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More Happy Than Not by [Silvera, Adam]
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4.4 out of 5 stars 200 customer reviews

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Length: 306 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

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

Review

Praise for More Happy Than Not

A New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Editors' Choice
A Paste Magazine Best Young Adult Novel of All Time

Booklist Best First Novel of 2015 and a Booklist Editors' Choice of 2015
A Kirkus Best Teen Book of 2015
An ABA Indie Next Selection
An Amazon Best Young Adult of 2015
A Refinery29 Best Diverse Young Adult Book
A Popsugar.com Best of 2015
A Bustle.com Best Young Adult Book of 2015
A New York Public Library Top 10 Young Adult Novels of 2015
A Los Angeles Public Library Best Teen Books of 2015
The Latinidad List Best Young Adult Novel of the Year
A Magill’s Literary Annual 2016 Selection


"A beautiful debut novel [that] manages a delicate knitting of class politics through an ambitious narrative about sexual identity and connection that considers the heavy weight and constructive value of traumatic memory . . . Aaron's Bronx universe [is captured] with a precision that feels at once dreamy and casually reportorial . . . Mandatory reading."
—The New York Times Book Review

"[Silvera] throws in a hugely rewarding, whiplash-worthy twist in the last third of the novel. A bold, inventive, raw look at male sexuality in an irresistible sci-fi package." 
The Globe and Mail

"[An] important addition to speculative fiction for young adults . . . Silvera's tale combines the best features of science fiction with social justice in this engaging read, as Aaron finds a place where he belongs."
—Los Angeles Times

"Heartfelt . . . The futuristic twist, with its poignant repercussions, drives home a memorable, thoroughly contemporary theme: who you are inside is not something that can or should be erased . . . Lose your memories, lose your pain, lose yourself."
—Chicago Tribune

"A gut-wrenching story telling of race and sexuality."
—The Guardian

“This is definitely at the top of my YA list. There’s a realness to its main character, Aaron Soto, and his struggle to be who he really is. It confronts race and sexuality in a way I haven’t seen in the genre before.”
—Latina Magazine

"Smart . . . Sensitively told." 
—Good Housekeeping

"Poignant . . . So engrossing that once you start it, you won't be able to put it down. Don't say we didn't warn you."
TeenVogue.com

"This is a cry-on-the-subway book, so watch out."
—MTV.com

"This is a beautifully written book that seems to get sadder with every page, but never feels hopeless."
—Refinery29.com

"Silvera’s debut is equal parts gut-punch and warm hug, not to mention sweet, funny, creative, and a really welcome entry to YA with regard to having characters coming from a lower socioeconomic background."
—BN.com

"Silvera, like [Benjamin Alire Sáenz], is a beautiful writer. Aaron’s story is heart-wrenching, funny, inspirational, and eye-opening. This is a really special novel from an extremely gifted new writer."
—Bustle

"A compassionate read that you'll want to pass on to everyone you know."
—Metro US

"One of the most heartrending YA reads you’ll ever pick up. And despite the slight sci-fi twist, everything in the novel feels so very real. More Happy Than Not will leave you shaken for days, if not weeks."
—Paste Magazine

"What to expect if you read this unique story: complete and absolute heartbreak, probably tears (unless you're heartless, that is), and moments that will make you smile ear to ear." 
—PopCrush.com

"[Silvera] explores the possibilities of a world where death, and life, can be forgotten, roles rewritten and broken hearts mended. This is a story not just of a young man coming out, but a dramatic and heart-wrenching story of first loves, first heartbreaks, grief and the quest for happiness."
—Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

"For its explorations of sexuality, poverty, and race in the Bronx along with its subversion of the traditional hero’s journey, More Happy Than Not is one of this summer’s most anticipated YA debuts. And if you’re hesitant about its 'YA' distinction, the novel is also an absorbing, thought-provoking, and timely read for people of all ages—perfect for a day on the beach."
—NEXT Magazine

