Beat the Backlist Review | More Happy Than Not

More Happy Than Not.jpg

About the Book: In his twisty, gritty, profoundly moving New York Times bestselling-debut—also called “mandatory reading” and selected as an Editors’ Choice by the New York Times—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 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?

YA LGBT Contemporary
Soho Teen | June 02, 2015
amazon2 bn2


“Everyone plays a purpose, even fathers who lie to you or leave you behind.  Time takes care of all that pain so if someone derails you, it’ll be okay eventually.”

I’ve been wanting to read More Happy Than Not since it came out in 2015.  I kept my eye out for it every time I went into a book store, but back then it was nowhere to be found.  I eventually just moved on and let it go, until I started blogging.  Now I see it everywhere!  Bloggers love Adam Silvera, and it only rekindled my need to read it.  Beat the Backlist gave me the perfect opportunity.

Going in, here’s what I knew: This was a book about a 17 year old who’s gay, and he’s trying to decide whether or not to undergo a procedure to erase his memories.  That quick synopsis was right, but it was also so much deeper than that.  I had no idea how introspective More Happy Than Not would be.

I’m struggling with how to review this book, because I actually don’t want to talk much about what happen in the story.  I think it’s important that we all go into reading this knowing as little as possible.  I’ll just say that Aaron goes through a lot, and so much of it was incredibly hard to read.  It’s not a happy story, it only gets to more happy at the end.  In order to get there we are dragged through hell, and it was hard to read.  I know it was worth it, but it hurt a little.

My rating of More Happy Than Not fluctuates between 4 and 4.5, but only because I was really hoping for something that was more uplifting than this was.  That’s not to say that it wasn’t worth every second of reading it, because it was.  I’m glad I bought it.  I’m glad I read it.  When I set aside that hope for something happy, I found myself lost in the incredible message and that’s why I can’t decide on a rating.

If you haven’t read this book yet, you really should get a copy and remedy that.  Adam Silvera has a really unique voice, and I can’t wait to read History is All You Left Me.

“When your only living parent isn’t responding, you can’t help but think of that time when your father was found dead in the bathtub-and the possibility that beyond your home’s only bedroom door life as an orphan awaits you.”


About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

10 Responses

  1. I keep debating on reading this. Sometimes the synopsis sounds really, really good. Sometimes the synopsis sounds like something I probably wouldn’t enjoy. Maybe I’ll just have to get it from the library just in case. Lovely review 😀


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