★★★★★ · book review

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

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 Genre: Young Adult Contemporary/Science Fiction
Publisher: Soho Teen
Read: June 2015
Edition: hardcover Pages: 293
Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5 stars)

Trigger Warning: Suicide, depression

Summary

The Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto — miracle cure-alls don’t tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can’t forget how he’s grown up poor or how his friends aren’t always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it’s not enough. Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn’t mind Aaron’s obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn’t mind talking about Aaron’s past. But Aaron’s newfound happiness isn’t welcome on his block. Since he can’t stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is. (Goodreads)

What I Thought

Wow. This story got me in the heart, and broke it. Aaron is such a witty character, though his thoughts can be a bit depressing. The story progresses easily and had some fun humor, relatable pop culture, and all of the makings for a fun contemporary with a side of romance; but then things got serious. As Aaron opens up to his new friend Thomas he also opens up to the reader and you get a glimpse of who he really is underneath of what he shows to his other friends. Aaron starts to discover that his life is starting to turn in a different direction and it scares him but he also begins to embrace it. This is a coming of age story, a story of finding yourself, but also of losing yourself.

I really enjoyed the science fiction element with the Leteo institute and the possibilities it would bring if it actually existed. If you had lost a child, a friend, a parent; if you had done something unspeakable would you want to forget? If you hated something about yourself and that hatred consumed you and lead you to dark paths would you want to fix it? Leteo wants to help you fix it by suppressing memories and allowing you to move on. Leteo isn’t portrayed as a magical fix, there is therapy and support given to all candidates before the procedure and after.

Another thing I liked that has nothing to do with the plot was how the smiley faces that broke up the different scenes changed as the tone of the book changed, it was a cool feature, an awesome attention to detail.

My final thoughts… you should read this book! It is a book about courage, love, and the lengths people will go to find happiness There are some wonderful quotes about grief, pain, and memories that I think everyone can relate to and understand.

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One thought on “More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

  1. It’s definitely a must read! I really liked the sci-fi aspect of the Leteo Institute as well, it gets you wondering, if you had the chance to go through the procedure…would you? I think it was done really well.

    Liked by 1 person

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