History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Thank you to NetGalley, Soho Press and Soho Teen for the ARC, History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. I loved Silvera’s first book, More Happy Than Not, but his second is even better as this sad, sad book deals with a group of three guys who are best friends trying to make sense of the sudden devastating loss of one of their trio. Wade, Griffin, and Theo have been joined at the hip for many years and while Griffin & Theo become romantically involved, their threesome remains intact. When Theo ponders going to college early, things begin to change within the dynamics of their tight little group. Told from Griffin’s point of view in his monologues which he directs to Theo, he bounces back and forth from his time with Theo (what he refers to as history) to the present and his devastating grief. Griffin has ODC compulsions, was totally in love with Theo but even so, broke up with him when Theo attends college in California. As Griffin laments much of what he said and did while Theo was alive; he becomes more and more grief stricken without Theo. At the funeral, Theo’s boyfriend, Jackson, attends and even more hurtful gives a eulogy (just as Grif does) and stays with Theo’s family. Theo’s family and Griffin’s family are so real; they loved their kids, talked to them and supported them. One of my favorite parts was when Theo & Grif come out to their families and I just felt all the love and happiness the parents had for these two boys as a romantic couple. I felt the palpable grief Griffin, Wade, Jackson and the families and friends suffered as a result of losing this very special, kind, and likable teen. I was fully invested in Grif’s journey of love, loss, devastation, lies, issues and I rooted for Griffin to find answers, peace, and honesty in his “history” monologues with the now dead Theo. Silvera has crafted the kind of a story teens have been asking to read for some time now. It speaks to their inner uncertainties, their love of family and friends, need for adventure but at the same time their need to be understood and accepted for who they are. Silvera’s book accomplishes this and much, much more; highly recommended.
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