"[A story] of love and expectation and self-discovery, and of declaring yourself to a world that will never give you a soft landing."
—B&N Teen Blog

"A dark and deeply affecting book, More Happy than Not asks young readers to reflect courageously on the value of memory and self."
The Monitor

"Throughout the story, the reader will find herself wanting to hug Aaron, shake him, and ultimately her heart will break for him. This reporter finished the book as though Aaron’s life depended on it."
—Planet Jackson Hole

"No matter who you are, More Happy Than Not is almost impossible not to enjoy." 
—Bucks County Courier Times

"A mind-blowing story . . . A story about love, and acceptance that will absolutely break your heart."
—PopCrush.com

"This is not like any story you've ever read about self-discovery and acceptance. This is the story about self-discovery and acceptance."
—YA Books Central

"Revolutionary . . . strikingly poignant . . . It is a stunning examination of why we make the choices we make." 
—BookBrowse.com

"On top of the fact that More Happy Than Not is a great young adult novel and a great debut novel, this is just a good book. It's heartbreaking, funny and hopeful, and I don't think I'll be able to forget it." 
—The Spencer Daily Reporter

"Many readers will identify with Aaron, whether or not they are dealing with issues of orientation . . . Silvera draws wonderfully complex characters and deftly portrays the relationships among them. The true beauty of this book is the way Silvera subtly reveals the plot—readers find Aaron coming out to them in a gradual way."
—VOYA 

"Vividly written and intricately plotted: a well-executed twist will cause readers to reassess what they thought knew about Aaron's life . . . Beyond gritty . . . Silvera pulls no punches."
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"A fresh spin on what begins as a fairly standard, if well executed, story of a teen experiencing firsts—first love, first sex, first loss—and struggling with his identity and sexuality . . . 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 . . . Ingenious."
Booklist, Starred Review

"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 . . . A multifaceted look at some of the more unsettling aspects of human relationships. A brilliantly conceived page-turner."
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"A gripping read—Silvera skillfully weaves together many divergent young adult themes within an engrossing, intense narrative."
—School Library Journal, Starred Review

"The novel takes an unexpected, complex turn . . . In the end, readers are left with a gripping story about one memorable teen, and if it also leaves them pondering how his life might have been different if various elements had been improved, that is likely the exact takeaway intended."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"[Silvera is] a phenomenal talent and is destined to be a star." 
—James Dawson, author of This Book Is Gay

"Adam Silvera explores the inner workings of a painful world and he delivers this with heartfelt honesty and a courageous, confident hand. Combine these with a one-of-a-kind voice and a genius idea, and what you have is a mesmerizing, unforgettable tour de force." 
—John Corey Whaley, National Book Award finalist and author of Where Things Come Back and Noggin

“Adam Silvera is a voice missing in YA fiction. The honesty of his words and his ability to tell a story make you realize that we’ve been waiting for him. I’m blown away.”
—Holly Goldberg Sloan, author of Counting by 7s and I'll Be There

"An important new voice in YA literature, in More Happy Than Not Adam Silvera has created a passionate, searing narrative with characters who feel unique and totally familiar. I found myself rooting for Aaron Soto and his family from page one. More Happy Than Not is an unforgettable read."
Alex London, author of Proxy and Guardian

"A debut as deft as it is sharp, as honest as it is assured, and, above all, extremely moving. Silvera pulls his punches with an energy, daring, and intensity that left me spellbound—and reminded me why I love to read." 
—Adele Griffin, author of The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

"Inventive and daring, Silvera's gritty debut kept me turning pages until 2 A.M. His writing crackles with challenging questions, searing and timely."
—Aaron Hartzler, author of Rapture Practice

“Aaron is one of the most interesting, authentic teen narrators I’ve met, and his story is told with incredible courage and unflinching honesty. Silvera managed to leave me smiling after totally breaking my heart. