History is All You Left Me

by Adam Silvera


Have you ever thought about how one typo can change the
narrative and perspective of an entire novel? Not even a 30139283large typo, just one number accidentally clicked instead of the adjacent key. Something so simple would typically be glossed over, forgotten within a page or two. But sometimes it is placed in just the wrong spot that it changes everything. *

It’s just like an event that never should have happened. It interrupts and rips you out of your expected future. That is exactly what is happening to Griffin.

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of History is All You Left Me, which was perfect because I am fully intending on ordering it for the library.

Summary

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.

 

The first thing I have to say about this book has to be: YESSSS, GIVE ME THAT REPRESENTATION. At the core, we have our gay main character who suffers from compulsions and his bisexual ex-boyfriend. While it does mention the third in their squad is African-American, it never mentions the race of either Griffin or Theo. None of the characters come off as being token or thrown in there just to get the representation vote; they’re all very developed and real.

I have never been struck so much by a teenage narrator as I was by Griffin. He is most certainly seventeen, with the ounce of pretentiousness and geeky inclinations that remind me of myself as a teen. His voice is strong, as it is with the rest of the cast: Theo, Jackson, and Wade especially.
Wade, by far, was my favorite character. Even with Griff’s love for Cedric Diggory and Theo’s peculiar sundial watch, I really adored how genuine of a person Wade remained in the novel.

The pacing of this novel was perfect. It constantly swapped back and forth from when Theo and Griffin were together to the new reality of Griffin being single. These are easily distinguished because the date is written at the beginning of each chapter title. It made the three hundred pages fly by in two enjoyable sittings.

I’m certain teens will relate to Griff’s story, even with all the mistakes he makes. The character development is wonderful and left me satisfied. You may not be able to get this book by Christmas, but it releases early next year.

*if you want to know more about this typo, just let me know! It was an interesting situation.

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Treasure, Darkly



by Jordan Elizabeth

Review by KM

It’s not often that I see a Steampunk novel, especially one that interests me. The first line of the summary won me over in a second. I’m excited to see more from this story, but I will admit that the ending does have me pouting over the wait.

Summary

Seventeen-year-old Clark Treasure assumes the drink he stole off the captain is absinthe… until the chemicals in the liquid give him the ability to awaken the dead.

A great invention for creating perfect soldiers, yes, but Clark wants to live as a miner, not a slave to the army—or the deceased. On the run, Clark turns to his estranged, mining tycoon father for help. The Treasures welcome Clark with open arms, so he jumps at the chance to help them protect their ranch against Senator Horan, a man who hates anyone more powerful than he.

Sixteen-year-old Amethyst Treasure loathes the idea of spending the summer away from her bustling city life to rot on her father’s ranch, but when a handsome young man shows up claiming to be her secret half-brother, her curiosity is piqued. He’s clever, street smart, and has no qualms jumping into the brawl between the Treasures and Horans. Caught in the middle, Horan kidnaps Amethyst, and all she gets is this lousy bullet through her heart.

When Clark brings her back to life, however, the real action starts, and Amethyst joins him in his fight against the Horan clan—whatever the cost. Defeating the Horans may seem easy at first, but going up against men with the same fighting vengeance as Clark, and a Senator with power he’s obtained by brainwashing the masses?

Well, Amethyst’s boring summer at home has turned into an adventure on the run, chock full of intrigue, danger, love, and a mysterious boy named Clark.

Musings

I’m nearly certain that this summary wasn’t the one given to me when I received this book, but I love the changes that I see in it. Amethyst’s role is just as important as Clark’s and it’s nice to see a summary that gives her a bigger role.

I loved Clark from the moment we were introduced. He was a survivor — someone with a bit of bent ethics, but willing to defend those he cared about and painfully conscious of the burden / gift he’d gotten by drinking the potion.

Amethyst’s role in the beginning really irked me. She was that typical celebrity girl role that gets painted in the tabloids — selfish, immature, and pampered. While I’d love to say there was tremendous character growth, I still think she’s still pampered and selfish. I really want to see her character be confronted with more dangerous situations to see how she morphs into the woman I want her character to be.

Overall, I enjoyed the pacing, but I found the ending rushed. Most of my favorite series leave off the novels in a place where there are most strings tied together, with the potential for continuation. This didn’t. I felt like I was smack middle, like I was waiting for a serial fiction to update. However, that’s a good way to guarantee sales for the second book, so I can’t wait until that releases.

Denton Little’s Deathdate

Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin (April 14, 2015, Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Review by KM

I did it again, friends. I started a book for the beginning of a series when the sequels are no where close to be out. I always say I’m not going to do it anymore, that I’m going to wait until all the books are out. It never works.

I don’t know for sure that this is the beginning of a series, but I need more, so I am demanding a sequel. Maybe two or three.

 

Summary

Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that’s in just two days—the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle—as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister. (Though he’s not totally sure—see, first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters. . . . Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Musings

 

I love the premise of this plot. Everyone knowing when they’d die? That’d be really cool! Or really anxiety-inducing, to be honest. I think I’d like to know when I’d die. It definitely forces you to embrace your morality and the alterations in the way death is mourned are intriguing.

 

The writing itself is funny and fast paced. There is so much action happening in each scene. I don’t like to gender books at all (Read what you will and definitely don’t condemn someone for what they’re reading!), but I have noticed that it’s much easier to get one of my guy friends to read a book that’s fast-paced than it is to get them to read a drawn out plot. I totally plan on buying this for my guy cousins in high school.

 

Denton makes douchey mistakes that would typically make me hate a character or avoid them if they were real. I’m not quite sure how, but his perspective made me think of them more as accidents — things he stumbled into without realizing he got there. I definitely wouldn’t call him innocent, but there’s this oddly endearing part of his character that makes me grant him more leeway.


I will warn some parents: there are more sexual references than I would have expected, probably enough to get it banned from some school libraries, but certainly the right amount to make it realistic. I never went a day in high school without a guy talking about their dick at the lunch table. If it was completely dry, I’d probably have connected less than I did.

All in all, I’m really looking forward to a sequel to this. It deserves one. I’ll let starting a new series before it’s finished slide — but only this time.