Genres: YA | Contemporary | Romance
Published: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Soho Teen
In his twisty, gritty, profoundly moving debut—called “mandatory reading” by the New York Times—Adam Silvera brings to life a charged, dangerous near-future summer in the Bronx.
In the months after his father's suicide, it's been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again--but he's still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he's slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.
When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron's crew notices, and they're not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can't deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas make him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can't stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.
Why does happiness have to be so hard? [...]
One thing about More Happy than Not is that it isn’t afraid to portray realism in its - perhaps - ugliest form.
Our views on sexuality has changed immensely, and while it's true that we need more books where coming out is not necessary, where the characters aren't described by whom they are attracted to, it is also true that homophobia is still a problem among societies. I'm a firm believer that we need books where there is no default sexuality and at the same time, we also need books like this one.
For starters, I found the starting of the novel to be a bit slow but this was hardly a quibble because when things started happening, it was nothing less than one hell of an emotional rollercoaster. It's the kind of story that doesn't simply come and go. Rather, it's the kind that leaves its mark and for me that was more important than anything else.
There is nothing cute or beautiful about this book, despite some lovely moments between the characters. It highlights the harsher truth. Not everyone will love you. It won't always be flowers and rainbows and sunshine. The characters are diverse and real - awkward and still stumbling around trying to find their footing. I felt for Aaron and I know for one thing that I won't be forgetting him anytime soon.
I'm not sure if a trigger warning is warrant here, but since it deals with topics like suicide, homophobia and depression, be warned that this is not a happy book.
"Memories: some can be sucker punching, others carry you forward; some stay with you forever, others you forget on your own. You can't really know which ones you'll survive if you don't stay on the battlefield, bad times shooting at you like bullets. But if you're lucky, you'll have plenty of good times to shield you."