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.
I don’t think I’m gonna be able to write a review of this book and have it to make sense, at all. This book was beautiful in how raw it is, and how beautifully flawed the people in it are.
The story is told from Griffin’s POV. Griffin is now mourning the loss of his ex-boyfriend, and first love, Theo. His pain, his grief, his anxiety, his fear, his heartbreak, his anger, his jealousy, his insecutity, his OCD, his love… It’s all so tangible. So, so so, real.
The story telling jumps from present TODAY to past HISTORY. History is told as that, history. But today, is addressed directly to Theo, so it’s all you you you you. And if anything, this made it more intense, and heartbreaking.
When you lose someone you love, the world starts crumbling around you. You are thankful for every single thing you said, lived, showed, did… But you also regret all the things you didn’t say, you didn’t do, you didn’t live, you didn’t show. And the knowing that you have to live with it is crushing.It haunts you. It tears you apart. When you lose the person you love the most, you want to hide and never come out. Everything takes a new meaning, and it’s never ever pretty. You feel alone, and defeated. You feel like no one understands your grief, like no one gets what this loss means to you. Griffin did have someone, someone that was going through the same grief, the same pain, the same heartbreak. That someone is Jackson, Theo’s boyfriend at the time Theo died.
And so, the story takes off.
I don’t think there’s a lot I can say without spoiling the experience for you. But I will say this: the story is beautifully written. It’s heartbreaking to the core and I was sobbing before I hit the 20% mark. I loved these kids, and I loved with them. I felt their connections, and their fears. I felt their dreams, and I also felt them being crushed. I felt them getting up, and fighting. I felt them trying over and over, and I felt them giving up. I felt them learning from all of this. I felt them missing their best friend, their lover, their first love, the person who understood them like no one. I felt them getting back to themselves, and accepting a crushing reality. I felt them as they attempted to move on and maybe failed, and then tried again until something was changing. I felt them when they finally smiled, and it was honest, and truthful, and it came from the heart.
Adam Silvera has a way of writing people, and places, and situations, and emotions, that it’s so easy to lose yourself in the story and just feel it all. Live it all. It’s beautiful how people come alive through his words. How places I have never visited feel so familiar to me. Silvera doesn’t shy away from writing kids that make mistakes, that sometimes hurt themselves. Kids that ressemble a lot the kid I was, or that my husband, best friend, brother, or sister were. He writes kids that I see in the kids I work with. They are relatable, and it seems to me that every time I read a book by him I find a mirror that sometimes is to scary for me to actually look at that reflection. But that is the beauty of his writing. The fact that he inserts hope in a story that when you start reading you could swear it’s all doomed and it will never work out, yet he makes it work out.
His characters find themselves in the end. They find a way to who they are and they learn that staying true to them and, yeah, those they love, is the most important thing they could ever do.
The characters in this book have hopes and secrets. They love to the core. There are plot twists, or more like, things one doesn’t see coming (or at least I didn’t, though looking back it was all there for me to see).
There were a couple of things that took time to adjust (for me). It was mostly that the ending felt a bit too rushed for me… But… It didn’t stop me from feeling all the things. It also took me a bit to get over where it went. I was expecting this to go in a completely different direction, and it took me by surprise.. But I yell at myself at this because duh! This is Adam Silvera, was I really expecting this to go with my boring, uncreative, mind? *inserts crying in laughter emoji* Pobre Gaby.
Read this book, because it’s wonderful and it’s worth every single tear. Read it, live it, feel it, get lost in it, laugh with it, cry with it, then go on and recommend it.
The book is now available for pre-order, and it will be released on January 17th. This is both my most expected January release, and my most expected 2017 release, and I am happy, glad, and overjoyed to say, that it did not disappoint. It was all worth it.