More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera
Published By: Soho Teen
Publication Date: April 26th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQIAP+
Date Read: January 28th, 2018
Links: Goodreads | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Booktopia | Amazon
In his twisty, gritty, profoundly moving New York Times bestselling-debut—also called “mandatory reading” and selected as an Editors’ Choice 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 sixteen-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 makes 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?
Trigger Warnings: Suicide, Homophobia, Depression, Cheating, Self-harm, heavy violence, Death of parent.
More Happy Than Not was my first Adam Silvera novel and I was keen on finding out what all the hype is about! My feelings are all over the place on this one. It had really important representation, but ultimately, I was let down by this book. This was nothing of what I was expecting. To be honest, I don’t know exactly what I was expecting but this was absolutely not it. This wasn’t a terrible book. It was a really fast read, enjoyable at some points and all of that but I can’t hide my huge disappointment. I had high expectations that weren’t reached. This book also contained themes I wasn’t too excited by.
This book is about Aaron, a Puerto Rican gay kid, who lives in very poor circumstances and in an area where homosexuality is NOT accepted. There is an institute that can erase and alter people’s memories and Aaron wants to go through with the procedure to erase his sexuality and become straight. It took a while for me to get into this book and figure out the point of the plot and its direction. I wasn’t a fan of the magical realism or sci-fi element that was included, if you can call it that, of the Leteo Institute.
Aaron has a girlfriend but when he meets Thomas things and feelings start to get complicated. Aaron’s only solution to forget about being gay is a thing called Leteo procedure, a new memory alteration that’s supposed to help you forget about traumatic events and memories, to help you live a better life.
It’s an age old ‘be careful what you wish for’ tale that shows you can’t erase who you are. What if there was a way to erase your past? To forget the bullying. Forget your sexuality. Can you really erase part of your identity without consequences
Something seemed to be off. The book was feeling more like a Dystopian than a Contemporary, like I thought it was; Aaron coming out as gay almost out of nowhere also felt off, specially because I was seeing things in a way that was fitting. Nothing seemed to be adding up with my expectations, with the reviews I had seen.
Thomas is perhaps the character I liked most. I always thought he was a really good friend. Thomas never really felt like a love interest. He wasn’t fitting in that category. I love the scenes between him and Aaron but there was no chemistry between them. To me he looked like just a really good friend and a really good person in a world of bullies, and hateful people
So I don’t really know what to say anymore and I don’t want to give away to much about this book. This book wasn’t what I was expecting and I admit that I can be harsh and too critical. I have to admit though, I’m lowering my expectations for They Both Die At The End and History Is All He Left Me, I still want to read his other books. It’s a shame, because I really like Adam and I wanted to love his books too but I just didn’t and I’m afraid his next books will be of the same type as this one. This book just wasn’t really my cup of tea, it just wasn’t for me. It’s just not really my kind of book unfortunately.
That’s it for this review! Have you read this book? If so, What did you think of it? Is it on your TBR? Do you think I should give his books another chance? Tell me in the comments if you agree or disagree with any of this. I’d love to know your opinion. Also, let me know what you think of his other books and which one you think I should read next. What’s you’re favourite Adam Silvera Book?