BR: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

 

 

Hello! If you follow me on Goodreads, you may have noticed that I finished reading More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. I loved the story, but I was overwhelmed with feelings. Here are some of my thoughts.

Premise

The story is about a young man called Aaron, who lives in a Bronx neighborhood. At first glance, it seems like he has everything he wants. He has a lovely girlfriend and friends. One problem: he is grieving a loss. And, from there, the story unfolds when he meets a new boy in the neighborhood.

Oh, and before I end this section, let me just say this: it’s probably not what you think. It certainly wasn’t for me when I was reading this book.

Themes

While I would recommend this book to anyone, I would say that you have to be in a good place (emotionally and mentally) to approach it. It’s not triggering, really, but it is heavy. 

Throughout the story, there is an exploration of loss and grief. I found that Silvera handled these topics with sensitivity. Furthermore, there is a discussion on relationships and sexuality, as well as memory and choice. Agency, when it comes to who we are as people, certainly bubbles sometimes to the surface of this novel. But, for the first half, it is an undercurrent, subtly there yet hard to fully pinpoint.

Friendship and toxic masculinity are also portrayed in this book, in a rather powerful way. Also, this phrase, which is one that I dislike with a passion, “No homo.”

Characters

The Bronx is practically a character in this book. I haven’t felt this sense of setting personified since Gatsby. While in Gatsby’s story, it had a distant feel to it. However, here, the Bronx feels like I’d been there. Not only that, but I’d also lived there. It reminded me of Egypt, a bit, with the relationships between the boys, and the very toxic masculine code embedded into their interactions.

Also: the games they play? Wow. I was so into them. Manhunt, in particular, hit a nerve for me.

Aside from that, I have to say Me-Crazy was terrifying, and yet so real. I knew of people like him in our neighborhood in Egypt. No one ever questioned young men similar to him. I’m not sure if this was a point of pride for this person or if it never even registered into their awareness.

Genevieve and Thomas were complicated, and I liked that we didn’t get to see their points of view all that much. The journey is not theirs. It’s Aaron’s.

The complicated relationship between Aaron and his family was also a highlight of this novel. As someone who had attempted suicide before, I was sucker-punched by the devastation that Aaron and his family deal with in the aftermath of this loss.

Eric was a bucket of ice. That’s the only way I can explain his presence in this story.

And, I guess, the most allusive character of all is the Leteo organization and the procedure itself.

Review

I loved every single heartbreak I got from this book. And, boy am I glad to have my own copy of this author’s books, because he has quickly become a favorite of mine. If you have read this book, please share your thoughts in comments!

 

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