Book Reviews, diverse books, LGBTQIA+, YA

History is All You Left Me Review

25014114

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silver is the second book chosen for The Rainbow Library.A landslide in the voting. A lot of members were excited about the book release.I’m really glad it was chosen as well. I was a big fan of More Happy Than Not and had the History Is All You Left Me book pre-ordered. I was going to wait a bit longer to dive into but I’m glad this group gave me the push to do it now.Apologizing now if this review gets too scattered. I took lots of notes.

This story intrigued me right away with the setup. You jump into the story and realize that the chapters will alternate between the present and the past.History and Today. We have a main character that is flawed in some ways too. I’m  talking about the way he handles a lot of the relationships in his life. I could see that it wasn’t the best right away. Especially after seeing how great Griffin’s relationship with Wade and Theo is in the first few history chapters. It’s so interesting trying to connect the history Griff gives us to his present. I was always looking for the clues to see how things came to be this way. Trying to figure out who is at fault for things before history could catch up with the present more.

I have to say I was surprised by how much I loved the history chapters. They start the day that Theo and Griffin admit their feelings for each other,  goes through their relationship and ends on the day that Theo dies. There were so many beautiful moments in their relationship and it really was bittersweet to read knowing that they eventually break up and that Theo dies. The first few history chapters really drew me in and I was excited that I was going to really enjoy those flashbacks.

Early on I wondered how reliable Griffin was as a narrator for not only the history sections. It was a small moment during the funeral of Theo that made me think it. It was just a perspective thing. The way he saw Jackson and how I could tell he blamed Jackson for Theo’s death to some extent. It made him think that other people might see Jackson similarly when that wasn’t the case. It was the first point where I realized there would definitely be some bias with anything revolving Jackson in the history or today part.

One really interesting thing about Griffin as a narrator is that he’s talking to Theo. The whole story is Griffin going over his history with Theo and also telling Theo the things he didn’t know. The things he wanted to but didn’t get a chance to. The “you” he references in the today sections is Theo.He models his actions toward Jackson based on what Theo would want him to do. If Theo would be disappointed in him. I saw it as another way for him to process Theo’s death. Believing that somehow Theo might be out there listening to him. A little odd considering that it’s pointed out that Griffin isn’t religious like Jackson.

Griffin has OCD. I really can’t comment much on the way it’s written besides that it feels accurate. I have a family member that has OCD and I grew up watching them deal with their compulsions. Compulsions that are very different from what Griffin’s are, though.His compulsions dealt with counting and even numbers. He always had to walk on one side of people or he became anxious. I liked the way it was shown throughout the story.I liked the way the people in his life reacted differently to it as well.

This story had what I call the January problem now. It’s where you only see a character through flashback and don’t always get the info you want. January from Last Seen Leaving was a character I had this kind of issue with. Theo can’t tell his story. Griffin has to tell it for him. Jackson and others can share stories of him but they can’t tell us what Theo was thinking. I really just wished I could get in his head. I got to the point in the history chapters where I had some questions. Theo, what are you doing? Do you really think you can stay friends with Griffin and be with Jackson? Do you not see how messy this situation is? Why are you a mess? Plus so many more questions as I realize things that Theo did or said. It’s not a problem that takes anything away from the story for me. I just will have those questions forever.

The last sixty or eighty pages I would read a page. Then stop to process because I needed to before reading another page.It was a long process. Sometimes I would lean against a wall or pace. Adam Silvera takes you on these really emotional roller coasters in his work. The situation between this group of guys was so messy and that was before Theo died. It really just gets worse. There were definitely some cringe moments because I didn’t want to think about how I’d handle the situations they were going through.  Pg 225 I for sure wasn’t ready for. I could not. I still cannot.I didn’t even know how I kept going toward the end right after that.

I really can’t knock this story rating down for anything that happens. There are things that were frustrating but it wasn’t frustrations that would affect the rating I’d give the book.If the situation was different these things would. I’m never a fan of people doing things to emotionally hurt people. Griff definitely does that at points in this story and I feel like Jackson does as well.Griff makes some bad decisions in his History with Theo that might make him unlikeable for people. Theo might be unlikeable for you.However, this was a story about people grieving over the death of someone they loved. It’s completely true that there were moments where I definitely have a problem with things done. Especially by the main character Griffin but all his emotions and actions were valid.This form of grieving was valid. Not right necessarily but it was valid. He’s in a rough spot and you see that throughout the entire book. I went along on this journey with Griffin knowing that he was going to possibly make some bad decisions.

