2018 Reading Challenge, Book 1 – History is All You Left Me

Hi, Hey, Hello!

I never stop with the book reading/reviewing thing. And yes, I am already coming at you with my first book of the year.

It took me just about 5 days to read, but on the 5th day I only spent about 5 minutes reading it because I only had 10 pages left and wasn’t with it enough to just finish it at home like I probably should have done…it meant I had to carry two books with me on that Friday, but ho hey.

The first book in question is this one:

2018 Reading Challenge, Book 1, History is All You Left Me
2018 Reading Challenge, Book 1, History is All You Left Me

I’m gonna be honest, I just saw this book crop up a lot on both Twitter and Instagram and well, it doesn’t take much for me to be interested by the prospect of new books, and so as 2017 drew to a close I went on a bit of a book buying binge and this was included within it.

I can’t lie, it took me a while to get into this book. Something about the way it is told really threw me, most likely because I just wasn’t expecting I don’t think. It took me about 50 pages before I really started to mesh with it and after that I just blazed through it.

While I’m talking about the way it’s written, and although it did take me a little bit to get used to it, I found the way that it was written really clever. The two narratives, that eventually merge together in some way at some point was really well done and it really took you on the journey with Griffin as he comes to terms with Theo’s death and the state that it has left his life and the life of those who also knew Theo. Seeing the way that things were in direct juxtaposition with the way that things are was heartbreaking in a lot of ways.

The thing that I really loved, and it was kind of momentary, was how in the present Griffin said that he was done talking to Theo and then the narrative instantly changed. It kind of made me really appreciate that the whole of the present was basically just Griffin trying to come to terms with his new reality. I mean you do kind of know that when it switches between history and present but that total switch off just really drives that home.

I found Griffin himself quite an interesting character to follow as you as a reader move with him as he tries to process his grief and where he stands without Theo. The way he interacts with Jackson felt real. The idea that you try to latch onto the one person that you feel will understand exactly what you’re going through felt pretty accurate. Was it kind of obvious that they were gonna end up having sex? Yeah kind of, but this book did a good job of turning things on it’s head in some ways. Because while I saw it coming I didn’t see the reason for it happening coming. I didn’t see the sequence of events that led up to the incident that killed Theo coming, mainly because I didn’t see Wade coming. I mean he was always there and I found the way he interacted with one of his former closest friends post Theo’s death a bit odd but it got all the more heartbreaking the further you moved through the book.

Yeah, that whole thing really took me by surprise. In a really great way. This book was full of little surprises and unanswered questions that were never going to be answered because they just weren’t Griffin’s story to tell.

The ending, we all know I love to talk about an ending, this one I liked. It seemed to come out of nowhere but that was just because I was so into it that I didn’t want it to end. The ending felt conclusive and it also, funnily enough, felt in keeping with the rest of the novel. It ended on a question that all boils down to perspective. This whole story was from Griffin’s perspective. It was how he viewed all the events that had happened over the past couple of years. There were flashes of how other people saw things but only in how they related to Griffin. And the ending just seemed to remind you as a reader that there are several different versions of the history that has just been told. I just liked that it remained so very complicated and even though I didn’t want it to end, it could only really have ended the way that it did and it ended on a hopeful note in some ways.

It reflected that there is some kind of light at the end of the tunnel in amongst the grief if you just let yourself at least try. And that’s just another way that this book felt so real.

I loved this book. It was a great first book of the year and I am so glad that I got some Adam Silvera in my life. I’m sad because that is no longer the case as I have finished both of his books now, but more on the second one later.

I recommend completely.

4/5 stars

Parentheses count: 0. See you tomorrow!

 

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