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Teen Advisory Board Member Amanda Reviews History Is All You Left Me
History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
The novel, History Is All You Left Me, centers around Griffin after his ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident. In order to let go of the love that he had, he must revisit the memories of the past. Throughout the story, Griffin recalls the times he had with Theo while navigating through bouts of grief, hurt and mental illness.
To say that this book was amazing is an understatement. The character development was spot on with Griffin’s mindset drastically changing from the start to the end. Griffin describes his thoughts so vividly that you could feel the love and hurt that he feels throughout the book.
I loved the writing style, which was written in two different ways, past and present. The sections describing the past showed Griffin reminiscing about the times he had with Theo. These chapters had a lighthearted, happy vibe to them and were fun to read. On the flip side, the present chapters added sorrowful feeling to the story but had subtle amounts of hope sprinkled in. Every part of the book was so descriptive, and I never put it down when I started reading it.
History Is All You Left Me is an unforgettable book which combines both the past and the present in order to hope for the future. This book deals with topics from anywhere between love and grief, and the manner in which it is executed was perfect. I absolutely loved this book and the characters within, and would definitely recommend anyone who likes to read realistic fiction books.
-Review written by Amanda, Age 14
You can find Adam Silvera's other books here.
On March 10th, 2018 I had the chance to speak with author Alexandra Sirowy during the Bloggers <3 Authors event at Books Inc. Santa Clara. Before meeting with her, I had already read all three of her books. Each book has its own unique world and were all amazingly written. I loved all the plots and the character development throughout each book. I definitely recommend her books if you are a fan of mysteries and thrillers. Her books have perfectly incorporated the eerie and haunting tone of this genre, and I couldn’t put any of them down.
Note: The responses below are paraphrased and some parts have been omitted/edited because of spoilers. I apologize for any awkward phrasing or mistakes that may have occurred.
Note #2: Possible Spoilers Ahead!
Which world would you live in out of your three books?
That's an interesting question, I hadn't gotten that before. I would say that all my books are special to me in their own way, but I would have to say First We Were Four. The friendship between the four friends was so strong, and I would have liked to be in such a friendship. The feeling of being under the blood moon promising to love your friends for as long as you exist seems magical. Which book would you like to have lived in?
I definitely think First We Were Four had this really cool vibe with the friendship, and I would totally want to join the group. I feel like The Creeping would be another book world I would be interested in joining, because of the interesting backstory.
Which book was your favorite?
I think either First We Were Four or The Creeping. I just loved the character development throughout each of the books. I did like The Telling with Lana’s point of view, although it is a little harder to connect with her because of the way she acts. The way revenge was written in that book was still amazing.
Yeah, I personally think that The Telling is one of the harder books to get into because of Lana’s personality throughout the book, although I did like writing about Josh.
Cool! So which character in any of your books is most like you?
I have gotten that question before writing First We Were Four, but I think now I would say Graham because we have the same personal characteristics and same kind of devotion that Graham shows throughout the book. In addition, Graham has this quality that makes him feel like he is not the hero of his story and that he is second to Harry. I feel like this is quality is something that lots of people have and can connect to. Who would you describe yourself as?
Probably Sam because of his more shy personality type, but I feel like I have some personal connection to Harry for some reason. They seem similar in their personality types, and both are so likable!
Yeah, I definitely feel like Sam and Harry would be best friends if they were both in the Order of IV! Actually, Sam would perfectly fit into the group. I feel like even though Sam and Harry are alike in the fact that they both want to please their friends, I feel like Harry wouldn’t put up with everything that Sam did in The Creeping. I think throughout all the books, Harry is my favorite character. Who’s yours?
I think Harry would also be my favorite character because of how nice and likable he is, but I have a special soft spot for Graham and his amazing personality. So, how did you get the inspiration for your books?
I get my inspiration for my books from traveling to places. For example, I went to places such as the woods of Minnesota, which set the eerie tone for The Creeping. The rocks of Washington were beautiful and inspired me as well. The scenery just looked like some type of mystical place in Europe where you could imagine anything happening. I also write a lot of books that take place in a kind of woodsy environment because I used to live in a house with this big patch of trees. My siblings were quite a bit younger than me, so I kind of babysat them. The woods always freaked me out and I would always call out to them if they ever went in too deep.
I loved reading it though! How did you come up with the ending of First We Were Four? (I cried at the end)
I write my books like how you read them, and at the start of the book I don’t know the ending. I knew what I wanted to happen at the end, but didn’t know the person or specific details. I was crying when writing the end. My husband actually came into the room and asked why I was crying and I said that I was writing the end of the book. Even though it did break my heart, I knew it had to happen. I just loved all the four friends in the book, and each of them are special to me.
When do think (if they even did) the Order of IV went too far in trying to bring light to Goldilocks’ death?
I don’t think there is a point where they went too far with trying to stand up for their beliefs. Preferably, there would be less violence, but overall they tried to protest a problem. They wanted to show how unfair it was that the police didn’t investigate further and called it a day. I do think it is a good thing that they stood up for what they recognized as wrong and set out to change it. I think only in their personal vendetta’s that they did go wrong. Letting all these outside factors change the Order of IV from Izzie’s vision was when everything truly got twisted.
How did you write the friendship between Graham and Harry?
Harry did join the original three a lot later in the friendship, but I feel like their friendship was accelerated. Graham had only played with Viv and Izzie for his childhood and then Harry came in and was like a brother to him. They could confide in each other the way Viv and Izzie do, and they were a caring figure for each other. Even with something coming between them, they are both respectful to each other and for the other’s happiness. Yes, they may argue like all friends do, but their friendship lasts until the end. I think that there will always be a sense of guilt about what could have gone differently, but their friendship will always be strong. Even if Graham could get what he wanted he wouldn’t do anything that would hurt Harry to get it.
How do you entwine any subtle add-ins, such as the french braid in The Creeping?
I usually don’t add the details until later drafts, and start off first getting my thoughts onto the paper. I love mysteries and thrillers because of those little details and those red herrings. It’s like when you read a book that ends randomly without anything leading up to it and you get irritated at the ending because it’s so unexpected. I love a satisfying ending where everything falls into place and all the clues make sense. You could reread a book and notice something critical you hadn’t seen before, and it’s just a wonderful experience.
What are your plans for the future?
I am working on a few projects kind of similar to the past three books, like what you could describe as “who did this” books. I am also working on a book that is going to still be a thriller, but different from the previous books I’ve written. Those projects will all be YA, but I am looking forward to starting an adult thriller. I also want to expand to a new genre and I think writing a YA fantasy book would be fun.
Cool, thanks for letting me interview you!
Thanks for taking the time to interview me!