PAGE COUNT: 320 PAGES
“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.”
When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.
To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.
If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.
“Time doesn’t heal all wounds. We both know that’s bullshit; it comes from people who have nothing comforting or original to say.”
I’m not sure what I expected when I started this book, whatever it was I was wrong. History Is All You Left Me is equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring and filled to the brim with quotable prose. I was really giving my posts it a work out through this book. Silvera’s writing is somehow both beyond beautifully poetic and completely relatable.
“I’ll never understand how time can make a moment feel as close as yesterday and as far as years.”
Griffin is a character who you meet in the middle of one of the hardest events life can through at us, the death of a loved one. Not only that, but he is suffering from OCD which is getting progressively worse from the moment we are introduced to him. I was very impressed by the way Silvera portrays Griffins character throughout the novel. He goes through a range of emotions and is at times, selfish and hard to empathise with. Around the middle of the book I honestly hated the character, and felt more for other characters in the story. I’m pleased to say I changed my tune and was both surprised and proud of the character by the end of the story.
“There’s nothing wrong with someone saving my life, I’ve realized, especially when I can’t trust myself to get the job done right. People need people. That’s that.”
“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.”
Theo is interesting to read about because we only get a sense of him through other characters memories of him. I found it a very interesting way to get to know a character. Reading the book you go from knowing this idealised version of a person to understanding that he was just a boy, who was loved by a great many people.
“I was in love and love died and the pain you’ve left isn’t pain I can see myself having the strength to face again”
I’m not going to talk to much about the other characters as I want to keep this a spoiler free review. So I’ll just say this. History Is All You Left Me is a book that will have you on a rollercoaster of emotions. I kept expecting one thing to happen and continued to be beyond surprised, and I mean it. I was literally gasping out loud at multiple points throughout the book. For this reason, and for all the lessons you will take away from the book. I strongly recommend it.
“I was right about not being able to control my own surprises, but I was wrong about how good these surprises could actually be for me. Every time a new old song comes on, I’m being resurrected. This is the true power of history. Old memories and feelings are being revived, and I’m not complaining. It’s like I still have the fatigue that got me to quit the song in the first place, but I don’t mind being woken up to it for a little bit.”
Oh and have tissues on hand, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
“I’m sorry, but please don’t be mad at me for reliving all of it. History is all you left me.”