More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Publisher: Soho Teen (26th Apr 2016)
Format/Source: Paperback (a gift from a special someone!)
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?
I have heard so much about More Happy Than Not. Apparently, I was missing out because Adam Silvera is just so amazing and More Happy Than Not was phenomenal. Heartbreaking. Heart-wrenching. Bittersweet. Poignant. So I finally got around to reading it.
And you know what I think? They are liars.
Adam Silvera is cruel and evil and manipulative. He made my frosty ass heart hurt and that’s not okay. But I love him at the same time because he wrote More Happy Than Not and I have a strong feeling think Aaron’s story will stay with me for a very long time.
“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.”
Set in a Bronx neighbourhood, More Happy Than Not is about Aaron Soto whose life has been suffering a series of unpleasant twists and turns, especially after his father’s suicide. Even though happiness seems to be elusive to him, he’s adamant to find happiness. And happiness comes into his life in the form of Thomas, someone who listens and understands Aaron’s personal struggles. But he’s not gay. Obviously not. Aaron is happily in love with his loving girlfriend, Genevieve. Or is he?
“The boy with no direction taught me something unforgettable: happiness comes again if you let it.”
If you’re looking for a book that will make you feel things, it’s More Happy Than Not. I thought I knew how the story would go, but boy, I was wrong. I was left nursing my sore bum after Adam Silvera, so sneakily pulled the rug under me so hard. I DID NOT SEE THAT PLOT TWIST COMING. In fact, if I’m completely honest, I’m still reeling from it.
Just a fair warning to you: More Happy Than Not is not a happy book. In fact, it’s realistic, honest and quite saddening. I know people who’ve shed tears as they read Aaron’s story but being the ice queen that I am, I only felt a pang of sadness. That was all. But that doesn’t mean the book doesn’t pack a punch to your solar plexus! I urge you to pick this one up so I could see all of your crying faces! Ha.
“Sometimes pain is so unmanageable that the idea of spending another day with it seems impossible. Other times pain acts as a compass to help you get through the messier tunnels of growing up. But the pain can only help you find happiness if you can remember it.”
There’s something about the way Adam Silvera writes that is so effortless and addictive. I just fell into the story and immediately, I was sucked into Aaron’s world and I just had to keep reading because Adam Silvera has a knack for capturing his readers’ attention and compel them to endure the heartbreak of his characters. More Happy Than Not is infused with so many emotions and truths, I just had to take a breather after finishing it, just so I could digest everything that happened.
“If there’s happiness tucked away in my tragedies, I’ll find it no matter what. If the blind can find joy in music, and the deaf can discover it with colors, I will do my best to always find the sun in the darkness because my life isn’t one sad ending – it’s a series of endless happy beginnings.”
More Happy Than Not really tugged at my heartstrings. I rejoiced with Aaron when he had his triumphs, my heart broke for him when his life spiralled out of control and I remained hopeful until the last page, only to be crushed by a tidal wave of emotions. Truly beautiful writing and a cast of wonderful characters made reading More Happy Than Not an unforgettable roller coaster ride.