Edition: UK Paperback
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: contemporary, mental illness
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.
History is All You Left Me was an incredibly honest and real account of a boy called Griffin who lost his ex-boyfriend in a drowning accident. When the funeral arises, his ex-boyfriend’s boyfriend arrives (who’s name is Jackson). They develop a friendship of sorts that is made from both the future and their intertwined history which quickly becomes complicated when the history starts to reveal everything that was hidden and the future becomes less clear of a pathway.
I want to start off by saying that I found this book really good but it was triggering for my anxiety so I think this is something readers should be aware of before you pick up the book as the book does deal with a lot of elements relating to anxiety as the main character has OCD (although I didn’t feel that was so much triggering as the rest of the book was). This book also uses ablest language such as i*sane, c*azy, etc.
This book was written in two timelines that always related with one another and was woven incredibly well. The history timeline was being unfolded as the book moved on, while the today timeline was about Griffin reliving his history and trying to move on for his future – which he did in very problematic and hurtful ways, increasing his anxiety and forming broken bonds with the people coming into and people already in his life.
I don’t personally have OCD so I can’t say how well I think OCD was represented but it seemed to get worse with his emotion and I think that is realistic to my anxiety but I can’t say if it’s realistic for OCD.
The author also did a really good job of bringing up in subtle ways how young they all were, especially Griffin, and how there is no perfect way to grieve someone, especially someone with such a complicated position in your life.
It was an extremely emotional but well told story that I’m glad exists.
The characters also did well to call each other out when they did wrong. They forgave each other easily, it’s nice to see healthy friendships and romantic relationships in young adult fiction.
Overall, I gave this 3.5 stars as I had difficulty gelling well with the writing style for the first half of the book and felt like it dragged on a little. My enjoyment because of my anxiety overall wasn’t great for the first half of the book either. However, I recommend this to anyone, it was a really good and emotional read.