Book Review: History Is All You Left Me


History Is All You Left Me
by Adam Silvera
Rating: ★★ 1/2

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.

Well, that was a really nice ending that made me feel warm inside compared to the annoyance and confusion I was feeling for most of the book. This was definitely a sad book with a lot of harsh, raw feelings but it did have a lot of truth to it. People do bad things they don’t want anyone to know about and they hurt the ones closest to them. I didn’t like Griffin at all for the first half of the book and he was still getting on my nerves throughout the whole book but when he was really honest with his feelings, their history and he let it all flow out then he was finally someone I wanted to read about.

This book is about the people who are left behind with their love, their anger and their guilt after a loved one is gone and it tells the story of a young man at his lowest point mourning his first love and recalling their history to figure out how they got to where he is now and how to live on with it when every day is a struggle and he can’t see his life ever improving now that the person he always thought would be there is gone. It’s also really hard for him because he broke up with this guy a year before his death because he was moving away for college and he was dating someone else when he died. 

Griffin, Jackson and Theo had a very complicated love triangle before Theo’s death because they were always jealous of each other and it continues on after in the form of who loved him more and who deserves to grieve him, the ex (his first love and apparent endgame) or the guy he was seriously dating when he died. They resent each other so much even after his death because Griffin’s grief is less valued than his and Jackson was always competing against him for Theo’s love but they end up being the perfect people to be around in this situation only the two of them can fully understand and talk about.

They’ll both carry their grief long after Theo’s death and neither of them are more entitled than the other to feel that pain but because we’re getting Griffin’s perspective and their history together I was a little more sympathetic to him. I was picturing his love being greater or more deserving than Jackson just like Griffin was in the book until the picture was completed and we saw everything Griffin didn’t know about Theo and what he was hiding until he was ready to talk about all the history. After I closed this book I felt differently about everything I had first assumed at the start of the book. None of them are perfect people, even Theo did awful things to the both of them, but that made it even more interesting because there were so many shocking points in this book.

I really enjoyed the idea of knowing where their history would take them because I was reading it whenever I could because I was desperate to find out what had happened between them and why they were all in the shape they were after his death. It was good to find out and I felt really satisfied when I was done because all the strings were tied up nicely but I did rate it low because the characters really weren’t my favourite and overall Griffin’s attitude on everything was something I couldn’t agree with. So it was a really frustrating read at times because I disliked them and I couldn’t understand why they were doing what they were doing but the idea of the story and the layout of it was great and pushing the rating up because it made the much more book enjoyable.

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– Kirra // Goodreads


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