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More Happy Than Not (Deluxe Edition)
Cover of More Happy Than Not (Deluxe Edition)
More Happy Than Not (Deluxe Edition)
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?
“Silvera managed to leave me smiling after totally breaking my heart. Unforgettable.”
—Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda 
"Adam Silvera explores the inner workings of a painful world and he delivers this with heartfelt honesty and a courageous, confident hand . . . A mesmerizing, unforgettable tour de force."
—John Corey Whaley, National Book Award finalist and author of Where Things Come Back and Noggin 
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?
“Silvera managed to leave me smiling after totally breaking my heart. Unforgettable.”
—Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda 
"Adam Silvera explores the inner workings of a painful world and he delivers this with heartfelt honesty and a courageous, confident hand . . . A mesmerizing, unforgettable tour de force."
—John Corey Whaley, National Book Award finalist and author of Where Things Come Back and Noggin 
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.5
  • Lexile:
    850
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    4 - 5

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • From the book It turns out the Leteo procedure isn’t bullshit.
         The first time I saw a poster on the subway promoting the institute that could make you forget things, I thought it was a marketing campaign for some new science fiction movie. And when I saw the headline “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow!” on the cover of a newspaper, I mistook it as something boring, like the cure for some new flu—I didn’t think they were talking about memories. It rained that weekend, so I hung out with my friends at the Laundromat, chilling in front of the security guard’s old TV. Every single news station was interviewing different representatives of the Leteo Institute to find out more about the “revolutionary science of memory alteration and suppression.”
        I called bullshit at the end of each one.
        Except now we know the procedure is 100 percent real and 0 percent bullshit because one of our own has gone through it.
        That’s what Brendan, my sort of best friend, tells me at least. I know him as much for his honesty as I know Baby Freddy’s mother for her dedication to confirming the gossip that comes her way. (Rumor has it she’s learning basic French because her neighbor down the hall may be having an affair with the married superintendent, and the language barrier is a bit of a block. But, well, that’s gossip too.)
        “So Leteo is legit?” I sit down by the sandbox no one plays in because of ringworm.
        Brendan paces back and forth, dribbling our friend Deon’s basketball between his legs. “That’s why Kyle and his family bounced,” he says. “Fresh start.”
        I don’t even have to ask what he forgot. Kyle’s identical twin brother, Kenneth, was gunned down last December for sleeping with this guy Jordan’s younger sister. Kyle was the one who actually slept with her, though. I know grief just fine, but I can’t imagine living day by day with that—knowing the brother I shared a face and secret language with was ripped out of my life when the bullets were meant for me.
        “Well, good luck to him, right?”
        “Yeah, sure,” Brendan says.
        The usual suspects are outside today. Skinny-Dave and Fat-Dave—who are unrelated, just both named Dave—come out of our local bodega, Good Food’s Store, where I’ve been working part-time for the past couple of months. They’re throwing back quarter juices and potato chips. Baby Freddy glides on by with his new steel orange bike, and I remember when we used to give him shit years ago for still needing training wheels—but the joke is on me since my father never got a chance to teach me to ride at all. Me-Crazy is sitting on the ground, having a conversation with the wall; and everyone else, the adults mainly, are preparing for this weekend’s community event of the year.
        Family Day.
        This will be the first time we’re celebrating Family Day without Kenneth and Kyle, or Brendan’s parents, or my dad. It’s not like Dad and I were gonna have father–son wheelbarrow races or father–son basketball games; besides, Dad always paired up with my brother, Eric. But father–son anything would’ve been better than this. I can’t imagine it’s any easier for Brendan, even though his parents are both alive. It might be worse, since they’re just out of reach in boxy jail cells for separate crimes: his...
About the Author-
  • Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked as a bookseller, as a community manager at a literary development company, and as a reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. His highly acclaimed debut novel, More Happy Than Not, was followed by History Is All You Left Me and the New York Times bestsellers They Both Die at the End and Infinity Son. He lives in Los Angeles and is tall for no reason.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 13, 2015
    Aaron Soto, 16, lives in the projects in a Bronx similar to the real one except for the existence of the Leteo Institute, a neighborhood facility where patients can have painful memories erased (the most fantastical element of this procedure perhaps being that it is covered by Aaron’s insurance). If anyone deserves to have his past wiped clean, it’s Aaron, who has experienced poverty, his father’s suicide, and the violent death of friends in his short life. But what Aaron wants most to forget is that he’s gay, especially because the boy he loves is no longer able to be with him, and because his own inability to fly under the radar has made him a target. Silvera’s debut is vividly written and intricately plotted: a well-executed twist will cause readers to reassess what they thought they knew about Aaron’s life. It’s also beyond gritty—parts of it are actually hard to read. Silvera pulls no punches in this portrait of a boy struggling with who he is in the face of immense cultural and societal pressure to be somebody else. Ages 14–up. Agent: Brooks Sherman, Bent Agency.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from April 15, 2015
    In a Bronx neighborhood of the near future, it's no secret that at least one person has taken advantage of the Leteo Institute's new medical procedure that promises "cutting-edge memory-relief." Reeling from his discovery of his father in a blood-filled bathtub, there are lots of things that Aaron Soto would like to forget-the smile-shaped scar on his own wrist attests to that. Puerto Rican Aaron meets a boy named Thomas from a neighboring (and sometimes rival) project who shares his love of comic books and fantasy fiction. The two develop a friendship that makes Aaron wonder if he's a "dude-liker," leading to a breakup with his girlfriend. When Thomas doesn't reciprocate, Aaron considers the Leteo procedure for himself. This novel places a straightforward concept-what if you could erase unwanted memories?-squarely within an honest depiction of the pains of navigating the teen years and upends all expectations for a plot resolution. Debut author Silvera has an ear for dialogue and authentic voices. He scatters references to his characters' various ethnicities in an unforced manner-of a midnight showing of a movie based on their favorite fantasy series, Thomas says "I was the only brown Scorpius Hawthorne." Thomas is the foil to Aaron's conviction that there's an easy way out in a multifaceted look at some of the more unsettling aspects of human relationships. A brilliantly conceived page-turner. (Speculative fiction. 13-17)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from May 1, 2015

