cover image History Is All You Left Me

History Is All You Left Me

Adam Silvera. Soho Teen, $18.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-61695-692-9

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.)