There were chapters early on where I wished we could see more of Wade. I think it’s because I loved Wade in the chapters in the past. He was a great friend and added something to those scenes before Theo and Griffin start pushing him out a little unintentionally.I also wondered why he became more distant. What did Theo do or say to push his best friend away? Another question I had. Later in the story, we do finally get to see what’s going on with Wade. I have to say that there are things about Wade that I related to in a this is hurting my soul kind of way. I really wish we could have seen more of his character. Jackson and Griffin get to m0urn together for a big portion of this story. Wade mourns his friend alone and that is really rough.

I have to applaud Silvera on somehow throwing in a subtle twist that was just as jarring as the twist in More Happy Than Not even if on a smaller scale. More Happy Than Not had a sci-fi element.The thing that shocked me there was a big deal. History is All You left Me is just all real and still had these emotionally jarring moments that are so brilliant and unexpected. Adam Silvera is really becoming one of my favorite authors really quickly.I’m excited for his next book They Both Die At The End.I know I will likely be a complete emotional wreck after that one but I don’t mind that when it’s an Adam Silvera book. This story comes out to a 5-star read for me.

Advertisements
Comics, diverse books, LGBTQIA+, Readathon

#DiverseAthon Potential Reads

It’s time for the first Diverseathon of 2017. Super excited. I am the biggest mood reader ever. I will stop a book just because I’m not feeling the genre at the moment so I will be doing a very long list of potential reads for this Diverseathon. My list consists of primarily queer lit as it normally does. I did try to focus on books with queer characters of color a bit more and get some Own Voices books in the list as well. You can look at my rundown on my Youtube post or read through my choices here. Check out Naz’s DiverseAthon post on his blog ReadDiversebooks.com  for more information on the readathon.

 

22896551

None of The Above is the book of The month for The Rainbow Library. Members of the group will be posting reviews all this week. Super excited to finish this story. It follows a teenager who finds out they are intersex. I definitely have not read much on intersex people before and I’m glad I’m doing it with a group. There has been some great discussion around the book already.

30279514

 

Dreadnought is a story about a trans girl whose body transforms when she accidentally gains superpowers. The book comes out on January 24th. I have a digital ARC and am really enjoying it so far. About 30% into the story. Hoping to see a bit of a hero journey with this character.

30102870

I loved More Happy Than not. I feel like Adam Silvera’s new book might wreck me like it did but I’m excited. The main character is gay. He’s dealing with the death of his first love. He has OCD I believe. I definitely want to read a story with a character who has OCD and have for a while.

29904219

I didn’t finish this during #DAReadahon so I hope I can finish it now. Really love the main character from the part I did read. I’ve wanted to read more stories with LGBTQ + Asian protagonist for a while.

30306371

I am so excited to read this story. I love queer superhero stories. This one follows a teenage superhero named Javier Medina. You get to see how he balances or fails to balance his life as a junior superhero and his life at school.

25074253

A revelatory novel about being queer and Muslim, set in war-torn Iraq in 2003.Ramy is a young gay Iraqi struggling to find a balance between his sexuality, religion, and culture. I’m excited to read this story. I feel like it’s going to be intense and wonderful. Really happy I got a copy of this novel.

 

22554204

This is written by the author of Nimona. It’s been on my radar for a while. It has queer characters and that’s really all I know right now. Hopefully, I will like it. Definitely will get to this soon since it’s due back to my library in a few days.

 

18465601

The is a story based on the Green Turtle. The Green Turtle was the first Asian American Superhero in golden age comics. Super excited to read this. It’s own voices with the writer and artist. The art looks so good.

23854755

Teen guys who are neighbors. One is a popular jock and the other is a nerd. We get to see them fall for each other. Super excited. Reminds me of the gay version of You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift. Hope I love it.

23430487

I’ve wanted to read an Elliot Wake book for a while. I have followed Elliot Wake on Instagram and twitter and am really excited to finally read one of his books. I love that this one follows a Vlogger who is also secretly a vigilante. I’m excited to see how this story goes.

27158835

Two awesome authors writing two gay characters who meet during Pride weekend and have an adventure. I love books that focus on friendships. Especially queer friendships. This book has been on my shelf unread for way too long. I even have two copies. I need to read this soon.

