History is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera

Review

History Is All You Left MeTITLE: History is All You Left Me
AUTHOR: Adam Silvera

RELEASED: January 17, 2017
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
FORMAT: Paperback

GENRE: YA Contemporary, LGBTQIA+
GOODREADS RATING: 4.12

TRIGGERS: Grief, OCD, death of a friend, emotional abuse, homophobia

SYNOPSIS
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…

Standaard

Today’s Tuesday, I know! But I’m simply not feeling today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic at all so I decided to give you guys a review instead!
I went into History Is All You Left Me firmly believing I was going to cry. I’ve heard of Silvera’s reputation, I know people claiming they were in tears when they read this book, I remember being completely and utterly broken when I read They Both Die At The End. Safe to say, I expected to be as broken as I was then, but… That didn’t happen.
. Like, at all.

The good

The thing that definitely didn’t change was my love for Silvera’s writing. It’s honest, raw and so in-your-face you simply know the characters are true to who they are. In other novels, I often feel like the male’s POV is, in a way, feminized. They take on these characteristics that sometimes make me think it might as well be a woman, while it’s clear there’s a straight, male character. That’s something I definitely didn’t have with Griffin’s voice, with the way he communicates.

Being told by Griffin, to Theo, the story itself keeps switching between his history and present. We’re a part of how he’s dealing with his grief, how he’s trying to fit everything together, finding ways to build himself back up. Seeing someone deal with grief always is something heart-breaking because we know it isn’t easy. It’s hard to see memories of that person everywhere you go; it’s even harder in Griffin’s case since he has to do that while being confronted with Theo’s boyfriend, Jackson.

I’ll never understand how time can make a moment feel as close as yesterday and as far as years.

I was surprised to find myself connecting with Jackson way more than Griffin. I pitied Jackson for how lost he seemed, for how he was treated by others, for his struggle to say goodbye to someone people. He was my favorite character, by far.

The incorporation of OCD is something I really enjoyed – which sounds weird to say in a way, but hey. I’ve simply never dealt with people who have OCD so this was something new to me. It showed me how this illness can have a lot of different forms, sometimes even ones that aren’t noticeable if you don’t know about them.

The bad

Oh boy. Here we go. I expected to love this novel and for it to break me, but that didn’t happen. Instead I got mad – a lot. I found Griffin to be an absolute, egocentric ass. The only thing that mattered to him was his grief as if others weren’t entitled to grieve as well. That hurt me so much because the way he treated certain people was.. simply put.. absolutely horrible. This made me enjoy this novel way, way less than I would’ve had he not been that way, but unfortunately he was. And that ruined pretty much the entire book for me. I’d love to go into detail on this, because it had such a major influence on my reading experience. But since that’d be ridiculously spoiler-y, I’m not going to do that. Just know that this impacted my reading a lot.

2.5
Overall, I do say the theme of this novel and the OCD-representation was something I was happy about. Jackson is a character I’ll remember for a while but… Unfortunately Griffin ruined it. I never expected to give a novel of Adam Silvera this low of a rating, but it happened…

What’s a book you expected to love, but ended up disappointing you big time?
Was it also an issue you had with one of the characters, or maybe the writing?

Nametag

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26 thoughts on “History is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera

  1. Oh nooooo, I adoreee Silvera’s writing and this worries me so much. This book is on my TBR for when I have more time, and while this review isn’t going to *stop* me from reading, it certainly makes me want to make the book a loan more than a purchase. I can’t stand characters who act like what they feel is above anyone else’s feelings. That frustrates me to no end because … their feelings can be totally valid, but taken to such extremes the character is no longer likeable.

    Thanks for sharing this review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knooow.. I’ve had a whole discussion about this with someone else as well. I was so sure Silvera would become one of my auto-buy authors but this book made me doubt that..
      I really did not like the main character, at all. I can’t even remember the last time I got so annoyed over a character.. :/ But I’m still hoping you might like it more than I did!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ugh that is so frustrating. I know writing a great main character is obviously a struggle. But when a book flops for a reader because of the main character? When the plot itself was awesome? :/ You just wonder how no one caught it sooner. Or if you’re just the one missing something.

      Fingers will be crossed! But usually I agree when people find a character annoying.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like this very much! This is a book I plan to read in the near future, just so I can form an opinion of my own about it… The only Silvera book I read thus far is They Both Die At The End, which killed me in the best way 😂💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had the same with TBDATE so I have History is All You Left Me doesn’t disappoint you like it did me! Let me know once you’ve read it because I REALLY need to know whether or not I’m the only one who gets annoyed by Griffin.. :’)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This book is on my TBR, and would be the first of his novels I’ve read, so I guess maybe I should pick another one of his to start with, as it sounds like I might find this book pretty frustrating!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The first of his books I read was They Both Die At The End and I loved that one!
      Depends on how you look at it though. If you read History is All You Left Me and you don’t like it, you’ll be less eager to pick up another of his novels. But if you read another one first, you might up your expectations for this one and it might disappoint you and put you off Silvera’s books? [But I’m seriously hoping you simply like all his books, haha]

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve read a novel that dealt with OCD before (but ended as an erotic novel ☹️). I have a copy of this novel but I already didn’t feel very emotional reading his other novel, They Both Die At The End, so I’m already a bit wary about this one. I don’t like egoistic people in books either so this should be interesting. Great review Kathy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t really like erotic novels anymore – unless there’s a paranormal / fantasy take on it; that I can deal with, hah.
      Oh, I cried at the end of They Both Die At The End but I’m simply.. too sensitive when it comes to books – or so I’ve noticed lately.
      I wonder what you’ll think of it should you pick this one up though!
      Thanks, Inge!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was expecting people to adore this one. Adam seems like an insta-buy for many readers.

    Ooh. Labyrinth Lost. I was so happy to see a bi Latina girl be at centre stage. But her lost interests, especially the one she gets together with, we’re a little disappointing. But the last half wasn’t too bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, I noticed that as well. A friend of mine went to saying he’s an auto-buy author to.. well, not really being one anymore because of this book. It’s hard admitting that but I feel the same way. I wanted to love this book.

      Sucks when that happens! I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with a bi Latina MC.. I think..

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That’s too bad. I’ve been wanting to get into his books for awhile, but I might just skip this one.

      Same, that’s why I bought it. I liked the world building though. So hopefully, the sequel isn’t awful.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. He has another one out but I don’t think I’ll pick that one up either. Most of the Goodreads-friends I trust, gave it three stars or something to.. yeah. :’) I’m keeping my fingers crossed for What If It’s Us to blow me away when it’s released, haha.

      Fingers crossed for that as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah, it sounds like a story that is upsetting and sad already without an annoying protagonist ruining everything.
    One of the topics on the reading challenge is to read a book about grief, and i’m dreading it because of what you mentioned in this review as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got way more upset over the main character than anything else really. And I hate it because I want to love all Silvera’s book but apparently that isn’t happening.
      Grief is a hard one, in my opinion. Those books can be so hard to get through..

      Liked by 1 person

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