History Is All You Left Me Review

Sunday, 6 August 2017


By Adam Silvera
Rating: 5/5
Source: W H Smith Bundle

Griffin has lost his first love in a drowning accident. Theo was his best friend, ex-boyfriend and the one he believed he would end up with. Now, reeling from grief and worsening OCD, Griffin turns to an unexpected person for help. Theo's new boyfriend. 
But as their relationship becomes increasingly complicated, dangerous truths begin to surface. Griffin must make a choice: confront the pass or miss out on his future.


This is the first of Juno Dawson's picks that I'm reading and I was really excited when I saw this was a part of the Zoella book club because I had heard so many good things about this book and Adam's book More Happy Than Not was brilliant, leaving me with high hopes for this book!

As you will know from the blurb, Griffin has lost his ex-boyfriend in a drowning accident, this reminded me straight away of The Start Of Me and You by Emery Lord, though the difference with this book is that Griffin wasn't dating Theo at the time of his accident like Paige was in TSOMAY, leaving him in a difficult position. Theo had moved on and found someone new, even though Griffin had been convinced they'd get back together -this only made my heart break for Griffin even more. 

If you lose a loved one, you have perhaps the soul comfort of knowing that you were in their heart. I wouldn't begin to know what to do if someone I wasn't over emotionally, suddenly died. The pain of death is very raw in this book, more so than in any other book I've read recently and I think it was the element of helplessness. Everyone would be looking out for the grieving boyfriend, but not the grieving ex. 

“People are complicated puzzles, always trying to piece together a complete picture, but sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we’re left unfinished. Sometimes that’s for the best. Some pieces can’t be forced into a puzzle, or at least they shouldn’t be, because they won’t make sense.” 

Part of the book explores the history of relationship between Griffin and Theo, from friends to boyfriends, even in the present where Theo is gone it seems like he's still there from the way Griffin includes Theo in his life and thought process as though he's going to walk in the room at any moment. 

Jackson was Theo's new boyfriend and though both him and Griffin know how each other are feeling, they seem reluctant to sit down and talk it out. As you can imagine, they go through a journey together and though I won't say how the book ends; it does end beautifully. 

As well as dealing with grief, Griffin suffers from OCD which was really fascinating to me because I don't recall ever reading a book where the main character has this (I may be wrong, sorry). It wasn't a book about OCD but it featured prominently enough for it to explain the behaviour in a way that was tasteful and informative. I have known people IRL who display symptoms but this was different, again informing just how much variation there is with OCD. 

I'd recommended this book to all you fans of YA literature, I don't think this is specific to LGBTQ because everyone experiences loss and unrequited love, but if you don't like LGBTQ+ characters firstly, what the hell is wrong with you? And second, change your mind and read this beautiful book. 

“History is nothing. It can be recycled or thrown away completely. It isn’t this sacred treasure chest I mistook it to be. We were something, but history isn’t enough to keep something alive forever.” 

Thanks for reading!

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