Okay so I just finished HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME and I’m feeling things, so this review may just be me rambling.
Spoiler free stuff: This book is heartbreaking and beautiful and you need to read it. It’s about a boy named Griffin trying to move on with his life after losing his favorite human, Theo (the ex-boyfriend, but current best friend). I was crying by page 42, which was just the first of many tears I shed. Yes, this book is sad, and deals with many sad topics, but it also deals with important topics that are rarely discussed in YA literature.
Official Description (from Goodreads): “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.”
5/5 stars, this book is A1.
Spoiler stuff: Literally from the first page this book, in the words of Griffin, “made me feel a way.” It immediately opens at the funeral, providing an obviously heart-wrenching scene. But, it goes straight into a chapter about the Griffin and Theo First Date. This book is so amazingly crafted this way, as it goes from Today to History in the blink of an eye, slowly putting together the pieces of the puzzle Griffin never wanted to solve. From meeting Jackson, who turned out not to be horrible, to learning about what happened June, I CANNOT BELIEVE, this book kept me enthralled. I couldn’t put it down, and finished in less than 48 hours, an incredible feat considering I haven’t read a book past the first chapter in two weeks. So let’s start with Jackson. We’re introduced to him as Theo’s current boyfriend, who Griffin hates on principle. But then, Griffin starts to be a “good” person and lets Jackson into his life a little bit. The two grieving together is borderline unhealthy due to their pent up feelings, but the two bring out something better in each other. The fact that they both went back to Cali shocked me, but I was glad that Griffin was doing something wild and reckless. I also really liked the fact that Jackson pushed him out of his comfort zone, forcing him to drive and taking him to the place Theo died. I do think the parts that followed after their trip to the pier was unhealthy, but it took me a little bit to realize that that was the point! They were both sad and vulnerable and didn’t want to be, so they did something stupid that they thought would cure it. These chapters were some of my favorites though, because I just visited California and I was just at Santa Monica Pier and it’s really weird to think that if this book had been published two weeks sooner I would’ve been all emotional when I rode the Ferris Wheel and put my hands in the water. It’s weird reading a book and being able to relate to the setting. But that pier to me is one of happiest places ever. When Jackson said that Theo had gone into the water because of a voicemail Griffin had sent, I figured it was a voicemail saying that Griffin still loved him. I was in no way prepared for the fact that it was a voicemail about Wade and Theo’s relationship! I think their relationship was very interesting. It wasn’t healthy but it was real and it was fitting to Griffin’s character. But Griffin realized he screwed up, and he tried to make it better. I mean sure, he made it worst at first, but he eventually fixed it. Griffin made a lot of mistakes in this book, but he also learned how to fix them, and that’s the important part. This book left me so emotional and I loved every second of it. How I could go from crying to laughing to pitying to shock all in a span of one page (looking at you page 224). You did good, Adam Silvera.