Overall rating: 4.2/5
I rarely read YA books, but I made an exception for this book because I found it in the LGBT section and I’ve heard rave reviews about it. And holy crap, it did not disappoint.
Griffin, the narrator and one of the protagonists in History is All You Left Me, is grieving the loss of Theo and tries to figure out what life will look out without his best friend/ex-boyfriend. Theo has made a profound impact on Griffin’s life, so much that Griffin is psychologically and physically hurting from Theo’s death. The story switches between past and present to illustrate their friendship, and Griffin’s emotions about it.
What I Liked
Adam Silvera has a knack for emotional writing. The book painstakingly switches between present and past so seamlessly, and I had no trouble following Griffin’s narrative at all. The story had all kinds of twists that I was crying by the end of my reading session. Seriously, I had tears in my eyes when I reached the end.
The characters were also really great: Griffin, especially. He showed the most development out of almost everyone else in the book. Some characters I hated at first, but then I learned to love them near the end. Some I just gradually found were assholes.
I love how the book touched on more mature themes, like sex, with the awkwardness of a teenage boy. It makes the narrative much more realistic and much more likeable.
What I didn’t like
The grieving process was an important part of the book, but was extremely unrealistic. Everyone grieves in different ways, but Griffin made it seem like everyone was as psychologically damaged as he was. Sure, Theo must have been a great guy, but that doesn’t mean everybody liked him.
Griffin’s parents were incredibly chill for parents, which made the setting seem off. Maybe I am just going off by my experiences, but I don’t think any parent would be really laid back seeing what Griffin was doing.
Overall, if you like LGBT novels and want some light reading, this book is for you. If you like good character development, this will also be up your alley. If setting and accuracy is important, then I suggest to look elsewhere.