History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

History Is All You Left Me

byAdam Silvera

Hardcover | January 17, 2017

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"This book will make you cry, think, and then cry some more." 
—Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything 

From the New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not comes an explosive examination of grief, mental illness, and the devastating consequences of refusing to let go of the past.


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.

About The Author

Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked in the publishing industry as a children’s bookseller, at a literary development company, and as a book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, received multiple starred reviews and is a New York Times bestseller, and Adam was sele...
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Details & Specs

Title:History Is All You Left MeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.6 × 5.8 × 0.9 inPublished:January 17, 2017Publisher:Soho PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1616956925

ISBN - 13:9781616956929

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TODAY MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20TH, 2016 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. HISTORY SUNDAY, JUNE 8TH, 2014 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?”       “Go.”

Editorial Reviews

Praise for History Is All You Left MeAn Entertainment Weekly Most Anticipated YAA PASTE Magazine Most Anticipated YAA Bustle.com Most Anticipated YAA PopCrush Most Anticipated YAA 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 "Adam Silvera knows how to break hearts—at least those belonging to readers of his books . . . History Is All You Left Me, hits even closer to home [than his debut, More Happy Than Not]." —EntertainmentWeekly.com"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."—Chicago Tribune"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"The YA world has been taken by storm by Adam Silvera."—The Writer"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." —Hypable.com"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."—Bookpage"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." —About.com"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 BooksPraise 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 . . .Mandatory reading.”—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."—TeenVogue.com"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."—Chicago Tribune"A gut-wrenching story telling of race and sexuality."—The Guardian"[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."—Latina Magazine“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