[674]: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

19542841 More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Soho Teen | June 2nd, 2015
Source: Bought
Young Adult | LGBTQIA
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-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?

Oh, but this book hurts. It hurts in the most profound, most beautiful way. The growing pains of being a teen is hard enough. Even more so when you put a troubled, abusive father into the mix and the constant fear of hostility and violence that comes from being gay in today’s society.  Aaron Soto just couldn’t catch a break. He went from one upheaval to the next further leaving the readers breathless merely from imagining the kind of struggles this boy went through. But even though the reader is put through the wringer that was this book, More Happy Than Not is a gorgeous, remarkable novel that offers an insight to the fragility of one’s mind. Memories created cannot be manipulated no matter how much we’d like to forget about the bad stuff. But above all, it’s also about finding the best in the worst situations and forging on even if taking a step forward feels like you’re dragging the whole world behind you.

As in the case of many LGBTQIA YA books we’ve read, this book tackles self-acceptance. Something that unfortunately does not only affect the lives of many gay and lesbian teens but most of the teens in general. Heck, even I, a forty-year-old woman still struggle with this. At the beginning of the novel, we see Aaron as a mostly laid back teen who only cared about being a good son and a good boyfriend. But his seemingly ordinary life will change as soon as he meets Thomas.

This book also has a bit of Science Fiction mixed in (if you can believe it). On the surface, the technology is based on the idea that memories can be suppressed by going through a memory-bending procedure. And as Aaron goes through his heartbreak, he will consider going through with it if only to help him deal with the pain. As always, messing with the natural order of things is never a good thing. There are consequences – both good and bad. But in Aaron’s case, it’s probably the worst case scenario he’s been warned about.

More Happy Than Not teaches us to appreciate the hardships life throws our way. Because only then can we truly value the small bits of happiness that come from living. At the same time, this book makes me want to live in fear and denial that other kids can’t be this cruel to other kids. It’s a reality check I never want to deal with.


  • OMG! Sounds like this is one of those books that will stick with you for a long time. I bet you’ll re-read it in the future too! I just can’t imagine living like that at all.

  • I need to get my hands on this book. I have seen some great reviews but I am very happy to hear how much you liked it. This sounds like a book that I could share with my daughter…and science fiction? I never would have guessed! Great review!

  • oh I just love it when authors tackle tough topics like this one, especially with it deals with the LGBTQIA community and the self acceptance issues they deal with. I can see how this one would really put you through the ringer though.

  • Had this one on my TBR for so long- just have to mentally prepare myself for it! But when I’m in the mood for profound and heartbreaking, I know just what to pick. Gorgeous review, Joy.

  • RO

    This sounds like a book that was really well thought out, and the realities of bullying that exists among our young people. Adding in the sci-fi piece sounds really unique, as well. I mean, what would happen if we had that option, and what would be the consequence of changing one’s life that way? This one sounds like one to check out for sure! Loved your review! Hugs…RO

  • Such a beautiful review, Joy. I’ve
    read many positive reviews on this book, and it was recommended to me by
    several bookish friends. It’s sitting on my tbr-list more than a year, but it’s
    the first time I want to put aside all other books and start this. You are so convincing.
    Also I relate so much to your last couple of sentences. The older my kids get
    and spend time with their peers, the more I think about
    cruelty out there.

  • I loved this book as well! I wasn’t expecting the science fiction part of the book, and that was a really nice surprise. But man did this book hurt.

  • This really sounds so good! I want to know more about the Sci-Fi aspect of this. This also has bullying, I’m guessing. It’s sad how cruel kids at such a young age can be, and even more in their teens. Great review!
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

  • Ive had this one on my radar since I read a review of this one on Hit and Miss books which was just as praising and just as heart breaking as yours. It sounds like this book truly breaks you in so many ways.

  • This was recommended to me by another friend just the other day so it’s already on my wishlist. But the science fiction part really surprises me. I hope it’ll work well because the rest of it sounds amazing.

  • Jasprit

    I have heard such great things about Silvera’s writing, so I really think its time I take a chance with his books. It feels like the longest time I’ve read beautiful, emotional read Joy, I’m glad to see it left such a great impression with you 🙂

  • Have been on the fence about this one. I like reading LGBTQ books but the whole “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” aspect sort of worried me. I definitely want to try it!

  • Karen

    I’ve heard so many great things about this book. I’ve been reading mostly lighter LGBQT lately and I’m ready to dig into something a bit deeper.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  • This sounds like such a beautifully brilliant book that I need in my hands right now. I’ve been eyeing it off for so long but I need to take the plunge some time! I’m surprised to hear that there’s sci-fi in there too, that would be interesting.

  • Okay, I need to move this up on my TBR, stat. Fantastic review!

  • shootingstarsmag

    Fantastic review! I really loved this one and I do highly recommend it to everyone. Even if you aren’t usually one to read contemporary (or the bit of sci-finess this one includes) or LGBT+ novels. It’s just amazing.


  • Wow this sounds like a great but really hard read!

  • Oh sounds like a great but hard lesson. It makes sense that it involves some sort of sci-fi element to it. I think often those kind of elements help bring about the issue at hand in a more profound way. Self-acceptance. That is such a hard concept for everyone, but especially those that are considered “outsiders”. Such a brilly review!

  • You have a way with words, Joy. This was such a beautiful review for what sounds like a pretty special book. I’m so in! We can live in fear and denial together cause I feel the same way about kids being mean these days.

  • I really loved this book too, and Adam Silvera is one of the best people of ever, so that makes me love the book all the more. 🙂

  • kindlemom1

    Beautiful review Joy! I love those books that can really touch us in a way others can’t.

  • I never want to face the cruelty that kids, or humans in general can do

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    Does it at least end well Joy? I can deal with beautifully heartbreaking stories, but if it doesn’t end well it’s just a bit too much reality for me. Give me paranormal problems instead:) I’m glad this was such a profound read for you though, and if it ends well, I’ll definitely give it a try!

  • Ohh, lovely review Joy 😀 I am so glad you loved this book so much. Eee. I think the plot sounds amazing 🙂 I just.. I do not own this book. Hmph. ONE DAY 😀 I’m pretty curious about it. <3

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I’ve been meaning to read this for so long but somehow whenever I start reading it, I’m never sucked in enough to continue. I think I just need to persevere on with this since I’ve heard so many good things about it. Glad you loved this one, Joy! 🙂

  • I love your enthousiasm about this one! I didn’t know about it I confess but you made me curious

  • This book sounds absolutely incredible Joy. I love coming of age novels that aren’t afraid to put it all out there, with complex feelings and relationships being something we can all relate to even as adults. I’m curious about the science fiction elements though, does it detract from the storyline at all? Seems like an odd inclusion. So many bloggers have already read this one but I think it’s the first time I’ve been compelled to buy a copy. Wonderful review Joy, you’ve sucked me in… Again <3 <3