Two years ago on my 2017 must-read list, I included History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. Despite reading many, many books last year, I did not read it. Thus it carried over to my 2018 must-read list. I am happy to report I’m victorious at last.
I’ll be honest. Why did it take me so long to read this book? I desperately hate sad things. You cannot fathom the depths to which I cannot tolerate them. But I powered through it because I could not take the shame of going another year studiously ignoring this book. After all, it’s a book that starts off with the sad thing and gets slowly better.
I read it like ripping off a bandaid, and though my opinion of sad reading material is unchanged, I found the book itself to be beautiful. In short, it is the aftermath of a boy’s (Theo) death, and his ex-boyfriend’s (Griffin) recovery.
A few things left me unsure about the book. The most prominent is the suggestion at the end of the book that Griffin has been hallucinating Theo’s continued presence in his life. Before this the book read like a goodbye letter to Theo’s memory. With this new element in the last few pages, the book was stripped of some of its tenderness. Secondly, and of much more minor concern, Silver’s teenspeak, especially at the beginning of the book, could be stilted and hard to take seriously.
I enjoyed this book, if you can enjoy a few hours of heartache. Watching Griffin slowly recover and repair his relationships with friends and family felt realistic and natural. If you don’t mind tears, this book is a great one.