Book Review: History Is All You Left Me

History Is All You Left Me

Please enjoy the book summary (from Goodreads) followed by my mini book review in the form of a list of five questions. Spoilers ahead, beware.

The summary of History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera 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.

Lisa’s Nutshell Book Review

What did I like/dislike about this book?

This book opens into a world of emotions, struggle, and melancholy. It takes you straight into a teenager’s world of heartache after losing the first love of his life. I felt that this book, which falls into the Young Adult (YA) category, never spares the reader anything. What I loved was its perspective and learning about the characters. I came to care about them during the story. What I didn’t like, though it was terrible and beautiful, was that ultimately it was filled with so much sorrow it’s hard to remember the book ends filled with hope.

What intrigued me specifically about this book?

I wanted to read a book by Silvera, and I chose History from the selection at the library. Unfamiliar with Silvera’s work, I didn’t know I was in for a heartbreaking read.

What was one specific passage that struck me? 

The twist that Griffin had been dating someone else just before Theo drowned was unexpected, and provided a glimmer of hope. It was still heartbreaking when he went with Jackson to the ocean where Theo drowned. Ugh. Tears!

Would I recommend this book?

Yes, I would recommend this book, likely to a YA reader. (As an adult, I feel like I have experienced my share of heartbreak first-hand.) It’s beautiful, it tenderly handles first love, loss, grieving, struggling, and OCD in a way that’s accessible. Not every young reader may have experienced these situations, and it’s a way for the reader to grow without having to experience them directly. And Griffin discovers he has survived Theo’s death, his mistakes, and can still look ahead to live his own life.

Do I own this book?

No, but I’m ready to read more books by Silvera. Just not quite yet. I need some time to recover.

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