History Is All You Left Me

History Is All You Left Me

by Adam Silvera


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616958732
Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/06/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 17,577
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked as a bookseller, as a consultant at a literary development company, as a reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. He is also the author of the highly acclaimed debut novel, More Happy Than Not, and the New York Times bestseller They Both Die at the End. He lives in New York City and is tall for no reason.

Read an Excerpt


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.


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?”

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History Is All You Left Me 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SammiiTX 11 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a great book! I wish it was a little bit longer and maybe appealed a little bit more to an older crowd and not just high schoolers but at the same time I think it is also a great book for high schoolers to read to help cope with relationships and break ups and mental health. I rarely laugh out loud while reading books or cry but this book made me chuckle a few times and brought some tears to my eyes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was in a love and hate relationship with this book. It hits me at home with the in love with your best friend thing while you have other friends and then having internal problems that send you to make choices you are unsure of. After a couple histories and todays, I took a break and recently came back to it to finish in one day. I took a break because Griffin makes poor decisions but I came back because I wanted to know how he redeem himself of those poor decisions. And I was not disappointed. Like I titled this, in an alternative universe where I didn’t read this would be wrong, cause then my alternative universe self wouldn’t know that I can survive my own poor decisions too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chancie More than 1 year ago
Absolutely amazing heart wrenching story cover to cover. It has so much heart, intensity, and honesty. It made me cry, laugh, smile, and want to tear pages out in rage. It's a story of love, grief, loss, and the complexities of all those emotions, life, and the heart in general. I love, love, love this novel.
sheltisebastian More than 1 year ago
I just finished this! My heart has been torn out and stomped over. Tissues needed when reading this book. I felt bad for Wade most of all. I know what it feels like to be a third wheel.
mdemanatee More than 1 year ago
This was heartbreaking, if still hopeful. Silvera is skilled at how he balances the flashbacks, or "history", with the contemporary action. The pacing always feels natural and truthful to the story. And I was truly invested in these characters and their heartbreak. Theo's death did not feel cheap, and it did not feel like a device. Which is so hard to do. My heart does feel like it's been stomped over now though.
Kim_Larsen More than 1 year ago
Adam Silvera is a master of the craft--his books will make you laugh, cry, and they will stick with you long after you turn the last page. His stories are important and diverse, opening your mind and leaving you better off for having read them.
itsraymarie More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for an author that will break your heart, look no further than Adam Silvera. I loved his first novel, and this was no different. It was wholly complex, sad, but in the end hopeful and so lovely. This book is told non-linearly, which took me a bit to get used to, but was a great decision for this book. Adam does it so well, so there's no confusion. I do love Adam's writing, although it can get a bit dense at times. But it really draws you into the story and doesn't let you go. Griffin is grieving the death of his best friend/ex-boyfriend. I think this is a subject that doesn't get tackled much in YA, and I am so glad Adam did. Griffin is just trying to figure out how to move forward when life no longer looks like anything he imagined. All of the characters were written very vividly, very real. They acted the way grieving teenagers might act. Sure, they made some terrible decisions from time to time, but we really get into Griffin's head and understand where he's coming from. Griffin also struggles with OCD, and this was handled very well. We got to see a bit into Griffin's head and understand what it is like for someone who struggles with OCD. So often anxiety is just another plot point, turned on and off when it suits the story, so I was very glad to see accurate representation. This was another great story from Adam Silvera, and I can't wait to read whatever he has for us next.
Hailee Bartz More than 1 year ago
WOW. OK. THIS BOOK IS THE BEST DAMN THING. So, here is the thing. I do not usually fall in love with contemporaries. It takes a lot for a contemporary to make me head-over-heels and I can honestly say I have never read a better contemporary book in my life. I don’t even know how to talk about my feels towards this book. The very first thing I wrote down in my notes when I started reading was on page 1 and all I said was ‘DAMN, hella first page!!!’. Adam’s writing is enticing, comical, and absolutely soul wrenching. I was going to share some of my favorite quotes from the book but I wrote down too many quotes to even try to pick a top three! I mean. . .you just have to go read this book! If you are somehow still unconvinced about this book let me share with you some more! - This book is an #ownvoices book! (It falls into the category because the main characters Griffin, is gay as well as having OCD just as Adam Silvera does.) - Like I stated above, this book has an OCD character!!! As someone who has OCD this portrayal was everything. It was strikingly accurate (even if I don’t share the same exact compulsions, it was done in such a way that you were just like ‘yes’ - another reason #ownvoices is important!) and had side characters that were accepting of Griffin’s condition and towards the end we're even helping him to “not be your compulsions bitch”. - A lot of times in YA the MC’s family/parents are just not there? However, in this book we deal with multiple families in addition to the consequences of disobeying parents. We also get a beautiful, effortlessly written coming out scene (and by scene, it’s really only a scene! 1 ½ pages, then we move on!) which has both families 100% accepting and supportive which was super refreshing and momentous for anyone who may be having doubts after seeing/hearing so many stories with unsupportive families. - Again, #ownvoices is so so so important because as a bisexual girl with OCD when I was reading about Griffin’s thoughts on ‘coming-out’ and him dealing with his compulsions I felt like Adam had personally tapped into my soul with a magnifying glass. It’s comforting to know you’re not the only one with these thoughts. - I love how Adam keeps a balance of funny and utterly heartbreaking. He just gets it. - I love how Adam’s characters are all ‘flawed’ in someway because every single character I’ve read from him feels so genuine. (The way he always slips in Harry Potter references into his books makes me so happy!) - Also, hi, hello please take a moment to appreciate Wade because he is so underrated. My god. I cried. I laughed. I sobbed. Taking a quotes from Emma of emmmabooks, “There are characters I loved at first but grew to resent. There are characters I originally was indifferent to that I ended up falling in love with.” This book is largely focused on character development and surprised me in the crulest and best of ways. I went into this book expecting to love it, but I came out of this book being utterly besotted with it. Ending words: GO BUY THIS BOOK ON JANUARY 17TH. PLEASE READ IT & LOVE IT!!
LilAthena More than 1 year ago
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
After being the only person in the world who didn't flail all over MHTN, I was excited to try this new book. Sadly, I didn't care for Griffin. I get that he was grieving, but there was just something about him that I couldn't connect to. Something that kept me from being 100% immersed in the story. I did enjoy the back and forth between the present and past chapters. I liked the overall story and the secondary characters and the ending. I know with certainty that I will be in the minority, that this will be another book that everyone raves about. I'm clearly missing something and I wish I could see it. **Huge thanks to SoHo Teen and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**