More Happy Than Not

more-happy-than-not


Title: More Happy Than Not

Author: Adam Silvera

Series: N/A

Publisher: Soho Teen

Release Date: June 2nd 2015

Rating:

Five Stars

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?

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“I’m more happy than not.
Don’t forget me.”

It’s been months since his father’s suicide and his own attempt and Aaron is finally moving forwards again. The grief is still there but he can look past it to his future with his girlfriend, and his summer with his friends. Then Aaron meets Thomas. Thomas is not like Aaron or any of the friends he has. He lives in a different block and chases after a future that seems constantly out of his grasp; but there’s something about Thomas draws Aaron in, and in a world without his father maybe Thomas is someone Aaron needs in his life.

When Aaron’s girlfriend Genevieve goes away to art camp for three weeks the relationship between Aaron and Thomas changes, and Aaron starts to feel things he knows he shouldn’t. Being gay where he lives feels more like a death sentence than a revelation. Aaron knows he will lose his friends and he will be beaten to within an inch of his life if it’s revealed, but he can’t not feel the way he does when he’s around Thomas.

“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 through the messier tunnels of growing up. But pain can only help you find happiness if you remember it.”

It gets to the point where Aaron considers going to the Leteo Institute to have the memories that make him gay repressed, so he can be a normal teenager again and not have to look over his shoulder every time he stands too close to another boy.

There is a lot for Aaron to come to terms with in this book; reconciling his growing feelings for Thomas with what he feels for Genevieve, as well as working through his feelings over his father’s suicide. Thomas is changing Aaron slowly, making him happier, but Aaron still can’t be himself and when Genevieve returns from art camp it seems like Aaron’s life falls apart again in the worst possible way.

More Happy Than Not is not a happy, instead it’s a real one. It’s incredibly written and moving though unpredictable in places. Aaron and his friends are teenagers and the author doesn’t shy away from that fact; they swear, smoke, fight, have sex. This is a book that faces uncomfortable topics head first, it made parts of this story hard to read at the times but the whole book is unforgettable and I’m glad I finally got around to reading it.

…The Characters

“The boy with no direction taught me something unforgettable: happiness comes again if you let it.”

Aaron knows there are certain things expected of him; not so much in terms of his future but in terms of who he is. His mother expects him to be happy and alive, his friends expect him to fight alongside them and to be straight, even Aaron expects things from himself. Thomas is the only one who doesn’t expect Aaron to be someone other than who he is but Aaron cannot be himself. He is still grieving his father’s death and struggling with his sexuality in a place where he knows being gay could be a death sentence for him.

It never seems like Aaron sees a future for himself, not the same way Thomas does. Despite not having one path but wanting to try them all Thomas goes after what he wants, whereas Aaron is content to stay as he is. Aaron’s life has changed a lot; his best friend is drawing away from him bit by bit, one of their crew undertook the Leteo Institute’s mind-altering treatment and left the block, and his mother seems lost in the aftermath of what happened to his father. Sometimes it seems Genevieve is the only one Aaron can rely on.

“It’s weirdly possessive and obsessive to like someone; you want to learn all of his stories before anyone else and sometimes you want to be the only one who knows at all.”

There are two relationships in this book that define Aaron, and those are his relationship with Thomas and his relationship with Genevieve. Thomas is the one whom Aaron can fully be himself around. He doesn’t fear his feelings and can reveal things about himself to Thomas he never could to anyone else. Aaron truly seems happy when he’s with Thomas, he isn’t faking happiness like he seems to with everyone else. However the closer Aaron becomes to Thomas the more his feelings for him grow.

Genevieve has been there for Aaron through all the things that went down with his dad and himself. She held him while he cried and stood by his side through more than Aaron can really remember. He loves her in his own way but it’s not enough, not for him and not for her either, and the more time Aaron spends with Thomas the more he seems to realise a relationship with Genevieve is not what he wants.

“Some stories leave off without an ending. Life doesn’t always deliver the one you would expect.”

More Happy Than Not was a story all about Aaron and his journey. It was interesting seeing his past; what led him to became the person we meet in the beginning of the book, as well as what changed in him to make him become the person he is at the end. The character development was beyond amazing; Aaron’s journey is a heartbreaking one, and not happy, but it’s an important one.


Before picking up More Happy Than Not I’d heard plenty about Adam Silvera’s books. Everyone who’s read one seemed to love it so my expectations for More Happy Than Not were sky high. I thought this was an incredibly moving book, hard to read at times, but I can certainly see why everyone loves Adam Silvera’s works.

What did you think of More Happy Than Not? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

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56 thoughts on “More Happy Than Not

    1. There were a lot of touchy subjects dealt with in this book but they were dealt with wonderfully. Yeah it created a king of unhappy story but it was very real.
      I think the title kind of comes from Aaron’s character development, and the realisation he reaches about himself at the end, despite the unhappy nature the title does fit with the book in the end. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m glad to see that you enjoyed this book, Beth! It was super bittersweet and I wasn’t expecting the ending at all – I wish things were different, but I can also see that it left more of an impact this way. Such a great book with such a great message. ❤

    Have you started History is All You Left Me yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought it was a brilliant book, and oh the ending was definitely bittersweet (then again I agree with you that the whole book was) but overall I felt it was a good ending too. The whole book was just amazing.
      I actually finished reading History is All You Left Me yesterday, it took me a while to get through it as it’s a heavy read but it was just as brilliant in my opinion, have you read it yet?

