History is All You Left Me


Title: History is All You Left Me

Author: Adam Silvera

Series: N/A

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK

Release Date: February 9th 2017


Five Stars

You’re still alive in alternate universes, Theo, but I live in the real world where this morning you’re having an open casket funeral. I know you’re out there, listening. And you should know I’m really pissed because you swore you would never die and yet here we are. It hurts even more because this isn’t the first promise you’ve broken. 

OCD-afflicted seventeen-year-old, Griffin, has just lost his first love – his best friend, ex-boyfriend and the boy he believed to be his ultimate life partner – in a drowning accident. In a desperate attempt to hold onto every last piece of the past, a broken Griffin forges a friendship with Theo’s new college boyfriend, Jackson. And Griffin will stop at nothing to learn every detail of Theo’s new college life, and ultimate death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin’s own version of the truth—both in terms of what he’s willing to hide, and what true love ultimately means…

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“I mean it: Promise me.”
“I promise you: I’ll never die.”

Griffin has lost the love of his life – his friend, his boyfriend, his endgame – and now he is forced to figure out what his life is going to be without Theo. Griffin keeps pulling away from his family and his friends, he’s a zombie going through all his day to day tasks, but he doesn’t see the point in any of it knowing that Theo is no longer in the world with him.

The only person who seems to understand what Griffin is going through is Jackson, Theo’s new boyfriend and the boy who was with him when he died. Griffin doesn’t like Jackson, he’s the one who took Theo away from him, but the two share the same grief and Jackson is the person who can give Griffin all the pieces of Theo’s life he is missing.

“This is the moment of the end. This is where we give up hope on reversing time, where we abandon finding a cure to death, where we live in this Theo-less universe, where we say goodbye.”

Together Griffin and Jackson share their memories of Theo’s life, grieving him together. However as the one-month anniversary of his death approaches and Griffin looks back at his past with Theo he’s forced to face the truth about the unhappy times in their relationship, and what it really was that drove them apart after Theo left for California.

History is All You Left Me tells two stories, both of them centred around Griffin and Theo. We see their developing relationship from the very beginning; from their first kiss all the way to their breakup. We see their past together through Griffin’s eyes and we see how important their relationship was to him and how important Theo was, even after their breakup. We also see Griffin struggling to come to terms with Theo’s death. Even though Theo is gone he is still a huge part of Griffin’s life, something that is never going to change.

History is All You Left Me is all about Griffin’s journey. We see everything from the happy times to the sad, and we follow him as he tries to come to terms with Theo’s life, his death, and everything in between.

…The Characters

“I feel like a rock being skipped through the ocean—pain, relief, pain again, relief again, eventually destined to sink.”

Griffin has OCD and it is a major aspect of his characterisation as well as a major aspect of his grief. When things are bad his OCD seems to get worse and there’s nothing he can do to manage it. In a world where Theo is gone and things seem out of his control there are a few things he can control and so he tries to hold onto those things with all his might. The way Griffin grieves for Theo isn’t necessarily the healthiest way. He pushes away everyone but Jackson thinking only the other boy who loved Theo can fully understand what he is going through.

We see two very different Griffin’s in this book; the Griffin from ‘Then’, when Theo was alive and they were happily dating, and the Griffin from ‘Now’, having lost Theo so many times before losing him once more forever. When Griffin was with Theo he was happy; he seemed to think he was the best possible version of himself and his OCD wasn’t a hindrance but something which made him unique in Theo’s eyes. With Theo gone Griffin is adrift, and instead of dealing with his grief he makes bad decisions to try and forget it.

“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.”

The relationship between Theo and Griffin, despite Theo having died, is a very important part of this story. Theo was Griffin’s first everything and even after they broke up, and Theo moved to university and moved on, he remained Griffin’s eventual endgame. So much of Griffin’s life seemed to be defined by Theo’s part in it and it was interesting to see him struggle with Theo gone; first in terms of him moving to California and later in terms of his death.

“I don’t know if I can stand hearing about your happiness with him, but maybe it’ll help me understand you better. Maybe it’ll help me add pieces to the puzzle of your life.”

