More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera | Book Review

by - 18:00

Title: More Happy Than Not
Author: Adam Silvera
Release: 2015
Genre: YA Contemporary, LGBT


Life hasn't been easy for sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto, but with the help of his girlfriend, he's slowly remembering what happiness might feel like. 

Then Thomas shows up...

Thomas is smart and funny, and before long Aaron is spending all his time with him. But as Aaron's feelings for Thomas intensify, tensions with his other friends start to build. 

Soon Aaron is faced with a choice - one that will make him question what it is he wants, and how far he'll go to get it. 

Why does happiness have to be so hard?


** Trigger warning for suicide, depression and homophobia. 

More Happy Than Not is a beautifully written, coming of age contemporary about a boy who has to deal more than his fair share of teenage problems. Adam Silvera’s debut novel deals with the struggles of finding your identity, how to pressures of society amplify that struggle, coping with depression and most likely more. I feel as though this is a novel that has so many layers underneath that I could read it multiple times and notice a new thing each time.

Aaron Soto, our protagonist, is a sixteen-year-old boy who loves to draw, comics and lives in a one bedroom flat in New York, sharing a sitting room with his game playing brother. His mother works two jobs and his father committed suicide just five months previously. Already it’s fair to say Aaron has had to deal with much more than I hope to ever have to.

Not only do we follow Aaron as he figures out how to cope with his father’s death, but also his changing friendships which greatly affect his life. His conflicting feelings for his new friend Thomas leads onto new issues, including the deterioration with his girlfriend and coming to the recognition and accepting of his own identity.

The novel is quite isolated from the rest of society, set mostly in Aarons small block of flats and the immediately surrounding area. This makes for a very focused and realistic insight into Aarons life and reflects how his entire life revolves around what happens in the very small community. And a community that doesn’t fully accept him.

Despite coping with such harrowing events and Aarons own depression, Adam Silvera balances this with a sense of hope that is what I thought resonated most after I finished the last page. Whilst the title may not seem to be the most optimistic title, it reflects more the reality of life, and the reality of Aarons life which holds very few of the luxuries others would say are necessary for a happy life. Instead, it shows how a change in mindset is what is needed to instead, not to try and see the happiness in everything as that’s almost impossible, but to see it more often then you don’t.

This is the journey that you will witness when reading More Happy Than Not. The journey of a boy who struggles to find out who he is with his conflicting feelings for his friend, coming to terms with who he is in a society that doesn’t wholly approve, how to come out the other side with hope for happiness and the determination to find it. 

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