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Book Review: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Rating 4/5

"History is all you left me" is ironically a good way to describe my relationship with Adam Silvera's writing lol. This is my third and probably my last read by him. But it's been a good time.

17-year-old Griffin has just lost his ex-boyfriend and best friend Theo in a drowning accident. And now he must deal with the aftermath of moving on while dealing with his own mental disability in the process.

To get to the things I loved about this book:

This story was told in a timeline swapping format. That takes place after Theo's death, (Today) and during the two years, he dates Griffin & Jackson (History). The narration is also in an epistolary format, (MY FAVORITE🤗) where Griffin is speaking to Theo in what reads like letters or diary entries to him. I think this book dealt with grief in an unhealthy but realistic way. Trauma bonds are real, and while some may see them as controversial, they can be a good way for people to make new friends & deal with grief and guilt. I also liked how OCD was handled in this book. As someone who doesn't understand it on a personal level, seeing Griffin's struggle was a learning experience for me.

Theo & Griffin's relationship was cute, but to a point, I found it hard to feel sorry for the demise of it. Without giving away any spoilers, let's just say the person who initiated the breakup had no business making himself the victim. And they both needed to man up and be honest about moving on. It would've prevented so much heartache, drama, and tragedy.

Now on to the things I disliked:

Adam has a thing for recycling his character's personalities. Griffin & Theo were basically a copy of Aaron & Thomas from 'More Happy Than Not.' with the same NYC setting and childish comic/fanboy personalities. Like other YA books, Adam needs to decide how old he wants his characters to be. One minute they're playing make-believe with capes & swords like middle schoolers and then having sex like HS seniors the next. Pick a lane of adolescence and stick to it.

I also felt like this book could've ended about 20 pages earlier than it did. The last few entries could've been tossed in during the middle and it would've made for a much smoother ending. I'll be honest, I didn't love this book as much as I wanted to. But I did like it for what it was. I'd put it right between his other two books. 'They Both Die at the End' was a book about death, love, & grief. 'More Happy Than Not' was a book that touched on mental issues, sexuality, and relationships. This book was the perfect mix of both those things. Which is both a compliment but also calls for some criticism in Adam's repetitiveness. Still, he's a great writer and I'm so glad I stumbled upon his books.

You can find it on Amazon, Scrib'd or your local library!



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