The other relationships in this book all added their part to the story and the character development; the relationship between Griffin, Theo and Wade, the relationship between Theo and Jackson and later Griffin and Jackson, and the relationship between Griffin and his parents all played their part in helping us understand Griffin’s character and his grief. This story is about Griffin but it was also about grief, we didn’t just see how he dealt with everything but how his friends and family dealt with everything. History is All You Left Me is a powerful book and it was really interesting seeing how all the characters changed between ‘Then’ and ‘Now’.

As soon as I finished More Happy Than Not I jumped right into History is All You Left Me, which in hindsight might have been a mistake. This was still an amazing book, and Adam Silvera is an incredible author, but there is a lot of emotional turmoil in his writing and I struggled with this one at times. Still at least now I know to be prepared for Silvera’s next release.

What did you think of History is All You Left Me? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.


65 thoughts on “History is All You Left Me

  1. This seems like one heavy read, but definitely one worth reading. I’ve been meaning to add more contemporaries to my list, especially one that showcases diversity. This book might destroy me, but that’s okay! I’ve recovered from A List of Cages and half-recovered from Half-Wild, so I should be able to handle this one too LOL. Really looking forward to getting my hands on it Great review, Beth! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes a really heavy read, but if it sounds like something you’d enjoy that I’d highly recommend picking it up. Just maybe don’t read both of Adam Silvera’s books back to back. If you’re looking for contemporaries that showcase diversity this is definitely one for your list.
      You say that now but you’ll likely be in tears by the end, OK this book wasn’t as heartbreaking as the last book in the Half Bad trilogy but it was still up there.
      Thanks Azia. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind haha. I’ll add a couple of his books to my TBR but will make sure not to put them back to back haha.
        OK, if it wasn’t as heartbreaking as the Half Bad trilogy, then I can take it LOL.
        Sure thing! ❤


  2. Well, both this review and your review of More Happy Than Not have convinced me to pick up books by Adam Silvera! Good job, as I’m usually not that interested in reading contemporaries. 😀 Hopefully I’ll get my hands on one of his books soon, though I think I’ll finish the two contemporary books that I already own first. Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s great to hear Anna, and I really hope you enjoy these books as well. They’re completely heartbreaking but so amazing at the same time.
      I think even if you’re not a fan of contemporaries anything by Adam Silvera is something I’d recommend to anyone actually.
      I hope you manage to get around to these soon then. Thanks Anna! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed this one, despite some things in the second half of the book.

    Griffin and Theo’s budding relationship was so sweet. All the comic book, pop culture and book references got me so excited.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I need to read an Adam Silvera book already! I have both of his books on my TBR for this year but honestly I think I’m waiting for when I’m the mood for a very emotional read because if there is one thing I hear constantly about his book it’s that they’re intense emotionally. And I have a feeling I would get so wrapped up that it would send me into a reading slump 🙈. Either way, I’m so glad you ended up enjoying this Beth! I adore books that explore grief and I love the whole then and now thing, it’s interesting getting to see part of the story in the past. Plus, I’m really interested in the fact that the main character has OCD since I’ve only read one book with that explores that before. I will definitely be reading this at some point this year. Great review as always!! 💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you definitely do Melissa, I pretty much read this book immediately after finishing More Happy Than Not and I actually can’t decide which one I liked better, both were just amazing.
      You do need to be emotionally ready for both his book, they’re really heartbreaking and I can imagine if you weren’t ready you wouldn’t enjoy them as much, or wouldn’t be able to finish them. I haven’t gone into a reading slump or anything after reading this book but I have seemed to go right back into fantasy so maybe I am in a little bit of a contemporary slump.
      The only other book I’ve read that deals with grief this week is The Sky is Everywhere, and yes Griffin’s OCD really did add to his character and his grief as well. It was really interesting so I think you’ll really like it Melissa. Thanks as well! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not surprised. I’m pretty sure I’ve yet to hear anything negative about his books. Everyone I know who has read them has loved both a lot.
        Yeah, I can imagine that. I’ve put down sad books in the past when I wasn’t ready for them or in the mood for a sad read. And I actually think I’m in a bit of a contemporary slump too. All I want to read if fantasy which is fine since I love fantasy lol.
        I’ve read quite a few. I think I tend to favor sad contemporaries when I read them. Not that I don’t love happy ones but I noticed I read more that are sad. 🙈
        You’re welcome!! 😊💕

