No matter what I write it could never match up to how Adam Silvera was able to write this beautiful novel. The cover for this book is absolutely stunning and knowing that it deals with a gay love story gives me the reason to purchase and read this story. I am fortunate enough to have finished IT right before this marathon because this book has been calling me to read for months and with good reason.
The story deals with Griffin who has to deal with the death of his best friend/ex-boyfriend Theo who died from a drowning accident. It is heartbreaking to read about the death of a friend but what is different about this tale is Griffin believed that Theo and him would be soul mates till the end of time. Theo was Griffin’s first love and they shared everything together from losing their virginity together to creating alternative universes in their imagination. Griffin called it quits when Theo got admitted to college in California because he believed it was the right choice to make and ever since he has tortured himself for the choices he has made especially with Theo got involved with another guy named Jackson in College.
The novel shifts every chapter from the present to the past and through the course of the narrative we get insight into their relationship leading up to Theo’s death and what I treasured the most about this story was its honesty when it comes to grief. We all cope with grief differently and we see those aspects with these characters. Griffin throughout the story can seem unlikeable and no doubt selfish and its completely understandable because you are dealing with a group of teenagers strung into this chaos and feeling like no one could relate to their pain. Especially for Griffin, he suffers from OCD and the secrets that he keeps makes it harder for him to accept that he needs help and needs to let go.
Originally I thought this book was going to be too predictable especially for the ending but I was surprised how things turned out for Griffin and that is what made the story enjoyable. There was never a moment where I felt bored and some of the topics that are discussed such as death, heartbreak, low self-esteem, and our personal securities were brought to the surface and it was crazy how it felt like Adam was reading my mind. I don’t consider myself to have OCD (which I believe is a serious mental illness) but I definitely have major quirks that sometimes feels like roadblocks when it comes to my interaction with others.
If I could turn back time to when I was 17 years old and dating someone like Theo I can guarantee you that I would be a mixer of Griffin and Jackson. My self-esteem was nonexistent, never been in a relationship, didn’t have friends I could truly trust, constantly rejected by guys, and not having the proper outlets to express my pain and frustrations that lead down a spiral that I thought I could never get out. Repeating the same mistakes expecting different results was my life throughout high school and I am glad that this chapter of my life happened when I was younger than now as a young adult.
Adam Silvera created characters that are not supposed to be likable which I believe he did a great job on and it was refreshing to discover a story that made me recognize that I am not alone in my struggles. One of my major complaints about displaying gay teenagers in books, films, or even on television for that matter is how they follow this basic plot that once you come out of the closet everything magically solves itself and you are guaranteed a boyfriend which is not always the case. I remember as a teen I would get furious and bitter about this because I would do everything correct and yet I had no knight in shining armor to rescue me instead I had to rescue myself. History Is All You Left Me is one of the first few books where I get to meet flawed characters and see an accurate portrayal that not everyone has the right answer to everything in life.
BookTubeAThon 2017 Challenge #1 :
Read a book with a person on the cover.