive during May, which I am not looking forward to. Well, that’s enough complaining. Let’s get to the review!
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
~ages 14 to adult
What a beautiful book. It made me want to cry within the first few chapters, and I really enjoyed reading it. I recently read “They Both Die At the End”, also by Adam Silvera, which is what convinced me to read this one. It was so incredibly addictive. I could not put it down, and finished the book in 3 hours straight. The following is a brief plot summary:
“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.” taken from Goodreads
One of my favorite parts about the book was how different it was. The whole book was addressed towards Theo, and I could understand the grief of the main character, and Theo himself, even though he was not in the story. I have to say though, I didn’t really love the characters. They were a little bland, and none of them had any defining personalities. They felt like stereotypical teenagers, and the way they dealt with grief seemed strange. I was on the verge of crying throughout the whole book, but I didn’t actually cry. (and trust me, I cry very easily.) It was the situation that was sad and what made me want to cry, not the character’s emotions or the book itself.
I was also confused at how the book was organized. I felt like it was coming to a close, and things were going to be resolved, and then it randomly jumped into the past. A lot of sections could have been cut and the book would feel a lot cleaner and less boring. Though I couldn’t stop reading, it was more because I wanted to get to the interesting parts (the end), rather than that every part of the book was so fantastic.
I did like how we (the readers) weren’t privy to everything Griffin was thinking. There were still surprises and plot twists, and that was not something I expected from a book where almost everything was laid out in the synopsis. I also feel like it explained OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) correctly. The disorder has been characterized as the feeling that everything needs to be clean, neat, and organized, but the book went past all those stereotypes, and really portrayed it honestly.
The book was written well, and I enjoyed reading it, but I think with a bit of editing, the creation of more relatable characters, and some more organization, it could have been fantastic. I recommend reading this if you’re looking for a quick and highly emotional romantic book!
Let me know what you thought about History is All You Left Me in the comments below!