“History remains with the people who will appreciate it most.”
History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, published in 2017, is a YA fictional romance novel that tells the story of a 17-year-old boy, Griffin. Dealing with love, grief, friendship, and sexuality, this book will move you to tears and have you laughing on the next page, before again driving you to tears.
Silvera knows what he is writing about, as everything in the book written has a purpose in some way or the other. It almost felt as if this was more of a personal story than a fictional novel. But the beauty of Adam Silvera’s writing is that all of the books he wrote have that edge, that feeling of something unfeigned. Nevertheless, reading this book felt as though Silvera knew what grief is, how horrible homophobia can be, how teenagers are, well, just teenagers, and so much more.
After Theo’s (Griffin’s best friend and first love) unfortunate death in a drowning accident, Griffin finds himself helpless and feels he’s the reason behind it. Trying to come to terms with Theo’s death, Jackson, Theo’s boyfriend from California, arrives. Griffin finds himself torn between hating Jackson and knowing he is the only one who understands him. Pushing away his old common friend with Theo, Wade, who also has a lot on his plate, these three boys try to deal with the unfortunate incident. But they are all burdened with secrets of their own, most of all Griffin. Shifting between different times and telling the history Theo shares with Griffin, this book is a full package of awkward firsts to mutual breakups and manipulative relationships, without any of them being unrealistic!
This story has the most unfiltered form of LGBT representation, from gay couples to bisexual boys (YES! Bisexual boys, we don’t get to see those enough!). But it’s not all rainbows and cupcakes, as we can see the horrible hatred that LGBT community gets. However,at the same time we see supportive parents and friends! The representation for me is quite positive and reveals the problems that LGBT couples go through in general.
The writing of the characters really capture the true essence of being a teenager and have depth. As someone who read this book when I was 17, I can say for sure that Griffin’s awesome Harry Potter/Star Wars references, his quirky humor, his love for songs, and universe really made him a true geeky teenager. But don’t think for a second that the book is all “sappy” romance, there is a huge plot twist and multiple life lessons waiting for you amongst its pages.
After reading this book you will be left with an emptiness, you’ll grieve over the loss of something you never even had. But I still recommend this book to you, all of you, no matter what your age, gender or sexuality is. You’ll absolutely fall in love with this book and all the characters. You might hate Griffin, or you might sympathize with him. It all depends on you and your perspective on life and relationships but one is for sure: this book is a masterpiece and will appeal to you in some way or the other.