Cover image for History is all you left me
Title:
History is all you left me
Publication Information:
New York : Soho Teen, [2017]

©2017.
ISBN:
9781616956929
Physical Description:
294 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Abstract:
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 when Theo dies in a drowning accident, the future he's been imagining for himself is gone. To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. As Griffin loses himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, the secrets he's been keeping are tearing him apart.
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Book SILVERA, A. 1 .SOURCE. 01/17 B&T
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Book SILVERA, ADAM 1
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Book SILVERA 1 .SOURCE. INGRAM
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Book SILVERA 1 .SOURCE. FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY
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Book SILVERA, ADAM 1
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Prescott Public Library1Received on 1/25/17
Cottonwood Public Library1Received on 2/1/17

Summary

Summary

"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.


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

Seventeen-year-old Griffin loses Theo, his best friend and first love, twice: first when the young men break up, and again, as the book opens, when Theo drowns. Dual timelines carry readers simultaneously through Griffin and Theo's sweet, finely drawn romance (and its inevitable dissolution) and Griffin's heartbreaking journey through the grieving process, marked by disorientation, resentment, and an unlikely (and unhealthy) relationship with Theo's hated subsequent boyfriend, Jackson. Both narratives are informed by Griffin's struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder, which is neither minimized nor sensationalized but chronicled matter-of-factly as part of his life. Silvera's prose is raw and lyrical, a good fit for Griffin's intensity, and the minutiae of both romance and grief are closely observed and deeply felt. The mysteries of what lies in between the two timelines--for instance, how Griffin became estranged from another friend--keep the pace moving. Griffin and Theo's breakup is messy, realistic, and painful, overshadowed but not subsumed by the subsequent pain of Theo's death, and readers will identify with Griffin's confusion and denial in response to both. Griffin himself is an indelible character who will linger in readers' sympathies after the last page is turned. claire e. gross(c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* After Griffin and Theo break up, after Theo moves to California for college, and even after Theo finds a new boyfriend in Jackson, Griffin continues to believe that they'll end up together. Then Theo drowns, and all that's left for Griffin is their fugitive history together. Griffin's affecting account of that history is told partly in flashbacks that are simultaneously elegiac and melancholy. The present, meanwhile, finds him bereft, grieving but discovering, perhaps, a weird sort of comfort in continuing to speak to Theo, reliving their past while sharing what is happening in the here and now. But will Griffin, who is so stuck in the past, find a future? Silvera's splendid sophomore novel is filled with tantalizing questions about lies and honesty, love and loss, and past and present, with answers gradually metered out through Griffin's growth as well as that of the other characters populating this beautifully realized, character-driven work of literary fiction. Silvera leaves his readers enriched and challenged, inviting them to join Griffin in questioning the meaning of life and love. In those questions, they will find an unsparing honesty that brings closure to the novel and to Griffin's quest to let go of the past and embrace the future.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2016 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

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. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

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, whos 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 experiencethe best kind of weirdfor them both. Griffs 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. Griffs 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 didnt catch. Griffs 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 authors 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 Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Excerpts

