More Happy Than Not

More Happy Than Not

Book - 2015
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After enduring his father's suicide, his own suicide attempt, broken friendships, and more in the Bronx projects, Aaron Soto, sixteen, is already considering the Leteo Institute's memory-alteration procedure when his new friendship with Thomas turns to unrequited love.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Soho Teen,, [2015]
Copyright Date: ♭2015
ISBN: 9781616955601
Characteristics: 295 pages


From Library Staff

I was very surprised I liked this book. It wasn't something I usually read but the characters and plot line were just so interesting. The ending was such a surprise and I didn't know if I should have yelled for joy or cry because I felt sorry for the main character. The book was such a neat conce... Read More »

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Sep 26, 2020

Aaron has issues to work through like all teenagers do, but coming to terms with his father taking his own life, his own attempt to commit suicide, and his sexual identity simultaneously are heavier weights than most have to bear. Though he attempts to take refuge in "normal" things like his relationship with his girlfriend and hanging out with friends, he becomes increasingly interested in a new, cutting-edge medical procedure that allows people the option to forget painful memories.

I had a tough time putting this book down and finished in less than a day. It feels more authentic in behaviors and internal monologue than a great deal of teen fiction I've come across. In many ways it was not at all what I was expecting — really well done. Recommended for anyone.

Mar 28, 2020

The Leteo Institute offers the chance to forget unwanted memories. Aaron Soto thinks it's pretty ridiculous. Sure, he has some bad memories: his dad recently committed suicide, and then he tried to too, but right now he's more focused on finding his happiness. But when Thomas shows up and Aaron realizes that he's gay, Leteo's procedure begins to seem a lot more attractive, even necessary for him to be happy.

This book is powerfully and authentically written. Silvera does a great job of weaving in the sci-fi elements of the story with a realistic portrayal of growing up gay in the Bronx. There is a fantastic twist that I did not see coming, and the story is incredibly engrossing and interesting. Aaron and the other characters feel like authentic teenagers, although I wish there were a little more development for his brother Eric. Overall it was an excellent read.

Apr 26, 2019

I'm not a teen or even close and I found this coming of age book so unusual, so mesmerizing, so touching and ultimately kind of devastating. I'll never forget it and the last two sentences will stay with me forever. I've read every book that this writer has written or co-written and they are all very good, but this is something that he should be mighty proud of. This is an excellent and very memorable piece of writing. I loved this book.

Mar 13, 2019

5/5 stars. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera revolves around Aaron Soto who, after his father committed suicide and he tried to as well, tries to get his life back together with the help of his girlfriend, family and Thomas, a boy Aaron meets while playing a game of manhunt. I had just finished this novel last night and honestly, it was one of the most frustrating and heartbreaking novels I've ever read. It is a coming-of-age novel about discovering who you are and your interests, while having a small fantasy element hidden away, it is a book that can relate to so many kids, either middle school or high school. By far, this novel has become one of my favourites from the real-life aspects of what the main character Aaron goes through, to the heart wrenching ending that’ll have me thinking for a very long time. If you enjoy heartbreaking novels that include some serious issues like mental illness, suicidal thoughts and LBGTQ+ realization, this novel is a must read. @SeraphinaWilliams of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Dec 14, 2018

The first half of the book was ghetto escapades which didn't really interest me. Too much cussing. Girls hardly existed in the story unless they were someone's mom or girlfriends. The book didn't get interesting until the middle when it has more to do with being gay and the Leteo procedure. It had me crying a lot, especially in the end. A good story that reminds readers to appreciate their negative memories instead of wishing for a miracle to erase them. Also a lesson that homosexuality is a genetic trait and can't be changed. But the main character's "evidence" for being gay was weak IMO; being a feminine boy doesn't make you gay. The boys he fell in love with were ones that he had an emotional closeness with.

LPL_MeredithW Jan 08, 2018

Thoughtful, gorgeous, and devastating, with wonderful teenage character voices.

Jul 13, 2017

I can't have much to say about this book except I'm totally and utterly in love

Jan 18, 2017

This may be a book to reread within weeks of the initial experience. It's unsettling, at times slow and awkward, and confusing. That may very well be due to the expression of Aaron Soto's experience throughout the story. To say he's going through a rough patch is an understatement.

Minority representation - and dual instances of race and sexual orientation - is slowly becoming more common in YA but still might be considered a niche topic for a specific audience. My question would be whether this could be considered an erasure of bisexuality in favor of simply being understood as gay; there are even fewer books that consider bisexual characters, much less protagonists.

Aaron's Puerto Rican heritage was a really interesting read and gave context to the cultural perspectives of his family and friends. It shaped the world and his environment. You could see how easy it was to be friends when growing up together like that. This makes the violent betrayal that much more devastating.

The desire to forget everything is understandable, and that desire is manifested in the Leteo Institute's technology. This plot point fell short due to how easily it came about. The analogy of quick fixes backfiring is a bit repetitive and a bit of a let down. I think the story may have been more powerful if there was an actual opportunity for Aaron to recover and work through the difficulties. It's important to show the realities of hate crimes in addition to the feel-good stories, but the ending fell flat and was a bit disappointing.

More Happy Than Not can be an important book, and provides a great opportunity for discussion for more than just the YA crowd.

Oct 22, 2016

Wow. Just wow. This book started off a little sceptically for me, I wasn't sure if I would like it, but man am I glad I stuck around and kept reading because it blew me out of the water. This book touches hearts with it's poetic sense of language at the same time as keeping it relatable to teens and what they might be going through. It definitely touched on some sensitive topics (suicide, homosexualness) but I believe that these are topics that need to be covered today and this book truly made me feel and understand the feelings of someone who is in these situations and is trying to make the best of it. I HIGHLY recommend this book, but I warn you, tears will most likely be shed!

Aug 31, 2016


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Nov 19, 2020

edbodnar thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Dec 14, 2018

bell5133 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Feb 09, 2018

booknrrd thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Feb 26, 2017

fadisi thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Oct 22, 2016

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Mar 25, 2016

rem85 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Oct 22, 2016

"I've become this happiness scavenger that picks away at the ugliness of the world, because if there's happiness in my tragedies, I'll find it no matter what. If the blind can find joy in music, and the deaf can discover it with colors, I will do my best to always find the sun in the darkness because my life isn't one sad ending, it's a series of endless happy beginnings."
-Aaran Soto, More Happy Than Not

Jul 15, 2016

“Memories: some can be sucker punching, others carry you forward; some stay with you forever, others you forget on your own. You can't really know which ones you'll survive if you don't stay on the battlefield, bad times shooting at you like bullets. But if you're lucky, you'll have plenty of good times to shield you.”
― Adam Silvera, More Happy Than Not


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