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      1. Oh that’s a shame, but I’ve had months like that so hopefully things will calm down for you soon and you’ll be able to start reading again. 🙂
        Overall I think it was an amazing book; still emotionally heavy but with a more hopeful ending than More Happy Than Not.

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    1. Adam Silvera is an amazing author, and now one of my all-time favourite YA contemporary authors as well! I actually finished reading History is All You Left Me yesterday, it was just as amazing but I think it would have been better for my sanity if I’d left a gap between the two of them. They’re both very heavy books aren’t they? 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my gosh yes, they definitely pack quite the emotional punch, both of them. I read MHTN last year so I had quite a gap between that read and History, I don’t know if I’d be able to read them so soon after another haha. Kudos to you for that 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh so emotional, I wasn’t sure what to feel at the end of either but I guess History is All You Left Me has a more hopeful ending doesn’t it.
        Yeah I learnt my lesson, I definitely won’t be reading more than one Adam Silvera book at a time next time! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Haha so true. History is All You Left Me definitely ended on a more happier/hopeful note, compared to More Happy Than Not. I’m so intrigued as to what Adam Silvera’s next book will bring… More emotional heartache I bet haha. ❤️

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  2. Great review Beth! 🙂 I’m glad to see that you enjoyed this book. I have heard many amazing things about all of Adam Silvera’s book, but I haven’t picked any of them up yet. I should probably do that! The thing is that I don’t read that many contemporaries, so I have a feeling the books would only end up sitting on my shelf. But the next time I’m in a contemporary mood I’ll definitely be picking his book up! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Anna, and yeah I used to be the same. I’d heard plenty of amazing things about Adam Silvera’s books but it took me a while to get around to them. More Happy Than Not was amazing, and now I’ve finished History is All You Left Me I can say the same about that one as well! 😀
      This is definitely the kind of contemporary book I’d recommend to anyone and everyone, hopefully when you’re next in a contemporary mood you’ll find the time to pick it up and you’ll end up loving it as much as I did! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad to hear that you ended up loving this book, Beth!! I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book and Adam Silvera’s other book History Is All You Left Me. This one, in particular, I’ve heard about more since the other is a newer book. It sounds like it’s such an important story and overall just a realistic book that will most likely break my heart but be worth it. I definitely have to read it at some point this year. It’s been on my TBR for a while now. Great review as always!! 😁💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I thought it was an amazing read, I’ve actually started on Adam Silvera’s other book now but it’s taking me a while to get through History is All You Left Me, just because it’s a heavy subject. More Happy Than Not is definitely an important story, and one I’d definitely recommend you pick up when you get a chance as well! 🙂
      Thanks Melissa! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I’ve heard that History is All You Left Me is heavier. Just from reading the synopsis a while back it seems like one of those books where you have to be in the mood for a more serious read. But yeah I definitely plan on reading at least More Happy Than Not this year!
        You’re welcome, Beth!! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I did find History is All You Left Me a lot easier to get into the further I got through it, but it would have been better if I’d left a gap between reading that one and this one.
        I hope you enjoy More Happy Than Not in that case, and also History is All You Left Me if you manage to get around to that one as well! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Meghan. It’s a hard hitting subject but Adam Silvera has written it really well and although this book was heartbreaking at times it was a wonderful story as well.
      I think it’s important that there are books out there like this that deal with issues like these head on rather than trying to brush them under the carpet so to speak.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fab review, Beth! It feels like despite the read being difficult, it also brings a lot to the reader and I am very curious about the characters’ journey. I think you need to be prepared for this book and thanks to your review, I’ll be when I read it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Donna! Yeah this book is one you need to be in the right mood to read. It’s hard hitting and very real, it deals with a lot of important issues and it deals with them head on as well which is nice to see. I really hope you enjoy this book when/if you get around to it too! 🙂

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  5. Lovely review, Beth! I agree with you that it was a difficult read at times, the kind of book that’s like a punch in the face, it hurts and you don’t want to continue haha – but it’s just so real, both in the story and the characters’ way of dealing with things and overall, well, living. I loved that about this book so, so much 🙂 Are you planning on reading his other books? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie. Oh this book definitely hurt, there were a few times when I had to stop reading for a bit just to get over what happened in the page I just read, but it was amazing. It was also nice that it dealt with these issues. It wasn’t a happy book but it was a real one wasn’t it?
      I’m currently reading History is All You Left Me but it’s taking me a while to get through it. I think reading it immediately after this one was a bit of a mistake. Both are heavy books and I probably could have done with a break between them.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, so glad to see you loved this one! 😍 It’s definitely such an emotional read; I read it in a day and I felt like I was on a rollercoaster, especially after that twist! Are you going to read History Is All You Left Me soon? That one was a heartbreaker as well. 😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I thought it was amazing, and an emotional read is definitely a good way of describing this book. The twist I did not see coming at all, but there were hints along the way I feel like I should have picked up. I’ve started History is All You Left Me but it’s taking me a while to work my way through it. Probably shouldn’t have gone into it immediately after finishing this one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. omgomgomg i cannot wait to read this book!!! great review Beth! definitely have to be in the mood for this though, especially with the topics you discussed in your review. i still haven’t read an Adam Silvera book but i do plan on reading History Is All You Left Me soon. Do you plan on picking that one up as well?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really hope you love it then Gretchen. Thanks so much, and yeah this is a book you need to be in the right mood for, there’s a lot of heavy subjects that are dealt with and they’re not shied away from at all.
      I have started History is All You Left Me, I picked it up immediately after finishing this one which in hindsight may not have been the best idea ever! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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