“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. I know you’re out there, listening. And you should know I’m really pissed because you swore you would never die and yet here we are. It hurts even more because this isn’t the first promise you’ve broken.”
OCD-afflicted seventeen-year-old, Griffin, has just lost his first love – his best friend, ex-boyfriend and the boy he believed to be his ultimate life partner – in a drowning accident. In a desperate attempt to hold onto every last piece of the past, a broken Griffin forges a friendship with Theo’s new college boyfriend, Jackson. And Griffin will stop at nothing to learn every detail of Theo’s new college life, and ultimate death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin’s own version of the truth – both in terms of what he’s willing to hide, and what true love ultimately means…
History is All You Left Me is Adam Silvera’s second novel, his first being More Happy Than Not. Unfortunately, the latter is yet to be published here in the U.K… can someone please change that because I’ve officially found an author who’s writing I adore, and NEED to read everything he’s ever written.
This was a beautifully written book about grief, love, loss and friendship; overcoming fears and facing your own demons; being honest and taking life for yourself. I cried, hard. But I also grinned from ear-to-ear, and there were times when I wanted to throw the book across the room our of frustration at some of the characters’ actions (IN A GOOD WAY)
The structure of the book switches between “Today” and “History”, and whilst the today sections begin extremely morbidly, the history provides an element of light heartedness that is very much needed to stop this book from becoming incredibly depressing. Trust me, you don’t want to be reading this in public like I did…
This book isn’t heavily plot driven, which normally for me would dampen my enjoyment of a book. I very much like a fast paced plot line. Not in this case. Totally focusing on the character arcs, there was a depth to the characters that just totally captivated me – they were all so real and flawed, and I spent my time reading wondering when they were telling the truth. Take note people, humans lie, but I find it incredibly rare to read a book where characters lie. It seems everyone is always insanely honest in books.
Theo suffers with OCD and this just added a whole extra level on top of him dealing with his grief. His obsessive need for everything to be in multiples of two (with the exception of one and seven), and needing to be on people’s left hand side added an extra dimension whilst being approached sensitively and truthfully. At no point did I find the traits cliche or stereotypical.
I also LOVED the nerdy fandom references throughout. Harry Potter was mentioned several times, which just makes me need to read HP all over again, and I actually loved that Theo’s favourite HP character is Cedric Diggory! Totally unexpected and unique, although I have to argue against it because I always though Diggory was a bit of a d**k…
I wouldn’t complain if a Pirate-Zombie-Apocolypse spin-off was written either. An idea which all stemmed from a jigsaw puzzle in the first few chapters became a theme that ran throughout. And even something so tiny in relative proportion to the rest of the plot was incredible well thought out. There is no end to Silvera’s incredible imagination.
To wrap up, this book was beautiful and heartbreaking in every way, and I want to keep reading about these characters even though this difficult chapter in their lives is wrapping up and they’re moving on… I’m attached to them and I don’t want to let go! (I’m sensing some irony here, I need to let go…)
Bring on the release of They Both Die At The End so I can read more of Silvera’s gorgeous writing!
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