Praise for History Is All You Left Me
An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2017
A TIME Magazine Top Ten YA of 2017
An Entertainment Weekly Most Anticipated YA
A PASTE Magazine Most Anticipated YA
A Bustle.com Most Anticipated YA
A PopCrush Most Anticipated YA
A Kirkus Reviews Most Anticipated YA
"Adam Silvera is a master at capturing the infinite small heartbreaks of love and loss and grief. History Is All You Left Me is a beautiful meditation on what it means to survive devastating loss. This book will make you cry, think, and then cry some more."
—Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything
"Silvera captures the agony of first love in an inclusive, bracingly emotional context."
"A complex, touching valentine to love and friendship . . . [Silvera] gets the small details of love and loss exactly right. These moments are framed in exquisite prose . . . In this emotionally charged story, Griffin’s desire to be honest with himself and others leads the reader to a greater understanding of how it feels to have a conflicted heart."
—The Washington Post
"Through Griffin, Silvera presents an eloquent, in-depth examination of 'whatever comes next,' of the ways in which the grieving process both isolates people and draws them together."
"History Is All You Left Me overflows with tenderness and heartache. Even when its hero is screwing up royally, maybe especially then, Silvera's humanity and compassion carve out a space where it's not the falling that's important, it's how you pick yourself back up. There isn't a teenager alive who won't find their heart described perfectly on these pages."
—Patrick Ness, New York Times bestselling author of The Rest of Us Just Live Here and A Monster Calls
"Sweetly devastating, passionately honest, and breathtakingly human. Only Adam Silvera could have written this story."
—Becky Albertalli, National Book Award nominee and award-winning author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
“Honest and moving.”
"The YA world has been taken by storm by Adam Silvera."
"If you think Silvera’s debut novel More Happy Than Not was good, then you’re about to be blown away when History Is All You Left Me hits shelves . . . This novel does more than just bring light to the LGBTQ community, it helps bring mental health awareness into a world that desperately needs it."
"Silvera’s wrenching sophomore effort . . . is not for the faint of heart . . . A love story for the ages."
—Barnes and Noble Teen Blog
"Silvera delivers another twisty novel about self-exploration, adolescent relationships and the bond between first loves. History Is All You Left Me is a tale for today’s youth—one that embraces the essence of time and love."
"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 . . . 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."
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Though Griffin’s vision is clouded by grief, passion, and guilt, readers will have no trouble understanding how unmoored Griffin has become: Silvera excels at capturing the confusion and pain he feels . . . Griffin has much to puzzle out as he tries to move forward, but he does so with the reassurance that real love exists."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Silvera’s splendid sophomore novel is filled with tantalizing questions about lies and honesty, love and loss, and past and present . . . Beautifully realized, character-driven work of literary fiction . . . 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."
—Booklist, Starred Review
"Silvera offers a gem of a story about first love and great loss . . . Profound . . . 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."
—School Library Journal, Starred Review
“History Is All You Left Me is a moving portrayal of two teens grieving over the same lost love. Adam Silvera’s characters grab your heart and do not let go. This beautifully sad book will captivate teen readers.”
—Angela Frederick, librarian, YALSA member, and 2015 Printz Committee member
“Masterful . . . Griffin, Theo, Jackson, and Wade will stay with teen readers for a long time because they are so achingly real. YA readers need these characters and all of their edges, their mistakes, their losses and, yes, their joy. This is a complicated, nuanced, elegantly crafted work. It’s a book that’s going be a lifeline for teens, an out-stretched hand that assures them they are not alone and their story will go on. This is a book beyond compare.”
—Angie Manfredi, Head of Youth Services for the Los Alamos County Library System and 2016–2017 Stonewall Book Award Committee member
"Adam Silvera is wrenchingly good at writing about grief . . .History Is All You Left Me quietly shows how dealing with loss will help Griffin see himself and his world more clearly. It's a painful coming of age, but a beautifully written and very satisfying one."
—ShelfAwareness, Starred Review
"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 . . . Griffin himself is an indelible character who will linger in readers’ sympathies after the last page isturned."
—The Horn Book Magazine
"Silvera finds a depth in Griffin’s story that is remarkable . . . One of the best young authors dealing with issues like sexuality, depression, mental health, and the complex and often confusing relationship rules of Millennials and younger generations. He may be categorized as YA, but Silvera is a writer well worth reading no matter your age."
"Grief is strong and realistically portrayed in this tale of relationships and love."
—School Library Connection
“Silvera’s singularly authentic voice is back in force in his second novel. Like The Fault in Our Stars, here is a book that explores grief and vulnerability with honesty, without talking down to the reader. The nuanced, complex characters nearly walk off the page, and the compulsively readable story and artfully chosen details make this a book worth getting lost in!”
—Shay McClean, Children’s Buyer at Third Street Books
“In this authentic and charged sophomore novel, Silvera presents a narrator whose grief is nearly tangible. As Griffin revisits his path with Theo—best friend, ex-boyfriend, and love of his life—he discovers that their history is much more than a neat and tidy linear line. Once again, Silvera gifts readers with an emotional wrecking ball of a novel, leaving them stronger for the experience.”
—Sara Grochowski, Children’s/YA Buyer at Brilliant Books
Praise for More Happy Than Not
“Silvera managed to leave me smiling after totally breaking my heart. Unforgettable.”
—Becky Albertalli, National Book Award nominee and author of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
“A one-of-a-kind voice and a genius idea . . . A mesmerizing, unforgettable tour de force.”
—John Corey Whaley, National Book Award finalist and author of Where Things Come Back and Noggin
“The honesty of his words and his ability to tell a story make you realize that we’ve been waiting for him.”
—Holly Goldberg Sloan, author of Counting by 7s and I’ll Be There
“Silvera pulls his punches with an energy, daring, and intensity that left me spellbound—and reminded me why I love to read.”
—Adele Griffin, author of The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone
“His writing crackles with challenging questions, searing and timely.”
—Aaron Hartzler, author of Rapture Practice
“Beautiful . . . With a precision that feels at once dreamy and casually reportorial . . .
—The New York Times Book Review
"Poignant . . . So engrossing that once you start it, you won't be able to put it down. Don't say we didn't warn you."
"Heartfelt . . . The futuristic twist, with its poignant repercussions, drives home a memorable, thoroughly contemporary theme: who you are inside is not something that can or should be erased . . . Lose your memories, lose your pain, lose yourself."
"A gut-wrenching story telling of race and sexuality."
"[An] important addition to speculative fiction for young adults . . . Silvera's tale combines the best features of science fiction with social justice in this engaging read, as Aaron finds a place where he belongs."
—Los Angeles Times
"This is definitely at the top of my YA list. There’s a realness to its main character, Aaron
Soto, and his struggle to be who he really is. It confronts race and sexuality in a way I haven’t seen in the genre before."
“A fresh spin on . . . a teen experiencing firsts—first love, first sex, first loss—and struggling with his identity and sexuality . . . Ingenious.”
—Booklist, Starred Review
“An honest depiction of the pains of navigating the teen years . . . A multifaceted look at some of the more unsettling aspects of human relationships. A brilliantly conceived page-turner.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“Vividly written and intricately plotted . . . Silvera pulls no punches.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“A gripping read—Silvera skillfully weaves together many divergent young adult themes within an engrossing, intense narrative.”
—School Library Journal, Starred 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.)
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
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)