Sometimes you just read a book at the exact right time in your life. The triumphs and struggles of the characters resonate with your mind and heart at the perfect frequency. When you finish it, there is a sense of satisfaction. Yet, at the same time, you want to go right back to the beginning and live it all over again.
That feeling is what went through me as I was reading History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. And maybe that’s all b.s. poetry, but I really did adore every page of this book. Let me set the scene for those of you who don’t know what this novel is about:
Griffin had always believed that his first love, Theo, would be his last and only. But after Theo dies in a sudden drowning accident, Griffin is forced to see his life and future through a different lens. And when Theo’s boyfriend, Jackson, travels across the country to Theo’s funeral, Griffin is faced with a choice: Bury his history away from foreign eyes and minds, or confront every detail.
This story switched between two points of view: History, and Today. This worked so wonderfully because as you progressed in Griffin’s road of grief, you also get to see how and why him and Theo became a couple and what they meant to one another. The pacing between the two timelines worked, honestly because if I read one timeline for too long I would end up sobbing instead of releasing just a few tears at a time.
Timing, as I mentioned, was crucial in my relating to this story. I am at the end of my high school career, like Griffin. And also, like Griffin, I have had friends that I care about leave for school and have had friendships drift apart. The portrayal of this reminds me of those I am not as close to as I used to be, and I felt some heartbreak in that. I haven’t known a devastating loss like in this novel, but reading it, I can almost imagine how it would feel. When you read the History of Theo and Griffin, you become more attached as you progress.
There was also a wonderful juxtaposition of the overall feeling of the timelines as the book progressed. In the beginning, Today was devastating and depressing, History was light and exhilarating. But as the characters grew and the story went on, History became corrupted and jealous, while Today was the light at the end of the tunnel feeling.
I also believe this is the first time I’ve cried out of happiness or satisfaction. The ending just, felt right. The story was resolved, and it was…nice. We saw what the book and it’s title character had set out to confront, History. And in the end, History is all that’s left of us, isn’t it?
But seriously, this book gets a 100% for me. It was exactly what I wanted to read and I am so glad I picked it up when I did. I am now going to pick up More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera, and anxiously await his new release this fall!
Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!