Book Review: MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera

Photo credit: Goodreads
So I’d heard a ton about this book and did that thing I don’t do very often and pre-ordered a book from an author I hadn’t read before. And while More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera wasn’t quite what I was expecting, I definitely didn’t regret it. 

Before I go on, here’s the Goodreads summary:
“The Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto — miracle cure-alls don't tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can't forget how he's grown up poor or how his friends aren't always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it's not enough.  
Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn't mind Aaron's obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn't mind talking about Aaron's past. But Aaron's newfound happiness isn't welcome on his block. Since he can't stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is. 
Adam Silvera's extraordinary debut novel offers a unique confrontation of race, class and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.”
It’s kind of hard to write about this one without spoiling anything, but I do have several thoughts:

Firstly, the intersectionality in this book was so great to see. I loved reading a protagonist who is Latino but not necessarily Spanish-fluent (which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but as a Latina but not exactly Spanish-fluent person myself, it was very nice to see we exist), and I realized while reading this is one of the few YA books I’ve seen with characters from a lower socioeconomic background.

Secondly, this book broke my heart so many times. Emotions go all over the place with this one, with big highs and really sad lows, and I absolutely loved the twist. Aaron and many of the other characters are complicated, layered characters who felt completely real, and they were a treat to read.

I will say that the pacing in the first third of the book or so was a little slower than my liking, and for a while I wasn’t really sure where the plot was going (and when I did think I knew where the plot was going, I was so wrong which was great). But as things began coming together, the whole story wove together really nicely and I definitely enjoyed it.

More Happy Than Not will bring on the feels and really make you connect with the characters. This book was a delight to read and I definitely recommend it to those looking for something different, gritty, and honest.

I’m giving 4/5 stars to this wonderful YA and I can’t wait to read Silvera’s next book!

Diversity note: The protagonist is Latino, gay, and like many of the characters, from a lower socioeconomic background. Other major characters were also PoC, including the main love interest, and the protagonist also suffers from depression.

What have you been reading lately? 

Twitter-sized bites: 
.@Ava_Jae gives 4/5 stars to MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by @AdamSilvera. Have you read this intersectional YA? (Click to tweet
Looking for an emotional, twisty, honest YA read? Check out MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera. (Click to tweet)


Heather said...

I saw the Twitter chat for this recently, and ended up very intrigued. I might wait to see a few more reviews, but it sounds like a book I don't want to miss!

Ava Jae said...

I enjoyed it! Definitely worth checking out, I think. :)

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