Friday, February 3, 2017

Review: History Is All You Left Me

History Is All You Left Me History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"A warning sign
I missed the good part, then I realized
I started looking and the bubble burst
I started looking for excuses...

Alternate universes. As a reader and writer frequently looking for worlds other than the real one, and dabbling in sci-fi and fantasy, I need them. And I often need to find them. Like, I need to find the alternate universe where The Amazing Spider-Man, with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone both, was incorporated into the MCU like nature intended. I need to find the alternate universe where I've already found my first love, and had butterfly, caveman, Eskimo, and zombie kisses with them (and more than just kissing, of course.) I need to find the alternate universe where America didn't fall into the Darkest Timeline in November 2016 and still hasn't come back to life.

And I need to find the alternate universe where Adam Silvera's books were around five years earlier. Sure, there wouldn't have been that one Amazing Spider-Man reference in More Happy Than Not, but even so, it might have helped me come to terms with my sexuality a lot sooner, when it wasn't making me laugh out loud and cry like a baby, that is.

Alternate universes are bread-and-butter for Silvera's new protagonist, Griffin, who's having a lot of trouble moving on from his own first love. Not only because they left each other with unresolved feelings, but because Theo's now dead, and all Griffin can do is talk to Theo in the present day as if he's watching him from Heaven (which, let's face it, he probably is, because Theo, like all Silvera protags and deutags as well as the man himself, is a saint.)

Well, actually, that's not all Griffin does, but to explain further would mean spoilers. Let's just say that Griffin makes a string of bad choices that make you want to hug him forever and ever.

While I still think More Happy is the better of Silvera's first two books, History is still recognizably his style, being loaded with glorious geekgasm moments, sweetly funny scenes of boys in love, and of course weapons-grade feels - most of which come in the second half, when details the protagonist has concealed come to light over the course of the book's nonlinear narrative. Like when that Coldplay song I quoted above played on my iPod, I was reading around page 170 or so, and that was the first real moment when, as I'm sure will be standard for any and all Silvera books, I found myself crying.

It's a fast read, until those feels moments when you have to slow down and beg Griffin to wake up and stop destroying himself. Because as much as he can't - and shouldn't - give up his feelings for Theo entirely, he has to move on, if only to spare not only his own feels, but those of the reader as well.

As always, I recommend Silvera's latest for everyone and anyone who can get their hands on a copy.

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