Book Review – History Is All You Left Me

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing a book by one of my favorite authors, History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. My initial plans for posts this week were all screwed up from experiencing an internet outage yesterday. So, I figured why not continue to buck my usual posting trends by doing an impromptu review today. I’ll hopefully be back with a new Top 5 Tuesday next week, but today I just had to get my thoughts about this book out of my head.

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 don’t even know how to go about reviewing this book. So, prepare for rambling. As anyone who follows my blog or reviews probably knows by now, Adam Silvera is one of my favorite authors, and this book is an excellent example of why he holds that place at the top for me. I felt so many emotions while reading this book, and I didn’t want to put it down. There is just something about the way Silvera writes that oozes emotion. I was in tears not long after starting the book, and it just got even more emotional from there. For the first half of this book, it felt like the raw essence of depression and grief had bled all over the pages and somehow been transformed into words. The juxtaposition of the grief-filled chapters with the alternating chapters highlighting the history of the young love between the main character and the boy who died was genius writing. It was such a punch to the gut every time the focus returned to the funeral/grief reminding me that the vibrant young boy from the chapters on their history was laying in the coffin.

While I was largely overwhelmed by grief during the first half of the book, my emotions changed drastically as the book progressed. As more information about the characters came to light, the strongest emotions I felt were frustration and pity. The exploration of Griffin’s anxiety, OCD, and guilt was super messy in a relatable, realistic way. He made so many horrible decisions, and the information about him and many of the other characters that came to light completely changed my opinions of them. The experience of reading this book felt like slowly falling further and further into madness while at the same time getting a sense of how out of touch with reality some of the earlier, seemingly straightforward content, was likely to be. By the end, I can’t say I really liked many of the characters, if any, but I walked away impressed by Silvera’s ability to create compelling descriptions of mental illness and the effect it can have on one’s life and one’s relationships. His writing was, as always, utterly human with devastatingly flawed characters front and center.

The mark of a great book (for me at least) is not being able to stop thinking about it even after I put it down. This one has left me thinking about love, loss, and my own struggles with depression and anxiety. In that way, it has been intensely triggering but in a good way that has been quite cathartic. I doubt this book will be for everyone, but if you’ve liked some of Silvera’s other work and don’t mind incredibly messy characters and depressing content, you will probably like this one too. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 Standalone Books

Hello everyone! Today’s post is another Top 5 Tuesday! The prompt for today is the top 5 standalone books. I think this is probably heavily influenced by the recency effect since historically most of the books I read are part of a series, but I gave it my best shot. Check out my list below, which has my top 5 standalone books, in no particular order! Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, and is now being hosted at Meeghan Reads!

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Stacking the Shelves #6

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is hosted by Reading Reality.

Weekly Wrap-Up

This has been kind of a weird week. I went a little crazy with the book buying even though I didn’t mean to. I’ve just been feeling a little off, and getting the new books made me feel better. I’ve worked a lot this week. It seems to come in waves, and there was quite a bit to do. Next week should hopefully be slower, and I’m thankful for it. The weather this week has been whack with a ton of rain and gloomy, humid days, which meant less time outside in the sunshine. However, I did get a lot of reading in this week. I finished an audiobook and read three novels. Overall, I’ve enjoyed what I read this week, and I’m looking forward to sharing my reviews of them with you all.

Amazon Purchases

I snagged a couple free ebooks on Amazon, Breakaway and Of Blood and Fire. I also ordered the hardback versions of Carry On and Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell. I read these two Simon Snow books after checking them out from the library. I liked them so much I wanted my own copies, and I plan to re-read them before the third book comes out in a couple of months.

e-ARC Acquisition

I only downloaded one new eARC from NetGalley this week. So, my ratio should hold steady because I finished one NetGalley eARC this week, as well.

Library Acquisition

I made another trip to the library this week because I just could not wait to finish off this trilogy. I picked it up a couple days after finishing the last one, and I finished reading it yesterday. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on it within the next couple of weeks.

Barnes & Noble Purchases

I didn’t even try to stay away from B&N this week. I went looking for The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne and ended up buying all of the remaining Grishaverse books too. Oops. The cashier asked if I wanted to buy one of their reusable totes, and I got one of those too. I figured I would need it given how often I’m carting books out of there…

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m satisfied with what I’ve added to my shelves this week, and I’m looking forward to reading it all. Have you read any of the books I picked up? If so, what did you think? Are any of these on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below!

Stacking the Shelves #5

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is hosted by Reading Reality.

Weekly Wrap-Up

This has been a pretty good week for me. I finished a couple new books that I enjoyed, and I picked up some new stuff from Barnes & Noble and the library. I also got approved for a new book on NetGalley, which I’m looking forward to reading. The first part of the week was heavy on reading because the weather was gloomy and rainy, but I’ve been able to spend a lot of time outside the last couple of days working in my garden, which has been fun. I should have some vegetables soon (fingers crossed). Overall, it has been a pretty successful week, and I enjoyed the books I read (The Lost Apothecary, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, & Dark Farm).

Author Request

I had another author request this week and received the book in exchange for agreeing to write a review. It seems like a neat paranormal YA book. So, I’m looking forward to reading it and giving you all my opinion. Thank you to the author for the request!

e-ARC Acquisitions

I only downloaded one new eARC from NetGalley this week. So, I once again balanced out what I was able to get read with new acquisitions.

Library Acquisition

I made another trip to the library this week. I placed this book on hold a few weeks ago and have been waiting rather impatiently for it. Unfortunately, all the copies were checked out…so, I’ve had to wait. I’m ready to see what happens next for Alina, the Darkling, and Mal. I’m actually starting this book today and am pretty excited about it.

Barnes & Noble Purchases

I tried to stay away from the bookstore this week. I swear I did, but I found myself right across the street for another reason. Then the car just went to Barnes & Noble all on its own, and it would have been rude not to go inside. So, I was able to pick up three new books I’ve been interested in getting. 🙂

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m satisfied with what I’ve added to my shelves this week, and I’m looking forward to reading it all. Have you read any of the books I picked up? If so, what did you think? Are any of these on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below!