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The only negative thing I have to say is that reading the two back to back sent me into a hole of despair because they were so heartbreaking. Other than that both amazing books.
        Most of the times I put down sad books and just aren’t in the mood to read anything because I’m still not over that ending.
        Still in my fantasy binge, finished The Night Circus and now am onto Defy the Stars so just amazing books in my opinion! 😀
        I think I love happy books more than sad ones. I like to know things end on a positive note rather than a heartbreaking one.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah, I don’t think I could read them back to back. I would be reading slump central if I did that.
        I tend to do that too.
        Yay for fantasy binges! I’m in the middle of ADSOM at the moment. I’m a terribly slow reader. 😂 What’s Defy the Stars about? I’m not sure if I’ve heard of it before.
        I think I enjoy sad books that end on a happy note or at least a resolute note.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I read them back to back and seem to be in a bit of contemporary slump, if the speed I’m getting through fantasy books is anything to go by!
        Slow reader but at least you’re savouring it! 😀 Defy the Stars is by Claudia Grey, it’s a sci-fi book. Basically there’s a war in space and someone from one side ends up teaming up (kinda) with someone from another side to destroy the wormhole connecting the two worlds and ending the war in a way.
        I’m probably not describing it well but it’s very interesting at the moment.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Definitely savoring it. I’ll probably have it finished and a review up by the end of this week or the beginning of next. 😁
        That does sound interesting! I might just have to go add it to my TBR. I look forward to seeing your review for it.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely review, Beth! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed this one so much even if it was really emotional. I think I will read it someday, but…I’m kind of still getting over More Happy Than Not. It seems like Adam really has a thing about intense and emotional stories ahah, and if it’s a good thing, I guess it can be a bit overwhelming to read two of his books in a row ahah 🙂 Can’t wait to read that one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie. 🙂
      Yeah this was an amazing book but so emotional, and actually you’re doing a good thing and waiting until you’re over More Happy Than Not. I started this one immediately after finishing Adam Silvera’s first book and oh it was so hard to get through. Take as long as you need before getting around to this one.
      His stories are definitely intense, really well written and really emotional as well. When you do get around to HIAYLM you’ll love it as much as I did. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. AHHH this book!! ❤ ❤ My heart still has not healed over it, I don't think. Agh. It was such a great story, I loved seeing Griffin's journey, along with the people around him, dealing with the grief, struggling to find happiness, everything was just so heartbreaking, but wonderful. Adam Silvera's books always make you reflect so much and emotionally invests you. I'm kind of nervous (a good nervous!) for his upcoming novel (They Both Die at the End does not seem any lighter than these two) but I know it will be just as amazing. But back to this book! Absolutely loved it. 😉 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it’s amazing, and actually I don’t think my heart is quite over it either.
      The character development in Adam Silvera’s books is honestly beyond compare, and the way he writes grief in this book feels so raw at times doesn’t it?
      I’m nervous for They Both Die at the End as well, the title kind of leads you to believe it’s not going to be a happy story, but I’m sure it will be just as amazing. And given there’s still a while to go before it’s released I have plenty of time to get over this one and More Happy Than Not. 🙂
      Thanks Analee! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, how he writes grief in this book felt so raw and so real, my heart was breaking throughout. Aha yes, oh my gosh, though his books do seem to have a mix of both happy and sad, don’t you think? But it ends up being an overall heartbreaking story, aha. I can’t wait for it! But yes, at least there’s time for us to heal our hearts haha. 💘

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think the ending to this book was more hopeful than the ending to More Happy Than Not, still heartbreaking but not as heartbreaking.
        They’re books that kind of make you think and work for the happy ending I guess, at least that’s how it seems to me sometimes.
        How much time do you think we’ll need, and will the wait until the release of his next book be enough? 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s very true, my heart at the end of this book was mostly reeling from the rest of the story haha and was a bit eased by the ending in comparison.
        Ahhh well I think the book releases in September? I do hope 6 months will be enough… but with Silvera’s books, you never know! 😳💘