28498236

Last potential read is Boy Robot. I’ve wanted to read this since I found out Simon Curtis was writing it. I love his music. I’m excited to see the story of Isaak in this. He finds out he’s a robot and his adoptive parents are killed in one night. I know this book is LGBTQ in some way and I am excited to read it.

This is my tentative TBR for this week. Super excited to read some of these great books. Also really excited for the #Diversathon twitter chats. The conversations were amazing last year and I can’t wait to see what everyone has to say this year.

 

Uncategorized

Books I Read in One Sitting

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is books you read in one sitting. This is something I often end up doing when I read. Especially if I’m really excited for the book beforehand. Here’s five books i read in one sitting.

19542841

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera – If I pre-order a book I will often end up reading it in one sitting. This was a book I pre-ordered really early. It was an emotional and psychological roller coaster for me.

18705209

Blood of Olympus – I was so excited to get this book I couldn’t put it down once I started. I paced around while reading for part of it and I think my family thought I was crazy.

131055931604613722064521

The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal by E.K. Weaver – I wasn’t planning on reading this whole comic in one sitting. It was late and I wanted to sleep, but it was too good to stop at volume one.

229490

Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde – This one was close. I read the majority of it on a train ride to see my fiance and finished it the second we got to his dorm. This book has really compelling characters.

72978

Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare – Partially read this in one sitting because it was for school. I also just needed to get to the end because of how crazy it was once I started. This is Shakespeare’s bloodiest play and it’s awesome. This is not something you want to read before dinner. Trust me.

Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday – Favorite Books of the Year … So Far!

Top 5 Wednesday

     Created/Hosted by Lainey

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday is favorite books of the year so far. This was pretty hard. I ended up looking through my Goodreads and the ratings of books I read in the first half of the year. So here’s the list.

Hero by Perry Moore – I really loved listening to the audiobook for Hero. It’s a fantastic story with some great characters. Thom’s journey from closeted super hero in training to where he is at the end was great to be on.

1251032

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera– I just read this book and I’m never gonna get over how great it is. I talk about it in a video here. Adam Silvera is a fantastic writer. Can’t wait to read more from him in the future.

19542841

Wicked by Clover DonovanI don’t tell people about this book enough. Ethan Drake may be one of my favorite characters of the year. I felt like this was a awesome book about witches who really use their magic. I loved it. 

16073814

Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde–  I now have a thing for road trip books because of this story. I can’t get over how great the characters of Jordy and Chloe . This is a book i definitely see myself reading again.

229490

Wanting By Piper Vaughn – I don’t think any M/M romance I read this year will be able to trump this story. Laurie and Jonah are so perfect. It’s a really well done story. I can’t wait for part two.

11995012

Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday – Authors I Really Want To Meet

Top Ten Tuesday is run by The Broke and the Bookish so go check them out.For this list I chose only authors that are living to help myself cut it down to just ten. I’d probably ask all of the authors on this list for different tips with my own writing. I’d also flail around not knowing how to talk for some of them.

1.David Levithan– I have loved every single thing i have read from this wonderful man. I would want to tell him how much his books got me through some difficult times in high school and thank him for that.

2.Jay Bell– I love the romances that Jay bell Writes. I also just want to be friends with Jay and his husband,

3.Margaret Atwood– Oryx and Crake is one of the few books that I will always be willing to reread. I just love her novels.

4.Brent Hartinger– The Real Story Safe Sex Project is something that I am really glad exist and it’s thanks to this author. Russel Middlebrook is one of my favorite characters also.

5.Tamora Pierce– The Circle of Magic series is to this day my favorite fantasy series. I will never forget the characters, especially since I haven’t finished the follow up series yet.

6.Robin Reardon– Robin writes stories that more people need to read. I feel like I always learn something new from her books. Even if it’s just realizing something about my own beliefs. I definitely recommend the Evolution of Ethan Poe.

7.Adam Silvera– His novel hasn’t even come out yet and I am way too excited to read it. I love his tweets and his appearance on the Epic Reads youTube channel. I just want to be friends with him.

8.Rick Riordan– I grew up reading his series. First Percy Jackson. Then Heroes of Olympus. I absolutely love the worlds that he can create.

9.Perie Wolford– I love Encounter so much that I definitely have to put Perie on this list. I love his sci-fi and also enjoyed the first book in his Turning 16 series.

10. Piper Vaughn– Piper Vaughn wrote one of my favorite M/M romances of the last couple years when she wrote Wanting. Can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out.