After my heart-wrenching experience reading the book of Jasmine Warga, My heart and other black holes, I have just let my heart get shattered into tiny pieces reading Adam Silvera’s second book, History Is All you left me.
Having a nonlinear narrative type of storytelling (Correct me, if I’m wrong), Adam’s book begins on the “supposed- to-be- the ending” of a typical tragic story where a significant character died. Griffin mourns the death of his first love/ ex-boyfriend, Theo who has drowned himself in California where he was sent to study. Griffin and Theo knows each other since they were in middle school. They both know what each other are fond of: Griffin, a Potterhead, Theo, a Star wars fan, also obsessed with apocalypse thingy. Everything seem so well for them way back in the beginning of their relationship, only when Theo retorts that he will be studying in California. Afraid of the consequences, Griffin decided to break up with Theo but unlike the ordinary break-ups, Griffin and Theo remains in good terms which turns out a punch on Griffin’s face when Theo met a guy that he began to like, Jackson.
Griffin suffers from OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) who already took part in his daily living, like when he always wait for the even number to appear every time he’ll do something like calling someone and always taking the left side. His compulsions got worse when Theo died and surprisingly, it was only Jackson not even Wade, Theo’s best friend who eventually became Griffin’s friend, who could understand him because they both love Theo and he knows that there are puzzle pieces hidden on Jackson that may give answers to Griffin’s curiosity. Who was Theo when he’s with Jackson? How did Theo drown? And what about his friendship with Wade?
I’ll cut it here because I still couldn’t handle the intensity of feels that I got after finishing this book. And I would highly recommend you readers to read on for you to see and of course, feel the intensity of heartbreak and feels that I am talking about. I want you guys to feel what it’s like to sob late at night and on a fire exit (I continued reading the remaining events there not only because it’s secluded also because I got in the office very early. One of the perks of being an early bird, I guess.)
· Secrets can turn people into liars, and my lying days are behind me
· 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
· 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.
· “The world didn’t end,” Wade says. “You stayed in the moments.”
· There’s nothing wrong with someone’s 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 remains with the people who will appreciate it most.
WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THE BOOK…
It’s structure. How it was written which I found well-done. I love Adam Silvera’s idea of making a dead character feel like his still alive. His usage of the pronoun “you” made his readers grasp Theo’s view as Griffin used it to refer to Theo as if he’s just talking casually to him.
The same-sex relationship in a book is honestly new to me. I love how Griffin’s parents support his sexuality. It is actually the first book that I have read having this kind of relationship. I thought it’ll be an awkward reading for me along the way but as the story goes on, it didn’t matter maybe because my attention is on the idea of loss, heartbreak, and still living. It’s contemporary, though. I’ve been eyeing books on the said genre this month so no matter what kind of relationship is involved, it doesn’t really matter.
And oh, before I forgot to mention, I so love the songs Adam Silvera has featured most especially “Be still my Heart” by Postal Service. I played this one right when Griffin began to mention it. Here are the other featured songs that I hope you guys spare some time to listen to.
- All Night by Icona Pop
- Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand
- Hold On by Wilson Philips
- Carry Me by Family of the Year
I hope I didn’t miss any.
DO I WANT TO SEE THIS ON BIG-SCREEN?
Some of you may want to ask me why I included this question on my book reviews and my answer is pretty simply. Several books has been taken for adaptation nowadays and things like, Will what I have imagined in this book between what will happen if it became a movie will match? I wanted all the books that I’ve read to come to life. Which is why I’m sorting out books that I would gladly watch or worthy to be watched on big-screen.
History is All You left me is also one of the books that I wanted to see on big-screen. The only reason is its structure. While I was reading this book, I already imagined what it would be like if it’s a movie, it’s nonlinear narrative so I imagined it will be like The Lorax who went from past to present.
And overall, I love the heavy feeling that it has given to me. I’m kind of curious if it’ll be the same once portrayed by actors and actresses. I hope.
WILL I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ALL AGES?
No. It is safe to say that only matured enough people is recommended to read this book.
RATINGS: 5 stars for the concept/ structure of the entire story, 4 stars on the cover, 4 stars on the flow of the story
Originally posted on https://medium.com/ceeart/book-review-history-is-all-you-left-me-written-by-adam-silvera-4548aaffae3c