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History Is All You Left Me
Cover of History Is All You Left Me
History Is All You Left Me
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"This book will make you cry, think, and then cry some more." —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything From the New York Times bestselling author of More Happy...
"This book will make you cry, think, and then cry some more." —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything From the New York Times bestselling author of More Happy...
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Description-

  • "This book will make you cry, think, and then cry some more."
    —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything
    From the New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not comes an explosive examination of grief, mental illness, and the devastating consequences of refusing to let go of the past.

    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.
    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-

  • From the book TODAY
    MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20TH, 2016


    You're still alive in alternate universes, Theo, but I live in the real world, where this morning you're having an open-casket funeral. I know you're out there, listening. And you should know I'm really pissed because you swore you would never die and yet here we are. It hurts even more because this isn't the first promise you've broken.
    I'll break down the details of this promise again. You made it last August. Trust me when I say I'm not talking down to you as I recall this memory, and many others, in great detail. I doubt it'll even surprise you since we always joked about how your brain worked in funny ways. You knew enough meaningless trivia to fill notebooks, but you occasionally slipped on the bigger things, like my birthday this year (May 17th, not the 18th), and you never kept your night classes straight even though I got you a cool planner with zombies on the cover (which you-know-who probably forced you to throw out). I just want you to remember things the way I do. And if bringing up the past annoys you now—as I know it did when you left New York for California—know that I'm sorry, but please don't be mad at me for reliving all of it. History is all you left me.
    We made promises to each other on the day I broke up with you so you could do your thing out there in Santa Monica without me holding you back. Some of those promises took bad turns but weren't broken, like how I said I'd never hate you even though you gave me enough reasons to, or how you never stopped being my friend even when your boyfriend asked you to. But on the day we were walking to the post office with Wade to ship your boxes to California, you walked backward into the street and almost got hit by a car. I saw our endgame—to find our way back to each other when the time was right, no matter what—disappear, and I made you promise to always take care of yourself and never die.
    "Fine. I'll never die," you said as you hugged me.
    If there was a promise you were allowed to break, it wasn't that one, and now I'm forced to approach your casket in one hour to say goodbye to you.
    Except it's not going to be goodbye.
    I'll always have you here listening. But being face-to-face with you for the first time since July and for the last time ever is going to be impossible, especially given the unwanted company of your boyfriend.
    Let's leave his name out of my mouth as long as possible this morning, okay? If I'm going to have any chance of getting through today, tomorrow, and all the days that follow, I think I need to go back to the start, where we were two boys bonding over jigsaw puzzles and falling in love.
    It's what comes after you fell out of love with me that it all goes wrong. It's what comes after we broke up that's making me so nervous. Now you can see me, wherever you are. I know you're there, and I know you're watching me, tuned in to my life to piece everything together yourself. It's not just the shameful things I've done that are driving me crazy, Theo. It's because I know I'm not done yet.



    HISTORY
    SUNDAY, JUNE 8TH, 2014


    I'm making history today.
    Time is moving faster than this L train, but it's all good since I'm sitting to the left of Theo McIntyre. I've known him since middle school, when he caught my eye at recess. He waved me over and said, "Help me out, Griffin. I'm rebuilding Pompeii." A puzzle of Pompeii made up of one hundred pieces, obviously. I knew nothing of Pompeii at the time; I thought Mount Vesuvius was the hidden lair of some comic book overlord. Theo's hands had entranced me,...

About the Author-

  • Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked as a bookseller, as a consultant at a literary development company, as a reviewer of children's and young adult novels. He is also the author of the highly acclaimed debut novel, More Happy Than Not, and the New York Times bestseller They Both Die at the End. He lives in New York City and is tall for no reason.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 31, 2016
    From Griffin Jennings’s perspective, he loses his first love Theo three times: first when Theo heads to college in California while Griffin finishes senior year at their Manhattan high school; then when Theo finds new love with a fellow college student; and, finally, when Theo drowns in the Pacific. Griffin processes Theo’s death by recounting their relationship and the aftermath of the drowning in alternating chapters titled “History” and “Today,” telling most of the story in direct address to his lost love. Though Griffin’s vision is clouded by grief, passion, and guilt, readers will have no trouble understanding how unmoored Griffin has become: Silvera (More Happy Than Not) excels at capturing the confusion and pain he feels. The tragedy of Theo’s death is also leavened by the healthy families Griffin has to lean on: the boys come out to their parents, together, at a birthday party for Theo’s younger sister, and their declaration of love is met with celebration. Griffin has much to puzzle out as he tries to move forward, but he does so with the reassurance that real love exists. Ages 14–up. Agent: Brooks Sherman, Bent Agency.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from October 15, 2016
    The talented author of More Happy than Not (2015) returns with a moving novel that explores friendship, grief, and trust among four young men.Silvera packs a powerful emotional punch in this multilayered story told partly in flashbacks by Griffin, who's mourning the sudden death of his best friend and first love, Theo. The two white teens and their black friend Wade were a "three-dude squad" for years, until Griff and Theo became romantically involved. Their first sexual encounter was a "good weird" experience--"the best kind of weird"--for them both. Griff's trauma and heartbreak are compounded by his knowledge that Theo had developed a relationship with Jackson, another white boy, while he was away at college. Griff's narrative, addressed to Theo, goes back and forth between the past and present, echoing the alternate universes that they used to ponder. As he unravels the puzzle of his relationships with Theo, Jackson, and Wade, he feels like a coin someone tossed "into the air to settle something once and for all but didn't catch." Griff's quirky tics and compulsions and his unanswered correspondence with Theo are bringing him precariously close to mental illness as he tries to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The conversational yet profound tone of the book highlights the author's ear for the musicality of language and his ability to convey deep emotion through attention to its cadence and flow. A novel to savor long after it ends. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2016

    Gr 10 Up-No one understands what Griffin is going through after Theo, his ex and the love of his life, dies. No one, perhaps, except Theo's new boyfriend, Jackson. In a narrative that alternates between past and present, Silvera offers a gem of a story about first love and great loss. Griffin's voice is strong and affecting, and as readers come to know Theo's history and the depth of Griffin's love, the loss becomes more and more poignant. Griffin has obsessive-compulsive disorder, and while his illness is a sensitively portrayed and central part of his life, it is not the defining theme of the novel: his grief and loss are the focus. Griffin's transformation as he moves from resentment and rage at Jackson to compassion and connection is profound to witness. But perhaps most memorable is the protagonist's slow, dawning realization of Theo's deep imperfections. It is so easy to idolize a first love, and even easier to idolize someone who has died. Griffin's gradual awareness of Theo's flaws is the true heart of this standout title. VERDICT With a cast of beautifully realized characters, a powerful narrative voice, and genuine portrayals of complex teen situations, this work is a must-have.-L. Lee Butler, Hart Middle School, Washington, DC

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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