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More Happy than Not

por Adam Silvera

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1,1755516,803 (3.86)1 / 15
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.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 54 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
No book summary, just my thoughts. :) Spoiler free.

I don't know how I finished this book and was both brokenhearted and happy at the same time. This was a very emotional, often hilarious, and overall sublime novel about identity, loss, growing up, and friendship.
For any film lovers out there, this book definitely had some Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" vibes to it. "More Happy" takes place over the summer, burning along with a voice that is strong, sometimes vulgar, but not without meaning. The themes in this book are developed and explored so well, and I don't think there was one chapter that didn't add more meat and meaning to the plot. EVERYTHING matters.
The setting here, the Bronx, is a wonderfully described place, full of fiercely colorful characters and antics. I thought it was perfect, offering both a prime launchpad for many of the smaller conflicts and interactions, and a gritty, scenic backdrop for the story as a whole (ex: the rooftops moments, the neighborhood games, the convenience store, etc.) Silvera does a marvelous job of making his characters seem more than alive in this setting. Along that vein, the characters in "More Happy" really steal the show. Each of them are unique and well-defined, each with a distinct voice. The gang of boys who run around with Aaron, like Baby Freddy and Me-Crazy, are addictively readable.

The plot itself is a little difficult to go into without giving away too much, but I will say that it is NOT what you expect. Think you have it figured out? No you don't. And it is also not what you expect after that! One of the things I appreciate most about "More Happy" is that the plot isn't "Point A to Point B, with added angst in the middle". It doesn't follow a strictly linear path towards a definite ending, but rather it progresses along in a way that seems much more 'lifelike' that many YA novels I've read. In a way, this almost reads like a diary, full of summer nostalgia and boyhood lustiness. It's incredibly atmospheric!
And yes, it hurts. There are heavy topics dealt with in this book, but Silvera handles them deftly and with an invested emotion that reads superbly. I teared up reading this, especially near the end.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an excellent mature YA read, or with an interest in diverse literature (this is included in my list of reads for #DiversityBingo2017). In addition, I would also recommend Silvera's other novel, "History Is All You Left Me", which I read directly after this one- I look forward to seeing more of his work in the future!!
NOTE: There are some mature themes and instances in this book, such as suicide, teenage sex, and language. I would recommend for readers 16 .

( )
  deborahee | Feb 23, 2024 |
I really enjoyed this book. I love the fact that we had a gay main character. This book the leto twist really shocked me and this is a def must read book. I love the complexity that was developed in the novel and really how this story progressed. I liked how the book was separated to sections. This book really surprised me and i did not expect that. ( )
  lmauro123 | Dec 28, 2023 |
I really enjoyed this book. I love the fact that we had a gay main character. This book the leto twist really shocked me and this is a def must read book. I love the complexity that was developed in the novel and really how this story progressed. I liked how the book was separated to sections. This book really surprised me and i did not expect that. ( )
  lmauro123 | Dec 28, 2023 |
This is a spoiler-free review, so I leave a lot of details out, but I hope it gives you a sense of the novel!

MORE HAPPY THAN NOT is sci-fi story that feels contemporary. Silvera's debut novel takes place in New York City during the rise of the Leteo procedure, which promises to erase or modify painful memories and give patients a new lease on life (think ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND). For the first half of the book, Leteo exists as little more than advertisements and news articles in main character Aaron Soto's life; he only knows one friend who's been through the procedure, due to a death that deeply affected his Brooklyn community, but now that friend has moved away. Aaron has suffered his own traumas worth erasing, but he pushes through life with his girlfriend, small family and squad of friends, determined to be happy.

The pace of the story is steady, never boring; if it's slow, then it's in the service of developing the characters and activities that fill Aaron's life. Things are getting serious with his girlfriend, Genevieve, and he's found a new friend in Thomas, a kid from another housing project.

MORE HAPPY THAN NOT deals heavily with identity, relationships, and how our memories shape us. Aaron's life seems ordered and simple at the start. He knows who he is and who his friends are, and his days are filled with work at the local bodega and childhood games on the street. But underneath the surface life is messier than even Aaron wants to acknowledge. The story takes a turn in the latter half of the book that sends everyone spiraling and left me misty-eyed. For Aaron, the pursuit of happiness proves dangerous, but necessary for his survival. Strange that sometimes the promise of happiness stings even more than sadness. The novel does some things with memory and perception that get a bit tricky, but I thought Silvera handled it well. ( )
  nilaffle | Nov 6, 2023 |
This book caught me by surprise. I hate watching film trailers these days because they give everything away. Book reviews are starting to feel like that for me, too. So I scan some blurbs and see if something sticks.
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This coming-of-age novel about a teenager from the Bronx seemed a good fit for me so my joy was compounded when the voice of the young, confused protagonist, Aaron Soto, sounded so familiar and so honest. I felt that I had been at the table with these kids. These were easily my friends growing up. And then I was again happily struck when a slice of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind popped into the mix.
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I don't want to give anything away in case others like to find a story on their own terms. This book makes a mark on so many levels. It's beautiful and touching. Simply put, this is a sweet, painful, honest look at what it means to grow up and, more importantly, to remain true to yourself as you do. ( )
  Jess.Stetson | Apr 4, 2023 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Adam Silveraautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Ocampo, Ramon deNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Peterson, LucasTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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For those who've discovered happiness can be hard.

Shout-out to Luis and Corey, of course, my favorites who sucker punched me in the best ways.
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It turns out the Leteo procedure isn't bullshit.
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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.

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