More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera is a hard one to review, but before I attempt to do so, I’m gonna be nice and warn you this : despite its title and the many, many smile icons inside the book, this is not a happy book. It’s dark and deals with heavy but important issues. It’s actually so much more depressing than happy 😛
It took me over two weeks to finish this book because it was hard for me to get immersed in it AT FIRST. The writing felt a little… off? I can’t pinpoint what exactly but some things took times to work for me. On top of it all, I was distracted by something else. But once I started to get the grip of it and removed the distraction, it was easy to get back into it!
Our protagonist Aaron Soto is an amazing character. He’s so complex and has all this contradictory qualities, which gave so much depth into his personality. He’s a good guy at his core, but also selfish (which is NORMAL). Aaron also has the shittiest life you could possibly imagine. He comes from a poor family who can’t even afford a bedroom for their children. He was upset over something big. His dad killed himself, then he tried to kill himself but failed. He had the chance to live and start over, but even his second chance turned out to be as shitty as before. It’s like he can’t take a break and I seriously felt bad for him. The way Aaron deals with everything is so… honest. So honest and real, and raw, and full of emotion.
The other characters are equally interesting, especially Genevieve. I adore Gen with all my heart! She’s so kind, sincere, so full of love, yet also selfish in her own way and my heart just hurt when hers did ♥ Thomas, on the other hand, was definitely not what I expected, but his presence in the book definitely sets things in motion and he brings Aaron out of his shell. However, I didn’t connect with him as much as I’d love to. Aaron’s mom was too preoccupied by other things but always ready to give Aaron her support and there’s Eric, who actually cares for Aaron but just simply clueless on how to act around him.
The plot itself was very character driven and extremely realistic. There was a big twist that you either could or couldn’t see coming. I could, but a bit late, which added the element of surprise for me. It was also bittersweet, especially the second half of the book where everything just sort of falls apart for our characters, especially Aaron.
There are a lot of important issues being dealt with in this book such as happiness, love, family, grief, death, suicide, depression, sexual identity, and friendship, among other things. I love how the issue of family’s death was tackled here. I love how Adam Silvera shows both the good and the bad of a friendship. He shows us that friendship can be beneficial as well as toxic. I especially love how he explores the issue of sexual identity here. He shows us that sexual identity isn’t something one could choose, that even after given a do-over it’s never going to change. I think it was extremely creative to use Leteo Institute to show it. I love to see its connection to happiness in general and I love to see how Aaron comes to term with his own sexuality.
Though those issues might sound heavy and too much, Adam Silvera managed to tackle them all flawlessly. Not only that, the way he tells the story is so, so beautiful! One moment everything was (sort of) fine, then this flashback happens and I just… I can’t even explain it. Everything makes sense and it was just perfect. And despite every shitty things that happen, this book shows us that it is possible to still find happiness. That happiness doesn’t equal perfection.
Another thing I love from this book is the ending. It was imperfectly perfect and just so realistic. There was no ‘too good to be true’ kind of ending. After all the bad and ugly things that happened, I’m glad Adam Silvera didn’t just wrap it up nicely but still leaves the room for another kind of happiness ♥
ALL IN ALL, More Happy Than Not is an amazing diverse book that deals with realistic and tough issues in the best, most honest way possible. Everything just clicks and makes sense and it was one hell of a journey. However, I’ve heard so many rave reviews saying how emotional this book was and in the end, it was indeed emotional, just not as emotional as I hoped it would be.
Book title : More Happy Than Not
Author : Adam Silvera
Publisher : Soho Teen
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?
Have you read More Happy Than Not? What do you think about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥
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