In History Is All You Left Me 17 year-old Griffin loses his first love and ex-boyfriend Theo in a drowning accident. The story follows Griffin as he tries to come to terms with his grief. The only one who understands is Jackson, Theo’s new boyfriend, but even as they open up to each other Griffin loses himself in his obsessive compulsions, choices and the secrets that he still keeps from Theo.
This book gave me all the feels. Seriously. It is told from Griffin’s perspective and Silvera impresses Griffin’s grief so well on the reader that it almost feels like something you feel yourself. My heart just broke for him and all he went through. History Is All You Left Me is a very emotional book, which I expected, just not with this much power. But watching as Griffin works through his grief and his history with Theo is as powerful as it gets.
I will be honest here, Griffin does some rather questionable things, there’s cheating (which I usually hate) and at times I felt that he was a little too obsessed with Theo and the future he saw for the two of them. But at the same time his pain is so very raw, I just can’t help but feel sorry for him and hope he will find some happiness again. And I’ll give away this much: Things aren’t quite as bleak as I have made them sound so far.
The narration alternates between Griffin after Theo’s death and flashbacks to the time before Theo’s death, so we find out about how Griffin deals with his grief at the same time as we find out about the story of his relationship to Theo and how Theo died. I really liked that, because it feels very much like Griffin has to work through their shared history (and the parts they didn’t share) to come to terms with Theo’s death and the prospect of having to live without him.
History Is All You Left Me is a book that shows that things go on, whatever happens, and that some things feel like the end of the world, but that the world goes on and there are still things to live for.
And lastly for anyone worried about the representation of OCD in History Is All You Left Me, it is an #ownvoices book, and Adam Silvera talked about it in this thread on Twitter.
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 Stars)
Publication Date: 17 January 2017
Publisher: Soho Teen
Page Count: 294
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTAIQ*
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.