This review’s going to be a little weird.
That’s because I am not PERSONALLY a fan of Adam Silvera. I really disliked More Happy Than Not, and while History is All You Left Me was a lot better, it still didn’t pack the punch that everyone’s talking about.
But I still think his books are really important, and that’s a big distinction to make. I’m very much an emotional reviewer – though I think star ratings leave a lot to be desired, I review based on how much I enjoyed a book, how much impact it had on me, etc. etc. So while I may not have subjectively loved it, I can certainly point out its merits OBJECTIVELY (idek if I’m making sense right now though).
Adam Silvera’s books are #ownvoices, by a queer Latino author.
And that is so, so huge. I LOVE that people are loving his books, because #ownvoices books need to be celebrated. I’m someone who often writes outside my lane – my perspective is never going to be as accurate, or as NEEDED, as #ownvoices rep.
(and for those who don’t know what #ownvoices means, it’s a term coined by Corinne Duyvis that talks about authors who are writing from their own diverse experiences. Better explanation here).
Anyway, History is All You Left Me has incredibly nuanced characters and exploration of relationships, OCD, and grief.
(the OCD rep is #ownvoices too – intersectionality matters, kids)
Though Theo bothered me sometimes when he referred to Griffin’s compulsions as “quirks.” But they’re all incredibly different characters and they are so alive. All of the main characters are queer, and there are also great parents in this book, which is always a nice surprise.
For me, the use of past and present tense also didn’t work very effectively.
They’re both WRITTEN in present tense, which occasionally made it hard to distinguish between the two separate narratives, and kind of…drew me out of the story, I guess? But that could also be just me.
BASICALLY, this is a book I would 100% recommend for its #ownvoices rep, and for a really wonderful m/m story…both past and present.
There’s no denying Adam Silvera is an incredible writer. I just wish that translated emotionally for me. *crying*
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.
(I actually preordered this one, and then a review copy arrived a few weeks later – so thanks for that, Simon and Schuster! I will probably end up donating that copy back to our public library)
I want to write a whole discussion about this, but basically…how do you go about supporting authors if you didn’t actually like their books? Is it easy for you to separate author from book? OR RIDICULOUSLY HARD (like it is for me)? Let me know in comments!