I wasn’t sure if right now was the right time to read Adam Silvera’s new book History Is All You Left Me. I’ve been steering clear of super sad books recently. Between, Silvera’s last book More Happy Than Not (not a cheerful-feel good story) and the description of the book, I knew this book would be beyond super sad. See for yourself: 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.
Drowning. Mental Illness. Heartbreak. Grief. Do you see what I’m talking about? After hearing great things from friends and remembering Silvera’s skill in character building, I decided to risk it. And yes, it was sad. Very sad. But really it was all the emotions. Every single one.
Seriously. I felt happy, sad, scared, angry, swoony, even a little bit jealous. I laughed. I didn’t cry – but I thought I was going to sometimes. It was compulsively readable. The book is structured between the present day and history. I’ll admit the history parts were my favorite to read, probably because that’s more about the romance than the grief. Both parts made the other more meaningful though.
I wrote before that the author was good at character building. This remained a big time strength of the story. The characters’ interests and personalities seem so specific and real across the board. The fact that Theo likes Star Wars while Griffin likes Harry Potter is not coincidental. Silvera makes it deeply meaningful.
So yeah, this was a sad book. But it was a lot more than that. I hope if/when you pick this one up it means as much to you as it did to me.