Review: More Happy Than Not, Adam Silvera

More Happy Than Not is a hard book to review. I read so many positive reviews about that one, I was a bit scared to get into this with loads of expectations, and I am grateful to have waited a bit until the hype died down to do so. And now I can safely say, this hype is deserved.

A NOT SO HAPPY WORLD

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β€œWe all make mistakes… but it’s also a step in the right direction. If nothing else it’s a step away from the wrong one.”

This title is very, very misleading, because More Happy Than Not is million of miles from the happy contemporary you might expect to read. If there are little glimpse of hopes through the story, it’s a hard story to read, because it deals with so many hard subjects. It’s not afraid to show the truth as it is, the truth of the world we might be living in. Poverty, racism, judgment, fights, questions of identity, lying to yourself and to others are some of the main themes of the story, and from the first pages, you get thrown into this unforgivable world. This is no fluffy contemporary, but this is no ordinary dramatic contemporary either : Adam Silvera added a twist of science fiction in the story, making this all the more interesting to read. Following the life of Aaron, whose dad recently killed himself, living with his brother and mother in a tiny apartment in the Bronx, we soon discover that this ordinary world has an interesting twist to it in the form of a scientific procedure, allowing people to forget. From the accident they provoked to who they are, deep inside, this originality definitely added this something more to the story you might be looking for.

REAL, FLAWED CHARACTERS

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β€œIt’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.”

Something really interesting about this story, despite the setting, are the characters. They are unforgivably real. In these words, meaning that they are selfish, acting on instinct and even, sometimes, for what seems to be their own survival. No one’s perfect, not especially the main character of this story, Aaron. He’s confused about who is really is and who he is supposed to be in this world, he makes mistakes, he leads people on, he’s nothing but human and that, I really enjoyed. He was flawed, but so are we, which made this story achingly real. The set of characters surrounding him are all so flawed just as well, and the relationships linking them are very strong bonds, made on old friendships, made on rumors, they are built, put to the test, broken, and built up again. The diversity of the characters, added to this particular, vivid picture of this Bronx neighborhood, made for a very diverse and, well…vivid book to read.

A BIT OF CRYING FOR AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE

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β€œI realize I’m crying a little, too. I remember. 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.”

I was told that this book would tug on my heartstrings. I was told this book would make me weep and cry, and obviously I went in expecting to shed a few tears. I did, because like I might have said before, it was achingly real. The picture of the neighborhood, the characters, their life stories, their wants and needs colliding with what the world around them really is like…There’s no restraint, here. This world is difficult, it’s unforgivable, and at times, it was heartbreaking to read. This book is dealing with identity, what you really want to be, what you feel you are, deep inside, and who you should be, seen through the world’s lenses. Seen through this unforgivable world only accepting of one thing, everything that to them, seems like β€œnormality”. Fit in a case and you’ll be happy. But this story isn’t about fitting in the case people, and the world, put you in. It’s about accepting that you might be stepping out of it, that this case might not be fully fitting, and trying to own it.

OVERALL

I have no idea how do to this important book justice in a review. I had a hard time getting into it, and it was a harder read than I thought it would be, because of the world. Because of the hard cold truth it told about some places, some people, some ways of thinking. But it’s a very important book to read, and a story to be told.

Final rating:Β  4 drops!

Did you read More Happy Than Not? Did you enjoy it? Do you want to read it? Share your thoughts in comments!


Adam Silvera, More Happy Than Not, Β Published by Soho Teen, June 2nd 2015.

Β goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

In his twisty, gritty, profoundly moving debutβ€”called β€œmandatory reading” by the New York Timesβ€”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 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?

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

41 thoughts on “Review: More Happy Than Not, Adam Silvera

  1. The idea of being able to go to a lab or doctor’s office to choose which things to forget is very interesting. Sometimes we have experiences we really wish we could forget, and I think it’s a very intriguing premise for a story. I agree with you, too, though, that the range of emotions could be almost uncomfortable in trying to decide how to evaluate such a book. Reviewers are supposed to be at least a little objective (in theory), and sometimes that’s just so, so difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the idea behind that book as well. It seems so…well it’s just so realistic it fits perfectly in this book, making it a contemporary with a sci-fi vibe that FEELS so real.
      I hope you’ll get the chance and will want to read that book. It’s powerful, it’s intense at times, but it was definitely worth reading! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve seen this book around a lot lately. I think because the author has another book being released soon that everyone is excited for. That aside, I so need to add this to ever growing 2017 TBR. It sounds like such a powerful story and I always like books that have a realistic and truthful side and flawed characters. Plus, I’m interested in the whole sci-fi aspect. It seems like a fantastic read. Great review, Marie! 😊β™₯

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow this sounds like an amazing book. I think I’d seen this before on WordPress, and I think I remember thinking the same thing, but for some reason never added it to my to-read list. Well this is definitely going to change. I’m very intrigued by the fact that Adam Silvera added a twist of science fiction in this book, makes me wonder what happens in the story that made you write that in your review, and I already love the sound of the characters as well!
    Great review Marie you’ve made me want to pick this book up and get started on it right away! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH I’m SO glad to hear that, thank you, Beth! That book was so good, I think because it mixed the two genres so well that it felt like reading an actual contemporary. With no sci-fi. The little sci-fi elements with the memory loss procedure were so well integrated in the story, it was believable such a thing actually exists at the moment, haha. I loved how powerful it felt. Can’t wait for you to read this! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m really excited to read ANYTHING by Adam Silvera just because there is so much hype around his name in general. I own More Happy Than Not but I haven’t gotten to it yet…Glad it was a good read or you. Great review, Marie! πŸ™‚

    -Jess @jbelkbooks

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I honestly haven’t heard of this book before, but I’ve heard many people praise Silvera’s writing. History Is All You Left Me as gotten rave reviews from many. Apparently, he is quite a moving writer!
    Obviously this was a tough read for you. I’m glad you were willing to share! Often when I read these sorts of books challenging I find it hard to write the review when it’s over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, well I hope I made you want to add this to your TBR! It was a hard book to review indeed, because there are so many different emotions while you’re reading. It’s gripping and heartbreaking, and it’s hard to do a book like that justice when people weren’t in the story like I was. But I’m hoping my review conveys a little bit of my emotions and that people want to read it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Girl, you never fail to sell me contemporaries when it’s not my go-to genre πŸ˜‚πŸ˜˜ Awesome review that makes me want to meet those characters after being a little scared of the hype, so great job!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ouuuh, there’s even a science fiction twist in there. That’s definitely not something I would’ve expected from an Adam Silvera book! Great review though, it does sound like it has some heavy but interesting subjects! πŸ™‚

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

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