More Happy Than Not by: Adam Silvera (TW: Suicide, Depression)

Summary:

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?

The Review:

Adam Silvera is an author I have heard some great things about. I know a lot of people are reading his new book History is All of Left Me, so before I wanted to read that book, I decided to read More Happy Than Not.

This is a contemporary book, which is a genre I don’t normally grab onto but I heard great things about the book, that I had to read it to see what the hype was about and book definitely lived up to that hype.

Aaron is dealing with depression mainly due to his father’s suicide and thinks he can get help. I like Aaron as a character. He likes video games, comics, and is basically a normal teenager. That’s what I like about Adam Silvera’s writing is that he writes him like a normal teenager and have him talk like a normal teenager., which is very lacking in other contemporary YA books.

Throughout the book you see Aaron go through many phases of his depression. He always blames himself being gay for his father;s suicide, which is why he wants to go through the Leteo procedure, to forget his fathers suicide and maybe try to “straighten” himself out. He is also hoping that the Leteo procedure will make him happy again.

His relationship with Thomas is also well developed, you see it start as a friendship and than in develops into something more, and he is still struggling with his sexuality, especially since there was another boy, Collin who he had a relationship with and it didn’t end well. He also has his girlfriend Genevieve, who I felt was a good character and was always there for him but she could have used a bit more development. I also like his relationship with his mother, while she only has a few brief scenes you could tell she really loves her son.

The Leteo procedure is sort of like the procedure used in “Eternal Sunshine” in which it makes people forgot memories and it specializes in trauma and trying to suppress traumatic memories.I like the concept of institute because it really makes you think if you would want to go through that procedure and will it cure your depression. It was a really great concept that the book explored.

In the end, More Happy Than Not is a great book that deals a lot with depression and sexuality and it flows in a great way. It also has a great plot with amazing characters.

Grade: 4.5/5

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