Rating – 5/5
“Griffin has lost his first love in a drowning accident. Theo was his best friend, his ex-boyfriend and the one he believed he would end up with. Now, reeling from grief and worsening OCD, Griffin turns to an unexpected person for help. Theo’s new boyfriend. But as their relationship becomes increasingly complicated, dangerous truths begin to surface Griffin must make a choice: confront the past, or miss out on his future.”
This book is absolutely beautiful from start to finish. It made me cry a lot and it is a story that will stick with me for a very long time. The story is written in alternating chapters of ‘History’, which explores Theo and Griffin’s relationship from start to finish, and ‘Today’, which explores the friendship between Jackson and Griffin.
I think grief is portrayed excellently in this book. No character is being judged for grieving differently than others and Griffin’s parents really understand and support what he is going through. His grief was unique to him which is an important message – no one grieves the same and this is ok! Griffin and Jackson’s (Theo’s ex-boyfriend) friendship was really special and I liked how it developed throughout the book as they started off really disliking each other. I liked Jackson’s character a lot despite disliking him at the start of the book as I was purely ‘Team Griffin.’ Wade is definitely my favourite character, as although we didn’t see too much of him, he was a really integral part to the story. I did also like Griffin’s character but he acted very selfishly at times. Theo was a character that I grew to really hate – I loved him at the start of his and Griffin’s relationship but he grew to be incredibly selfish and manipulative. I think what was the most upsetting was Griffin losing his best friend rather than him losing the love of his life.
Mental health is also a key component to this book but it is not the main focus. I myself don’t suffer from OCD so I can’t comment on how well it is represented but Griffin did see therapy in a positive light which I thought was brilliant. The other characters took Griffin’s illness really seriously and tried to make life as easy as possible for him in regards to his compulsions which was excellent to see.
I highly recommend this book to everyone – it will definitely make you cry but I think it’s a really important story in regards to grief, mental illness and also healthy relationships.