More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera /★★★★☆
Summary: After a family tragedy, Aaron Soto befriends Thomas, who helps him remember what it’s like to feel real happiness again. As things between them deepen, Aaron starts to feel things that his friends – and his girlfriend – don’t like. As things become painful again, Aaron considers turning to Leteo, a memory suppression procedure, to straighten himself out.
I’ve become this happiness scavenger who picks away at the ugliness of the world, because if there’s happiness tucked away in my tragedies, I’ll find it no matter what.
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
This book was pretty fantastic. While I’ve seen this book around I went into it with no more knowledge than the little blurb on the back cover, and I came out with a heavy heart. This book is tough. It deals with homophobia, depression, self harm, suicide, and gender issues, and it doesn’t take them lightly. However, something that really struck me about this book was its sense of familiarity, of childhood and nights spent with friends. This book was simultaneously a comfortable and uncomfortable place, and I love how Silvera utilized it.
Now, there was a twist in this book, and while I’ve seen other reviews by people who say it was obvious, I did not suspect it AT ALL and it made my experience of this book far more intense. I thought I knew how it was going to go, but boy was I wrong. I loved it and thought it was a fantastic twist, and it added so many layers of pain and heartache.
I also know people have problem with the pacing of this book, but I didn’t really mind its choppiness and quick progression. I liked the style of this book and thought it was fitting to the plot. It did take me a little while to really get into it, but once I did I read the vast majority of this book in one sitting. This book was such a fantastic blend of themes, of characters, of happiness and unhappiness. I really enjoyed it.
Aaron is the eyes of this novel, and I loved his voice. He was just so natural and easy-going, and his personality came across so easily to me as a reader. All the characters in this book were so well done, very diverse and very flawed and extremely real. This book does not sugarcoat what it means to live in the inner city, nor does it sugarcoat teenagers in general. I liked them, I disliked them, they disappointed me, they angered me, they hurt me, I felt sorry for them- the list goes on. This book really nails people and their goodness and their ugliness.
Like I said, the pacing of the plot was a bit choppy and quick at times, but the writing itself I found quite smooth and easy. To be honest, I thought it was going to be one of those books that overload us wordy insight, but it was not like that at all. It was far more character driven, which I was extremely pleased about. That being said, it still had some really poignant passages and I NEARLY teared up at one point. Adam Silvera is fantastic at writing dialogue and is great at not just capturing people, but a setting and an atmosphere. I really, really liked his writing style.
Was I satisfied?
Yes! I really don’t have any complaints, and I loved the twist. The only reason I didn’t give it five stars is because I wasn’t like, completely overcome, but I still really loved this book and it hurt my heart very much.