History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

I’ll never understand how time can make a moment feel as close as yesterday and as far as years.

I feel weird admitting this to the Internet, but that’s the only way I can do this this review. I fell in love with a boy. He was my best friend, and I didn’t understand the concept yet. He was so amazing to me and I could see our future everytime I closed my eyes. It’s crazy to think that I don’t even have a picture of the two of us after all that time. Since the last day of high school, I’ve been blocked by all his accounts and his phone. Now what remains of my love is my memories.
History is All You Left Me evoked all levels of emotion in me. Adam Silvera’s writing was able to tug on every one of my heart strings without ever seeming to try. Each of the boys struggles with love in a way only high school students can really manage. Their complicated web of feelings leads you around wild turns that feel so very human. After recently re-engaging in my old pastime of remembering my friend, I can say I have a great empathy for each of these boys- each of these very gay boys.
I should explain the actual plot a little bit. The story starts out at Theo’s funeral. Theo moved to California about a year before to go to college early. Before he moved he had a squad of two boys, Wade and Griffin. They had each been together since they were little. Griffin had recently moved up from best friend to boyfriend. Once Theo moves away though, Griffin ends things with Theo and Theo moves on to a boy named Jackson. Jackson becomes Theo’s new boyfriend and is there when Theo drowns at the beach.
Theo’s death brings Jackson and Griffin together but not in the way you expect.
Throughout the book we oscillate between the history Griffin has with Theo and the present day drama following Theo’s death. Everytime you go back to the past, we see a little more of why the present day is the way it is. Suddenly friendships aren’t what they appeared to be and hatred begins to melt away, history is shown not to be as sacred as Griffin thinks it was. Silvera can turn a scene on its head with just a little more context.
I refuse to go further in my personal sob story because this is about the book. However, know that bringing your own emotional turmoil into a mess like this will make the roller-coaster so much rougher. For example, despite Griffin’s initial anger toward Jackson, that I can tell is supposed to make me hate him too, I refused to give more than a little distrust. It made the events of the story so much more heart-wrenching for me, but I think it paid off in the end. Each of these characters taught me something personal from their experience. No one in this story is perfect and no one in real life is either. Each of their flaws (not including Griffin’s incredibly woven OCD) allow me and any reader to see the cracks in reality.
My feelings are inextricably tied to the way I read this book which made it all the more timely in my life. At some point, I’ll have to reread it without all the real life implications, but I don’t think that may happen. Adam Silvera wrote a book that every one should read when they lose their love and when the history is all they have left.

PS. This book made me cry and freak out as I read it on an hours-long bus ride. I would like to say SCREW YOU ADAM SILVERA, for being an amazing writer and creating a masterpiece of a book!

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About the Author

Andrew Walker Watson is a freshman International Studies Major. He loves Brazilian rap music, discovering useless facts, and, naturally, writing. If he could ever stop staring out into space, he would like to start a global movement to change the world and guest host Saturday Night Live.
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