This is the first Adam Silvera book that I have ever read. I bought it as soon as it came out but I didn’t end up reading it until months and months later because of the hype that was surrounding the book; it just put me off reading it. But now I’ve finally read it, and I can finally share with you all what I thought of History is All You Left Me.
WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD
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.
Ok, so this book let me down. I don’t know whether it let me down BECAUSE of all of the hype that surrounds it, or just because I didn’t actually like the book that much. Don’t get me wrong, I did kind of enjoy reading it, and I read the entire thing in a few hours, but when I finished the book, I reflected on what I had read and what had happened and to be honest, I wasn’t that impressed.
I think the premise of the book is actually very interesting. Griffin’s ex-boyfriend dies, he meets his ex’s current(?) boyfriend and then they help each other through the death of their ex. So yeah, that sounds interesting and it’s a book with gay protagonists which I’m all here for because I love reading books that aren’t just about straight, white people. At first, this book lived up to the hype and all of my expectations; I was absolutely loving it. And then the book hit a certain point where Griffin was just being an absolute idiot. He was sleeping around and I know that he was self-destructing, but there are different ways to convey a character who is depressed and I was just tired of reading about this character sleeping with absolutely everyone. He acted spiteful, selfish and I just thought he could be really really mean at times. Same goes for Theo. Everyone seemed to be so hung up on him. Is it me, or was he just a massive jerk? Sure, he sounded nice at the beginning, but he led on TWO people. That’s just not right.
“Then there’s the kind of zombie I’ve become now: the one who has lost everything—his brain, his heart, his light, his direction. He wanders the world, bumping into this, tripping over that, but keeps going and going. That is life after death.”
― Adam Silvera,
And then there was a romance that was introduced near the end of the book and I was just sat here reading it like “what. Where the hell did that come from?!”. There seemed to be no lead up to it and nothing during the rest of the book that even hinted a tiny little thing about it. I HATE ROMANCES THAT APPEAR OUT OF NOWHERE AND AT THE END OF A BOOK. WHAT IS THE POINT? ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE’S BEEN NO LEAD UP TO IT AT ALL DURING THE REST OF THE BOOK.
Ugghhhh. Can you tell that I’m just mega angry about this? I think I’m just angry because the beginning was SO good. It got me all emotional, especially because I went through my own horrific break up a year and a half ago, so reading this book just brought back all of the horrible, emotional memories. But it was a good beginning, and then it hit the half way (ish) mark and then everything just went bad.
However, I do have one positive thing to say about Griffin sleeping around, Silvera took the opportunity to promote safe-sex which I’m all here for. I love it when YA novels talk about safe-sex and don’t just brush over how to have it. And yes, through all of the sleeping around, he does find himself and realises he’s ruining himself but still… I just didn’t like witnessing him destroying himself and being a HUUUGGGGEEEE JACKASS.
I was actually really excited to read Silvera’s upcoming book: They Both Die at the End, but I’m wary because of not really enjoying this one. BUT, I’m still going to read his new one because I can’t just rule out not reading an author because of ONE book, so I’m going to give TBDATE a go and see if I enjoy it or not. Hopefully, it’s better than HIAYLM… FINGERS CROSSED.
In the category of 2 stars, but I’ve given it 2.5