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. (Via Goodreads.com)
Release Date: January 17th, 2017
Publisher: Soho Teen
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
I own a copy of Adam's Young Adult debut, More Happy Than Not, but History Is All You Left Me is the first novel of Adam's I have read. Both of them have been must-reads for me this past year, but History Is All You Left Me caught my eye in the library a couple weeks ago and I picked it up immediately. History was a gripping and heartbreaking novel, but it was also gorgeously brilliant. The novel tackles first love, second chances, grief, and the mistakes that anyone can make. It was also fascinating to read from the perspective of an OCD main character, it was an interesting experience that allowed me to understand the lives of those who have OCD.
History Is All You Left Me is an emotional novel and journey; however, the novel was not emotionally draining, it was actually refreshing. I cried a couple times while reading the novel, but I never felt defeated by the book like I normally do when I cry over novels. That fact might have to do because I was not crying over the loss of a character, I was crying over the pain and grief that Theo's death left with the characters of the novel. History Is All You Left Me is a novel about grief, denial, recovery, and acceptance. It is a heartbreaking novel, but every end is a new beginning.
The characters and their dynamics in History Is All You Left Me was interesting. The reader meets these characters as they are struggling with loss and grief, but the characters develop and take shape as their history is played out. While characters do grow in the present, it is amazing to watch the characters unfold as their history is unveiled. It is also interesting, yet devastating, when history and present time collided. Rereading the novel would be interesting because there are numerous crumbs dropped throughout the novel that the reader does not realize the importance of until a piece of history is revealed and added to the puzzle. I do not think I will ever reread the novel because, while it has a place in my heart, I do not really want to experience any of this again. However, it would be interesting to see what crumbs I missed the first time around.
The only issue I had with History Is All You Left Me is the error in the dates. The entire book is told in alternating chapters of history and the present. The alternation between the past and the present creates countless layers and dimensions to the story. I absolutely love the addition of them and they are necessary to the story; however, some of the dates are wrong.
Each chapter starts with whether the chapter is history or occurring today and each also includes the date of which the events are taking place. The first error I noticed occurred on page 129 and page 136. November 27th is originally considered a Sunday on page 129 and is then considered a Monday on page 136. I believe the author meant for the second November 27th to be the 28th; however, it is not the 28th in the novel.
Another error occurs on one entire page, page 278, and it lists December 30th of 2016 a Friday and the next day, December 31st of 2016, as a Sunday, not a Saturday. The page lists three days in December, the 29th, 30th, and 31st; however, the 31st is the only one with a mistake. These errors would be acceptable in an advanced copy, but I am reading a finished copy. I understand that no one is perfect, but I expect the dates to line-up, especially when they are listed right under each other. Finding the errors irritated me because I somehow caught them, but the author or editorial staff did not. I know that no one is perfect, but it still irritates me. I only deducted the .5 star from History Is All You Left Me because of those errors. I loved everything else about the novel.
History Is All You Left Me was an emotional journey. It had it's ups and it's downs, but it was an amazing ride and I cannot wait to read More Happy Than Not and Adam's upcoming release, They Both Die at the End. If you are looking for a book that will give you an emotional release, I highly recommend reading History.
"History remains with the people who will appreciate it the most."
(History Is All You Left Me, Page 292)
(History Is All You Left Me, Page 292)