Thank you to SoHo Teen and Edelweiss for providing me with an early digital copy of this book and thanks to Barnes and Noble B-Fest for an early physical copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
History Is All You Left Me comes out on January 17th, 2017!
Adam Silvera’s debut, More Happy Than Not, was one of the most unique books I read last year, shedding light on harsh emotions and making you feel everything as the characters do. That story of struggling to accept yourself stuck with me so much that when I was able to get my hands on History Is All You Left Me in a digital e-ARC, I jumped on it and hit that request button faster than I could blink. The next day, I was happily surprised to see Adam’s new book in physical form at Barnes & Noble’s B-Fest, where I was able to pick up a physical copy. I read from the physical copy, but that doesn’t really matter. I thought the story in Adam’s sophomore novel read a bit smoother than Happy and his storytelling technique has just gone up a notch or maybe twenty.
In describing Happy to people who have not yet read it, I often find myself saying that its beautiful and heart wrenching but it was also a bit on the weird side as the story sometimes felt a bit rushed and twisty at times. That was not the case in History, not at all. This novel takes a real look of how someone who is dealing with horrible grief can either make themselves better from it or destroy themselves and crack from it. Griffin shows both of these sides in spades. He shows how grief can turn a person to hatred and spite and he also shows how accepting help and love from others can make you better. I thought that Adam showed both sides of how grief effects beautifully. I also loved the characters in this novel and I found myself feeling for them and loving watching their relationships developed over the course of time. The format in this book was also interesting and made the reader feel the emotions along with Griffin.
My only complaint about this book was something I think the reader was supposed to feel, a small contempt for Griffin in his decision making throughout the book. Through the middle, it made me start to dislike his character until he came back around.
COULD BE SPOILERY, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is one of my favorite books of all time. I read it about two years ago (book hipster status) because the cover- you know, the red one- was absolutely stunning and caught my eye. I loved the story of Louisa and Will and read After You right away when it came out last year (I have review for that book if you want to check that out!). So naturally, I was so excited to hear that one of my favorite books was becoming a movie, but also very nervous. Even though Jojo Moyes herself wrote the screenplay, I was still worried that something would go wrong or be too much.
I am so happy to say that my fears were for nothing. This was such a great movie and it was done so well! The relationship between Louisa and Will felt the same as in the book, it was angry and sad and lovely all at the same time and I loved seeing that portrayed accurately on screen. I also loved, and I know this is weird, hating Patrick just as much on screen as I did in the book. Even if he was played by Matthew Lewis. I loved the relationships between the characters and how real the family, friendship and romantic aspects felt. I also was in love with Louisa’s clothes. And the scene where Will gave her the bumblebee tights, all the feelings. Just all of them.
Two things that Jojo Moyes is able to do astoundingly well in her books – not just this one in particular- is not sheltering the reader with a fake happy ending because the story has to have one and showing tremendous growth. And even though this was a screenplay instead, those two things were still apparent. I thought that Will’s ending was portrayed beautifully and truthfully while also making the audience think about his side for little bit. I also truly loved the growth that he and Louisa brought out in each other – one of my favorite parts of the book- was portrayed so, so well on screen.
I loved this movie and the actors who played these fantastic characters. And if any other Jojo Moyes books are going to be adapted for film, please let her write the screenplay!
Rating: 10/10 (I loved it!)
Two truths and a lie.
Roshani Chokshi started this books off extremely well and kept me interested all the way through the first half? True.
Roshani Chokshi writes with a beautiful, poetic style? True.
Roshani Chokshi, in her first novel, has fully explained this complicated world and had great pacing? False.
While this was written so, so beautifully, I was also very confused for the majority of the second half. There were so many explanations of these mythological ideas and they felt like info dumps instead of weaving with the plot and action parts of the story and for me, sometimes they just didn’t make sense. It pains me to say that I skimmed some parts of the second half because I was so confused because the first half was so kick-ass and the writing is absolutely beautiful.
I likes Maya as a character but I wish we could have seen more of her taking charge instead of being hung up on Amar and being just as confused as I was in some parts. I also was not a huge fan of the romance between Maya and Amar, I thought that there was not enough build up to them being all over each other all of a sudden. Also, I wish we could have seen more from other characters like Gauri and Gupta, even though it is in Maya’s perspective.
Hopefully these problems will become things of the past when I read the second book next year. I hope it is about Gauri, I would love to see that. Also a bit of a clearer explanation of the plot and customs would be nice.
Roshani Chokshi is also one of the nicest people I have ever met (I went to a signing for her and got my copy signed) and I SO wanted to love this, especially since I just finished and loved And I Darken by Kiersten White and it is very much in the same vein with the mythology and historical elements. This book just did not wow me, but I am sincerely hoping Roshani’s sophomore novel does!