More Happy Than Not

More Happy Than Not

Paperback - 2016
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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?

"Silvera managed to leave me smiling after totally breaking my heart. Unforgettable."
--Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

"Adam Silvera explores the inner workings of a painful world and he delivers this with heartfelt honesty and a courageous, confident hand . . . A mesmerizing, unforgettable tour de force."
--John Corey Whaley, National Book Award finalist and author of Where Things Come Back and Noggin
Publisher: New York : Soho Teen, 2016
ISBN: 9781616956776
1616956771

Opinion

From Library Staff

After enduring a series of painful life events, Aaron Soto wants to find happiness again--even if it means undergoing the Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-alteration procedure.


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b
blue_owl_847
Jul 13, 2017

I can't have much to say about this book except I'm totally and utterly in love

j
jessica_reads
Jan 18, 2017

This may be a book to reread within weeks of the initial experience. It's unsettling, at times slow and awkward, and confusing. That may very well be due to the expression of Aaron Soto's experience throughout the story. To say he's going through a rough patch is an understatement.

Minority representation - and dual instances of race and sexual orientation - is slowly becoming more common in YA but still might be considered a niche topic for a specific audience. My question would be whether this could be considered an erasure of bisexuality in favor of simply being understood as gay; there are even fewer books that consider bisexual characters, much less protagonists.

Aaron's Puerto Rican heritage was a really interesting read and gave context to the cultural perspectives of his family and friends. It shaped the world and his environment. You could see how easy it was to be friends when growing up together like that. This makes the violent betrayal that much more devastating.

The desire to forget everything is understandable, and that desire is manifested in the Leteo Institute's technology. This plot point fell short due to how easily it came about. The analogy of quick fixes backfiring is a bit repetitive and a bit of a let down. I think the story may have been more powerful if there was an actual opportunity for Aaron to recover and work through the difficulties. It's important to show the realities of hate crimes in addition to the feel-good stories, but the ending fell flat and was a bit disappointing.

More Happy Than Not can be an important book, and provides a great opportunity for discussion for more than just the YA crowd.

s
sparrowflight002
Oct 22, 2016

Wow. Just wow. This book started off a little sceptically for me, I wasn't sure if I would like it, but man am I glad I stuck around and kept reading because it blew me out of the water. This book touches hearts with it's poetic sense of language at the same time as keeping it relatable to teens and what they might be going through. It definitely touched on some sensitive topics (suicide, homosexualness) but I believe that these are topics that need to be covered today and this book truly made me feel and understand the feelings of someone who is in these situations and is trying to make the best of it. I HIGHLY recommend this book, but I warn you, tears will most likely be shed!

p
Persassy
Aug 31, 2016

man

a
alexandraSchulz
Jul 15, 2016

one of the best books i've ever read

a
Ange_X
Jul 12, 2016

More Happy than Not had a very interesting plot, with a crazy turn that will leave readers on the edge of their seat until the end.
It was rather realistic in a sense by showing how cruel people can be to those who are not idealistically 'normal', but I feel as though all books about coming out yield negative results.
I personally enjoyed this book, but could not help wishing for just a few more novels where LGBTQ characters would have a happy ending or an accepting family. It is rather daunting to closeted teens, seeing in books, shows, movies, etc. of how difficult living an open life would be.
If you are one for a ride on a psychological, emotional roller coaster, this book may be for you.

Cynthia_N Apr 14, 2016

I enjoyed this book! Leteo Institute helps people forget difficult memories. It surprised me in a few spots!

ellie_o Mar 14, 2016

My disappointment in this book is that I'm not sure how accurately it portrays a teen trying to figure out his sexuality. As a hetero woman, I don't have personal experience. I've heard complaints, though, that books aren't portraying the full spectrum of sexuality. This seems especially true in cases like this book, where the line between being straight and gay is drawn very clearly. I wish that there were more depth/character development in that sense.
Otherwise, it's an interesting concept, and I'm sure it will stick in my mind for awhile. I'm definitely glad that I read it.

k
kevinorth
Mar 04, 2016

This is written in the first person narrative.
The beginning of this story is written is a disjointed, not quiet clear manner. Which is frustrating until you get to the point were the character gains clarity at which point the writing gets clearer, more precise and linear.
We can get literally get inside the mind of the narrator and has he gains insight/clarity we do as well. Masterfully written!

KateHillier Sep 30, 2015

If you've seen the film "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" this will seem a little familar. If you haven't you will still enjoy this book. It will make your heart hurt and may even bring a tear to your eye but it's a fantastic, diverse book.

Aaron is finally in a good place. He's coping with his father's suicide, has a girlfriend he adores, a job, and some good friends. Then Thomas and him become good friends and Aaron begins to wonder about exactly who he is and what his feelings for Thomas are. More frightening overall is what that means. Throughout the novel is the mention of the Leteo Institute's memory-alteration procedure - which Aaron begins to seriously want done on him to make him forget that he is probably gay.

It is heartbreaking. Warm and heartbreaking - if those two words can ever belong next to each other. It is a fantastic read.

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Age

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f
fadisi
Feb 26, 2017

fadisi thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

s
sparrowflight002
Oct 22, 2016

sparrowflight002 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

w
wickedivine
Apr 14, 2016

wickedivine thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

r
rem85
Mar 25, 2016

rem85 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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s
sparrowflight002
Oct 22, 2016

"I've become this happiness scavenger that picks away at the ugliness of the world, because if there's happiness 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."
-Aaran Soto, More Happy Than Not

a
alexandraSchulz
Jul 15, 2016

“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.”
― Adam Silvera, More Happy Than Not

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