Title: More Happy Than Not
Series Title: Standalone
Author: Adam Silvera
Publication Date: June 2nd 2015
Publisher: Soho Teen
Genre / Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, LGBTQ, Mental Health
Part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, part Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Adam Silvera’s extraordinary debut confronts race, class, and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.
Sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness after a family tragedy leaves him reeling. He’s slowly remembering what happiness might feel like this summer with the support of his girlfriend Genevieve, but it’s his new best friend, Thomas, who really gets Aaron to open up about his past and confront his future.
As Thomas and Aaron get closer, Aaron discovers things about himself that threaten to shatter his newfound contentment. A revolutionary memory-alteration procedure, courtesy of the Leteo Institute, might be the way to straighten himself out. But what if it means forgetting who he truly is?
MY THOUGHTS ON MORE HAPPY THAN NOT
More Happy than Not is one of those books that everyone was reading and talking about when it came out. Everyone was raving about how great it was, how the representation was spot on. I wouldn’t know because I was that point in my life where I am not swayed by the hype. Hyped up books have, more often than not (see what i did there? wink wink), disappointed me.
SO, DID MORE HAPPY THAN NOT MAKE ME HAPPY?
The answer is more complicated than a yes or a no.
More Happy than Not destroyed me. It left me in ruins. I was a sobbing mess before this book was even over. Yet, through all my shed tears, I felt happy. Happy that I got the chance to read this book and got to know Aaron and his struggles, that despite being different from me, we sort of share similar experiences that I could relate to.
Despite this book being what it is, an emotionally charged book that will tear your heart to shreds, I am happy to say that I loved it. Every minute of it.
SO WHY DO I LOVE MORE HAPPY THAT NOT?
- I love Aaron’s voice. It sounds authentic. Like Aaron is a real person and he is really going through all these things. He says it as it is, no filters.
- Adam Silvera’s writing is just absolutely addicting.
- You won’t be able to put this shit down. It is that engrossing.
- I am not like Aaron. I am not struggling with my sexuality, I am 100% straight. Yet as I was reading this, I couldn’t help but see myself in Aaron. The things he felt, the reasons why he felt them, all fall so close to home for me. It’s one of the reasons why I couldn’t help myself but cry with him when he is crying, get angry when he gets angry, because in a way, I saw myself in him.
- The story is more that just a coming of age story about a boy coming to terms with his sexuality. More Happy than Not is more than just that. It teaches you to value life, to value the people who loves you and those you love, to be thankful for the pain because they make you into the beautiful person you are today.
- Life is beautiful. It gets ugly sometimes, yes. But at the end of the day, you are the only one who can control what part of life you see – do you choose to see the beauty of it or the ugliness?
- Homophopia is disgusting. I feel angered that someone has to try and change who they are to get accepted by other people. We are who we are. We can’t fucking change our biological composition just because other people want us to. The thing is, the more we do not accept who we are, the more people will do the same. This was a lesson Aaron had to learn the hard way.
- Aaron has done things to himself. Irreversible one at that. And i liked that it has consequences. He didn’t get away with it. He has to harbor the effects of the stuff he did to himself. Because the thing that bothers me in some books is that they fail to show that things does not always end up the way we want them to. There are consequences to everything we do. That’s how it is in the real world and it’s important that the readers know that too.
- The people around Aaron are just as complex as he is.
- One of my faves were Genevieve. She is the shining star in my opinion. She has gone through a lot of shit just as much, if not more, than Aaron. Her selflessness was admirable. I mean, it is kinda unbelievable sometimes that someone her age could be that understanding, but really, the world needs more Genevieve. She is so flawed yet so perfect. I love her so much
- I loved the way Thomas was added into the picture. I didn’t expect the type of relationship him and Aaron would have. I seriously did not see it coming. I was thinking of the obvious. Luckily, I was wrong. I like this so much better because it proved me wrong.
- Sometimes, pain is so unmanageable that the idea of spending another day with it seems impossible. Other times, pain acts as a compass to get you through the dark tunnel. (Aaron)
- Aaron isn’t the only character here who had an arc which I loved. Sometimes, secondary characters get set aside because all the focus was on the MC. Glad to say the amazing secondary characters also had their character development along with Aaron.
- So there is a scifi aspect here too. Like, here is this institution here called Lateo that helps people forget their memories. This place is pretty important to the story so just remember.
- This book touches a lot of sensitive topics, including homophobia and infidelity. The thing I loved most about this book was how it treated those topics with care and understanding. Silvera didn’t use these topics to further understand Aaron’s actions. He didn’t use them just for the sake of adding them to the book.
- I started out hating Aaron’s brother, Eric, but it turns out he himself has so much to say.
THE NOT SO GOOD THINGS
- A lot of bad, unfortunate things happened to Aaron. Sometimes, it felt a little bit too much. One thing led to another. Sure bad things happen to people all the time but not this rapid. At least, that’s just in my opinion.
- Cheating! I could do without it.
- Collin is an asshole. At least he is for me. I feel bad for him, for being in the situation that he is, but still… he is just fucked up.
- Aaron’s friends, if you can even call them that. I can go on and on about them not being good friends to him. Jesus. The thing they did to him towards the end was just so fucked up, it’s disgusting. I hate it.
More Happy than Not is one of those books that will make you laugh, cry, fall in love, get angry, and think. I love how this book actually delivers on what it promises.
This book will teach you to appreciate life and all it’s colors, whether it’s black, white, gray, rainbows. It shows you that life is worth living no matter the circumstance you are currently at at the moment. Sometimes, bad things will happen to shape you into the person you are supposed to become.
For those of you who haven’t read this, pick it up because it’s amazing.