More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera | Review

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Trigger warnings: suicide, homophobia, depression, cheating, ableism

Release Date: June 2nd, 2015

Pages: 304

Publisher: SoHo Teen

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Adam Silvera’s extraordinary debut confronts race, class, and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.

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.

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’s 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.


R A M B L E

If you know me, you know I love Adam Silvera. As a person, his books, everything about him. I’ve never met the man, but I religiously follow his tweets and Instagram stories. His books have torn me about and put me back together. I had yet to read the debut though. They Both Die At The End and History Is All You Left Me were two of the books I have cried the most in. They were so beautifully woven. However, More Happy Than Not fell short on me. I didn’t cry, once. Maybe I’m used to Adam’s more heartbreaking books but this book just fell a tad short. I totally get why people do cry, because I sure was upset but not a single tear dropped.

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll also know I rarely read blurbs. I don’t know why. I like to be completely shocked when I go into a book, I guess. My guess of what More Happy Than Not would be was in no way accurate. I don’t know why I was expecting something maybe similar to The Fault In Our Stars but much more heartbreaking. I really don’t know where that idea came from, honestly. I assume you have actually read the blurb from Goodreads I’ve included in my review and can determine how much of an idiot I am for yourself (spoiler, the answer is a big one).

This book also contained themes I wasn’t too excited by, especially the cheating. The relationships in Adam’s books tend to be messy, but the ones in More Happy Than Not felt extra messy. This definitely had the feeling of a debut novel. I think if this had been the first Adam Silvera book I’d read I wouldn’t have continued with his work either.


P L O T

The plot was…interesting. It was a contemporary universe featuring diverse characters but had a science fiction addition. This is through the memory wiping service that allows individuals to get a fresh start when something traumatic has happened. For the case of one character, his twin brother is killed because of something he did. Not something that is easy to get over. The characters are given a fresh start but everyone around them remembers. They all have to be cautious about what they say because these memories can return with the right triggers.

Aaron is our main character. He goes on a long journey throughout More Happy Than Not. I really can’t say too much because it is too easy to give away spoilers and I really do try to keep my reviews spoiler free if I can.

I did enjoy the big twist. Enjoy is the wrong word, but it shocked me and kept me interested in what I was reading. But, this definitely wasn’t the best book. It was definitely a bit sloppy and I really struggled to get over the cheating aspect and some of the characters behaviours towards Aaron.


C H A R A C T E R S

#A A R O N

I really can’t say much here, because again spoilers, I will say Aaron was not my favourite character. Adam Silvera did well to create a complex and layered character, but I’m not sure it really meshed well with this particular narrative. At least for me, he didn’t.


O V E R A L L

Overall, I still love Adam Silvera and will read everything he publishes. I wasn’t expecting the best book ever from More Happy Than Not, just something a little different than what was given.


Happy reading everyone!

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