I recently read More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera and I absolutely loved it. This book was so different to what I usually read and discusses issues that are rarely seen in young adult literature.
Before I continue with my spoiler free review I’d like to say that this book does cover some darker topics; self harm, abuse, depression and suicide, and may be trigger for some people.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way I’ll start with my review.
More Happy Than Not
Author: Adam Silvera
Genre: Contemporary with a small amount of Sci-Fi
Number of Pages: 293
Release Date: June 2nd 2015
This novel is about a sixteen year old boy called Aaron Soto. He lives in a one bedroom apartment with his mother and brother as he’s trying to find happiness again after his father’s suicide. With the help of Genevieve, his girlfriend, and his overworked mum he’s slowly beginning to remember what happiness feels like. However, grief and the scar of his wrist shaped like a smile is stopping him from forgetting completely.
The Sci-Fi aspect of this novel is the Leteo procedure. It is a memory alteration procedure in which patients pay a large amount of money in order to have certain memories of people/places/things they’ve done removed from their memory.
Many of the reasons why I enjoyed this book as much as I did was because of the face that this book deals with so many different issues that I haven’t really seen in young adult literature.
Some of the themes in this novel are; sexuality in relationships, class, coming out, homophobia, depression and abuse.
As I myself have not dealt with a lot of these issues in my own life I do not personally know if these are accurately represented in this novel. However when I have discussed this book or seen other people, who have dealt with some of these issues, thoughts on this novel and it’s accuracy when it comes to these issues, they haven’t had a problem with the representation of the issue in this novel and seemed to believe that this was an accurate representation of the issue.
The protagonist, Aaron Soto, is from a low income family, which is something I haven’t ever seen in young adult novels. In all of the novels I have read the protagonist is either middle or upper class family which usually gives them an advantage as they have easier access to the things they need and the things they don’t have to worry about having money to live in their own homes. Aaron coming from a low income family really changed the way he thought and acted, how he felt about want verses need.
This changed who the side characters were in this novel, as most of the time we have perfect protagonists who live in wealthy areas with perfect friends and family members which help the protagonist with the troubles they face during the novel. Adam Silvera has created characters that aren’t perfect, that have flaws in the way they act and look.
One of things that Adam Silvera addresses in this novel was the difference between platonic and romantic relationships. I thought this was another thing that Adam Silvera did really well in this novel and I noticed that not a lot of people have mentioned it in their reviews, out of the ones I’ve read, so I thought it’d be nice to add this in. I can’t go into this too deeply as I would end up spoiling the novel for those of you who have not read More Happy Than Not yet, but I think that the difference between platonic and romantic relationships was shown really well in this novel and I really appreciated the fact that this was added into the novel.
Finally, the thing I really enjoyed the most about this novel was the writing. Not only did it flow nicely, it was also very easy to understand. Adam Silvera was able to show Aaron, the main character’s, emotions in such a raw and real way which made this book even more beautiful. This book addressed all of the issues I’ve just mentioned and more, in a lighter way, while still keeping the seriousness of these issues.
I gave this book 5/5 stars and would seriously recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good book to read.
Thank you so much for reading.
Don’t forget to leave a comment telling me if you’re planning on reading this book or if you have read this book and how you felt about it.