Warning: If you have not read “History is All You Left Me” by Adam Silvera, do not read this review if you do not want spoilers. If you don’t mind spoilers or already read the book, feel free to read this!
I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s “History Is All You Left Me” by Adam Silvera! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:
“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.”
I found Griffin and Jackson to be likable characters throughout the book. Instead of blaming each other and getting into fights with each other the whole time over Theo’s death, like a lot of TV dramas and other books I’ve read, both of them understand that they are grieving over Theo. They both acknowledge that yes, they both love Theo and both of them have the right to grieve over him being dead. It’s through understanding this early on in the book that a friendship grows between them, and I think it did wonders for both their characters as they both grieved together and got to know each other. Admittedly, it did get awkward when they had a compulsive one-night stand later on in the book, but they quickly made it clear by the end that they shouldn’t have done that and they’re not going to do that again, handling the situation pretty maturely.
Wade’s friendship with Griffin and Theo was interesting to read, seeing that Wade was happily supportive of Griffin and Theo being together. Even Griffin’s parents seemed pretty relaxed about Griffin and Theo’s relationship, which is refreshing to read given that I often see the opposite in books I’ve read in the past. It was interesting to see how Griffin and Wade’s friendship ended up developing into a sexual one, albeit briefly, though they eventually resume just being friends for now.
Griffin and Jackson try to deal with their grief over Theo’s death in as a healthy way as they can. They try to keep going on with their lives, Griffin does try to keep going to school (though unfortunately he ends up skipping a few weeks or so because he really needed the time to grieve), and they try to talk to others about it—they talk to each other, their parents, their friends and other family. The unhealthiest part of trying to cope with the grieving in the book was probably when Griffin and Jackson hooked up with each other late in the book. Thankfully, they understand afterwards that it’s not healthy and they stop immediately.
In terms of the writing style of the book, I thought that the transitions between past and present were well-implemented, with clear dates to represent when certain moments in the past took place. I also enjoyed reading Griffin and Theo’s relationship in the book as well, and it was sad to see it end.
Overall, I would rate this book 5 out of 5 stars because of the well-written relationships and the attempts at trying to cope with the grief of losing someone in a healthy manner.