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It seemed like the last part of the book really amped up the heartbreak but at the same time it gave us an ending that kind of gave hope for the future and all.
        You never do, but six months is still a lot of time. 🙂 ❤


    1. Thanks so much Lashaan, oh Adam Silvera has pretty much made an art form over breaking readers hearts. I’m pretty sure it will continue. His next book, They Both Die at the End, kind of gives away the fact that it won’t be a happy-go-lucky book.
      He definitely is, I’d recommend his books to anyone regardless of whether they read this genre or not.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. Oh this book was so emotional, but at the same time definitely worth reading. You need to be in the right mood to pick it up so hopefully you’ll feel that way soon and really enjoy this book, despite the emotional turmoil it will cause. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Ellie. I think I’d still recommend this one, it’s a wonderful story and the way Adam Silvera writes Griffin and his grief is just so powerful and moving and real. I think if you can get past the fact that his writing isn’t that compelling for you it’s a story you’ll likely enjoy. 🙂


  7. Great review, Beth! As you know I’ve been struggling to emotionally want to pick up this one, but you’ve managed to detail so many of the things that would be important to me: the characters, the themes, the relationships between Griffin and Theo, the “then” and “now” chapters… I’m still a bit scared to read it because I’m not sure I’m in the right head space but perhaps it will actually help. What was it that made you struggle with this book at times – like was it just too emotional or uncomfortable or something else?

    I’ve never seen that cover before and I’m really liking it! Silvera gets really cute ones. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Reg. Yeah this is a book you do need to be emotionally in the right place to read. I don’t think I was so much when I started it and it took me forever to get through it as a result. Still I thought it was an amazing book and so well written as well. Everything in the story comes together to create a really emotional journey for Griffin and everyone else who lost Theo.
      I think what made me struggle was that reading More Happy Than Not and then jumping straight into this one was too much sadness. HIAYLM is not a happy story and I think the emotions were too much at times. There was nothing that made me uncomfortable about the book, but in hindsight I would have probably been better off having a break in between both of Adam Silvera’s books and coming back to this one with fresh eyes, if that makes sense.
      That’s the UK cover, I think I prefer the US one but I do like the UK one as well. 🙂 ❤


      1. Totally understandable, and that just confirmed to me that I don’t think I’m in the right space to read this just yet! Real life’s already emotional enough so I’ve just been reading really light-hearted stuff (and some thrillers, haha).

        Yeah, the UK cover is really cute! At least they look like the same book, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Maybe if you get through some light-hearted and fluffy reads, with a few thrillers mixed in, you’ll eventually be ready to read this book. It’s not an easy story but definitely worth reading.
        Yeah good point actually. 🙂


  8. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one Beth even though it was a bit tough cuz of the subject matter. I’m not a fan of books that deal with grief since I myself don’t cope too well with it but it’s Adam lol, he can do no wrong in my eyes. Great review, loved the quotes you chose especially ““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.” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah overall it was a brilliant book, and despite the tough subject matter it was incredibly well written and well handled too. I haven’t read many books on grief, and certainly not many that are as powerful as this one is, but you’re right Adam Silvera can do no wrong it seems. 😀
      Thanks so much Lilly, yeah there were plenty of amazing quotes to choose from from this book. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! I think he’s made you a fan as well 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 I have yet to meet him but I plan on making his next NYC event for sure 😉 we have his next book coming out soon so there’s always that to look forward to 😆

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh if you haven’t read an Adam Silvera book yet then you’re in for a treat. They’re both amazing, though really emotionally turbulent.
      I think for me with this going straight from More Happy Than Not into HIAYLM was too much. I would have gotten through this book quicker if I’d had a break from the grief and heartbreak in his books and read something more happy, if that makes sense.
      Thanks Kate. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is not my favorite genre but I do like the sound of this one, there’s something about grief that appeal to me, it seems weird, haha! The story seems to delve deep into first love and everything it entails, and the scars it leaves. Fab review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think even if this isn’t your normal genre it’s still one I’d recommend. Adam Silvera handles the subject and the grief really really well in this book and it’s so powerfully written. Honestly I don’t have a bad thing to say about HIAYLM.
      Thanks Donna. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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