    Gr 9 Up-Debut author Silvera pulls readers into the gritty, (near-future) Bronx world of 16-year-old Puerto Rican, Aaron Soto, with a milieu of tight-knit, sometimes dysfunctional relationships. Aaron struggles to find happiness despite the presence of his mother, older brother, and girlfriend, as well as a set of childhood buddies and a new, intriguing friend, Thomas. He is haunted by painful physical and emotional scars: the memory of his father's suicide in their home, his own similar failed attempt with its resulting smiley face scar, not to mention his family's poverty and his personal angst at an increasingly strong attraction for Thomas. This first-person narrative raises ethical, societal, and personal questions about happiness, the ability to choose to eradicate difficult memories (through a scientific procedure), and gender identity. The protagonist is as honest with readers as he is able to be, and it is only after Aaron is brutally beaten by friends attempting to set him "straight," that he remembers the entirety of his life story through shocking, snapshotlike revelations. More surprising is the knowledge that his family and girlfriend have known his backstory all along. VERDICT A gripping read-Silvera skillfully weaves together many divergent young adult themes within an engrossing, intense narrative.-Ruth Quiroa, National Louis University, IL

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from May 15, 2015
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* A smiling scar marks the inside of 16-year-old Aaron Soto's wrist, both a souvenir of the time he tried to follow in his father's footsteps by checking out of life early and a reminder not to be such a dumbass again. Though his mom has become overprotective and the suicide attempt shambles beside him like an elephant into every room, Aaron is making a comeback, in no small part due to his group of friends and awesome girlfriend, Genevieve. When Gen takes a three-week summer trip, however, Aaron meets Thomas, from the neighboring housing project, and things start to unravel. Sensitive, attractive, and looking for direction, Thomas is unlike any of Aaron's tough-as-nails friends, and the two connect on a deep level. Aaron grapples with burgeoning feelings of homosexuality, which, heartbreakingly, are not reciprocated by the straight Thomas and are bone-shatteringly rejected by his friends, who try to beat being gay out of him. Emotionally and physically broken, Aaron turns to the nearby Leteo Institute, which offers a procedure to erase painful memories. If he can just forget he's gay, everything will be OK, right? First-novelist Silvera puts a fresh spin on what begins as a fairly standard, if well executed, story of a teen experiencing firstsfirst love, first sex, first lossand struggling with his identity and sexuality. Aaron's first-person narration is charmingly candid as he navigates these milestones and insecurities, making him both relatable and endearing. The book is flush with personal details, and the reader inhabits Aaron's world with ease. A fantasy and comic-book geek to the core, he often filters his own life through a comic lensthreatening to Hulk out if someone spoils the end of a movie and wondering what Batman would do in certain situations. Game of Thrones references mingle with veiled Harry Potter allusions (Scorpius Hawthorne and the Convict of Abbadon, anyone?), which many teens will relish. Though some scenes verge on twee and dialogue occasionally strays into precociously-witty-teen territory, it never stays there long, nor does it become self-indulgent. These tender and philosophical moments stand in counterpoint to life in the tough Bronx neighborhood Aaron calls home. There is a borderline gang mentality at work here, where fierce neighborhood loyalty mingles with groupthink to create friends who are as likely to defend as pummel each other, if the code of conduct is challenged. And being a dude-liker is an offense punishable by extreme violence. This prejudice is illustrated with gut-wrenching brutality, and its effects are scarring, but Silvera tempers it with the genuine love and acceptance Aaron receives from a few important friends and family members. Dividing his book into parts by degree of happiness ( Happiness, A Different Happiness, Unhappiness, Less Happy Than Before, More Happy Than Not ), Silvera examines this state of being from multiple angles to reveal its complexity and dependency on outside forces and internal motive. Is being happy for the wrong reasons real happiness? Can forgetting problems or trauma actually fix your life? The ingenious use of the Leteo procedure allows Silvera to write two versions of Aaron (gay and straight), which proves a fascinating means of drawing attention to the flaw in taking shortcuts past life's major roadblocks. The process of reinvention hinges on memory, on surviving and understanding the sometimes unbearable why of beingand that's what Aaron initially misses. Timing is everything in this story, and Silvera structures his novel beautifully, utilizing careful revelations from Aaron's past and consciousness to create plot tension...

  • Shondaland "Silvera is a master of creating terrifying near futures that feature technology that's both intriguing and troubling."
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    Soho Press
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