Excerpts

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, sorting the puzzle pieces into groups according to shades before beginning, separating the granite roads from the demolished, ash-coated structures. I helped with the sky, getting the clouds all wrong. We didn't get very far with the puzzle that day, but we've been tight ever since.      Today's outing takes us from Manhattan to Brooklyn to see if the lost treasures in some flea market are as overpriced as everyone says they are. No matter where we are, Brooklyn or Manhattan, a schoolyard or Pompeii, I've planned on changing the game up on Theo on this even-numbered day. I just hope he's down to keep playing.       "At least we have the place to ourselves," I say.      It's almost suspicious how empty the subway car is. But I'm not questioning it. I'm too busy dreaming up what it would be like to always share this space and any other space with this know-it-all who loves cartography, puzzles, video animation, and finding out what makes humans tick. On a crowded train, Theo and I squeeze together when we sit, our hips and arms pressed against one another's, and it's a lot like hugging him except I don't have to let go as quickly. It sucks that Theo sits directly across from me now, but at least I get the very awesome view. Blue eyes that find wonder in everything (including train ads for teeth whitening), blond hair that darkens when it's wet, the Game of Thrones T-shirt I got him for his birthday back in February.       "It's a lot harder to people-watch without people," Theo says. His eyes lock on me. "There's you, I guess."       "I'm sure there will be some interesting people at the flea market. Like hipsters."       "Hipsters are characters, not people," Theo says.       "Don't hipster-shame. Some of them have real feelings underneath their beanie hats and vintage flannels."      Theo stands and does a bullshit pull-up on the rail; his brain gets him top marks, but his muscles can't carry him as high. He gives up and hops back and forth between the train benches like some underground trapeze artist. I wish he would somersault to my side and stay put. He holds on to the railing and stretches his leg to the opposite bench, and his shirt rises a little so I peek at his exposed skin peripherally while keeping my focus on Theo's grin. It might be my last day to do so.      The train rocks to a stop and we get off, finally.      Manhattan is home and all, so Theo never bad-mouths it, but I know he wishes more of its walls were stained with graffiti like they are here in Brooklyn, bright in the summer sun. Theo points out his favorites on the way to the flea market: a little boy in black and white walking across colorful block letters spelling out DREAM; an empty mirror demanding to find the fairest of them all in a crazy neat cursive that rivals Theo's perfect handwriting; an airplane circling Neptune, which is just fantastical enough that it doesn't give me flying anxiety; knights seated around Earth, like it's their round table. Neither of us have any idea what it's supposed to mean, but it's pretty damn cool.      It's a long, hot walk to the flea market, located by the East River. Theo spots a refreshment truck, and we spend five bucks each on cups of frozen lemonade, except there isn't enough of the sugary slush left so we're forced to chew ice to survive the heat.      Theo stops at a table with Star Wars goods. His face scrunches up when he turns to me. "Seventy dollars for that toy lightsaber?"      Theo's inside voice sucks. It's a problem.      The forty-something vendor looks up. "It's a recalled saber," she says flatly. "It's rare and I should be charging more." Her shirt reads Princess Leia is not the damsel in distress you're looking for .      Theo returns her glare with an easy smile. "Did someone pull an Obi-Wan and cut someone's arm off?"      My knowledge on all things Star Wars is pretty limited, and the same goes for Theo's knowledge on all things Harry Potter . He's the only sixteen-year-old human I know who isn't caught up on everyone's favorite boy wizard. One night we argued for a solid hour over who would win in a duel between Lord Voldemort and Darth Vader. I'm surprised we're still friends.       "The battery hatch snaps off easily and children can't seem to keep them out of their damn mouths," the woman says. She isn't talking to Theo anymore. She's talking to an equally unhappy dude her age who can't figure out an R2-D2 alarm clock.       "Okay, then." Theo salutes her, and we walk away.      We stroll for a few minutes. (Six, to be exact.) "Are we done here?" I ask. It's hot, and I'm melting, and we've definitely seen that some of the treasures are way pricier than they legally should be.       "Hell no, we're not done," Theo says. "We can't leave emptyhanded."       "So buy something."       "Why don't you buy me something?"       "You don't need that lightsaber."       "No, stupid, buy me something else."       "It's safe to assume you're buying me something too, right?"       "Seems fair," Theo says. He taps his dangerous watch. It is actually for-real dangerous, as in it's not safe to wear. I'm not even sure how or why it got made, because its sharp sundial hands have scratched unsuspecting people's bodies--mine included--enough times that he should throw it in a fireplace and kill it dead and then sue the manufacturer. He wears it anyway because it's different. "Let's meet at the entrance in twenty minutes. Ready?"       "Go." Excerpted from History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.