Review: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Friday, April 21, 2017

Date started: April 12, 2017
Date finished: April 14, 2017
Book 30/52 in 2017.

I finished History is All You Left Me on the ride to D.C. last weekend, and I ended feeling very underwhelmed. It wasn't a bad read, but it didn't thrill me and even though the book tackles a lot of grief and loss, I never felt compelled to cry. I'm very emotional. I should probably cry. It's a bad sign if I don't cry.

But the main reason I couldn't fall in love with History is All You Left Me is because of the characters. Griffin, Jackson, Wade and even Theo, in Griffin's flashbacks... freaking heck. They are all so annoying!

**If you have not yet read History is All You Left Me, be warned that there are spoilers past this point!**

The plot of History is All You Left Me was definitely the most compelling – Griffin, a junior in high school, is doing everything he can to survive the grief he feels after the death of Theo, his first love and high school boyfriend. The story itself is so compelling, even though I didn't feel quite as emotional as I expected when I read the book jacket synopsis. 

Griffin's journey to feeling OK again, even just a little OK, is relatable for anyone who's ever felt loss, and that's what kept me going even when he said something ridiculously pretentious or had sex with Jackson – I mean, are you freaking kidding me?????????

Adam Silvera writes very straightforward fiction, and I always appreciate that. I hate having to reread a paragraph five times to figure out what the hell it means. But his dialogue sometimes made me cringe – Griffin and the other teenage boys just don't talk like any teenage boy I've ever encountered.

Silvera's writing flows. It's easy to read, it's easy to sit down and read 100 pages in one sitting without looking up. That's one of my favorite things.  

If the story itself had not been as interesting as it was, I would have ditched this book within the first handful of chapters. The characters agitated the heck out of me. Of course I felt bad for Jackson and Griffin both, and of course I raged with Griffin when he raged at Jackson, but I couldn't handle either of them, or Wade, or Theo, or Griffin's parents, or anyone, really. Jackson's dog was OK. 

But I can't quite put my finger on it – what was it about all of these characters that annoyed me so badly? I really can't figure it out, but I know there was something that made me roll my eyes. 


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