“Happiness shouldn’t be this hard.”
Title: More Happy Than Not
Author: Adam Silvera
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 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?
I’m on a streak of five stars at the moment and seriously every single one of those books has been worth it. Although I won’t lie this book deceived me a lot because despite the fact that I knew it dealt with heavy topics such as suicide and struggling with sexuality a lot of the hype made it sound to me that this would be a happy book. It was not.
The main character Aaron lives in a world where a procedure – called the Leteo surgery- is given to people who want to forget. It ‘represses’ memories that the patient chooses to repress and enables people to start afresh but to Aaron it isn’t really something he’d be interested in doing – or that’s what he thinks for most of the book.
Aaron’s father committed suicide a few months prior to the beginning of this book and he and his family (although it doesn’t seem like it to him) are still dealing with the aftermath of this. With a smile shaped scar on his wrist and a goal to finally find happiness in a world which really doesn’t seem to be on his side – Aaron sets of on a summer which will change him forever.
This book is a beautiful and accurate representation of someone who struggles with their feelings and how it sometimes takes time to come to terms with who you are and your emotions. Adam Silvera doesn’t use mental illness, sexuality or familial issues as tropes to make this story something ‘quirky’ but instead uses them in a way which educates and explains which I think is something so incredibly important to include in a YA novel.
The relationship between Aaron and his best friend Thomas is a friendship filled with adventure and excitement and one that I loved reading. And Genevieve Aaron’s girlfriend bought the love and care that was needed into this book.
Adam Silvera has an amazing ability in being able to still weave humour and amusement into a story which would otherwise be very dark and sad. Seriously this book needs all the awards and recognition because it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read and probably will ever read.