History Is All You Left Me

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History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Published: January 17th, 2017

Genre: YA, Contemporary

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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.

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*History Is All You Left Me

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“You’re still alive in alternate universes, Theo, but I live in the real world, where this morning you’re having an open-casket funeral.”

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1) Plot/Pace

“And if bringing up the past still annoys you now—as it did when you left New York for California—know that I’m sorry, but please don’t be mad at me for reliving all of it. History is all you left me.”

This book was filled with heartache. I can’t pick up another Adam Silvera book for a long time. My heart hurts so much. I have only cried through a few books but I have NEVER cried as much as I did with this one. I literally was crying every few pages. This was not easy to read and even as I am freaking writing this blog post I am crying just rethinking about everything and typing out the quotes. We follow Griffin as he deals with the loss of his first love and ex Theo who died in a drowning accident. Griffin always felt him and Theo was endgame even with Theo having a new boyfriend names Jackson. The story is told in the past and the present. We see how their history unfolded up till the day Theo died and present day with how Griffin is handling it. Only Jackson and Wade, Griffin’s other best friend, understand his pain. Griffin’s life heads into a downward spiral with his compulsions and his heartache taking over his life and way of being. All the secrets and lies are eating him up and the only way to move forward is to take on his past head on no matter how gut-wrenching it is. As I said this story has no qualms about messing with your heart and emotions. I felt too much with this book and it put me in such sad state. It was a book that ended satisfyingly but still, something about it just hurt so much. Death is truly such a difficult thing to deal with and even more so with the people we love. I love how the story was told and you really needed to understand the past in order to understand the present. This was beautifully tragic.

2) Writing/Setting

” disarm us both as I kiss him, the plastic sword clattering at our feet as he pulls me closer to him. This feels right, even as our teeth clink. I laugh when we part. “That’s a thing we just did,” I say. “Let’s do it more often,” Theo says.

The story had a truly somber tone to it. I felt sad throughout but also happy. I couldn’t keep my emotions in check. Silvera has a truly dynamic way with words and a true knack for storytelling. He punched me right in my heart and feelings. He created this world that wouldn’t let me go from the moment I started this book. It was a remarkable story about first loves and first heartbreaks. I felt everything Adam Silvera put on the page and I understood what he was trying to convey in this story. It is all about overcoming loss, heartbreak and moving forward even when it feels like your feet are stuck in the ground and your heart is shattered beyond repair. The pain was so well written it makes you wonder if this came from a personal experience. This is a thousand percent a story that will remain with me for years to come. I care this story in my heavy heart and won’t let it go.

3) Characters 

“…I love you, Griffin. I’m not even going to pretend that’s not what this is…” I don’t know how to process being someone worthy of being someone’s first kiss, of being someone’s first date, of being someone’s first time, of being someone’s first love.

They are emotionally multi-layered and real. Their emotions are raw and deeply felt. I was rooting for all of them and none of them. These characters are so humanly flawed and just beautiful. Their bond over love, loss, and friendship was really captured wonderfully and they did very human things that made me fall more in love with them with each page. Griffin is a young man with OCD who is trying to navigate life without his best friend and first love. Griff’s narrative just makes your heart ache for him and his growth was inspiring. Jackson was a young man equally grieving his boyfriend while also being there for Griffin. Jackson was truly an incredible character because Griff was Theo’s ex but he was there for him in his time of need. You felt his loss just as much as you felt Griffin’s and you just can’t hate him because they were just two boys who loved Theo with all they had. Theo was such a great character and I actually loved his flaws because it really held such truth. He was someone who was torn between his love for his ex and first love and his new bf. You wanted to fault him for stringing along Griffin but when you really looked at everything he was acting as any human would. Love is a hard thing. Wade was the other best friend to Griffin and Theo and he was so adorable and just someone who wanted to be there for Griffin in more ways than one. I loved him so much and I kind of want a book for him.

4) Romance 

Theo keeps muttering “I love you; I love you” while going down the hall, as if those are the only three words in his vocabulary—and before he can turn the corner to the elevator, he stops and holds his hand to his ear. I mouth the words he’s waiting for. I add “too” to bring the word count to four.

The romance of Griffin and Theo just rips at your heart let me tell you. They were so soft and precious. Their love story was tragically beautiful. Every moment they shared was so special and sweet. It was so sad also though because like I don’t know how to feel. I loved the stories ending and I loved Jack and Theo but my heart wants Theo and Griffin. It is too much for me lol. I love all three of the relationships that we see and that is why this story was a punch to the gut because you wanted all three but you can’t have them all. It was just doing too much to my heart.

Quotes

But in them all, you and I are more than history. I have to believe these universes exist; it’s the only way to manage the suffering here.

Our situation is like some rigged card game, and the hand the universe laid out for us is made entirely of jesters; we’re some cosmic joke. But maybe we don’t have to fold so easily. Maybe we can keep playing the game and make kings of ourselves, in spite of it all.

“You’re screwed because I’m never going to stop loving you. I’m counting on us getting back together when our lives fit better. You’re endgame for me. But you have to promise me you’re not going to be stupid and walk into traffic. Don’t die. Okay?” “Fine. I’ll never die,” Theo says, hugging me closer to him. “I mean it. Promise me. “I promise you: I’ll never die.”

You used our intimate history to create a future with someone else, and that’s a thousand times worse. You used our love against me. Now I’m using your love against you.

“I want to give us a shot, I swear. But I can’t rush this or we’ll get it wrong. You have to understand though that I’m still carrying Theo around with me, and I’m sure you are too. But it’s different for me. I know you’re not Theo, and I don’t want you to be.”

I promise going forward I will never demote the love I have for anyone. I’m growing to hate the word love because it always sounds lame, but love shouldn’t only count when there’s a victory. Love was never the liar; I was.

“Do you trust me?” I ask. “I guess.” Wade kisses me on the forehead, which sends one of those cold shivers across my shoulders and down my spine. “Do you believe I want to be something more to you?” “I guess.” I kiss his cheek.

But that’s okay. History remains with the people who will appreciate it most. I love you, but I can’t stay longer. It may be a while before I speak to you again. I’m so happy you were my first Theo, and you were worth all the heartache. I hope I wasn’t living in some alternate universe where I wasn’t actually your first love, too. But this universe is the only one that matters, and I have one last question for you: I didn’t get our history wrong, did I? 

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Posted by

Kathryn Calderon l Avid Reader l Art Director | Artist | Blogger | Film Maker

12 thoughts on “History Is All You Left Me

  1. This is such an amazing review. I have been wanting to pick up an Adam Silvera book for such a long time. I just know it will end up crushing me. I don’t know if I am ready for that. I will get to it at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

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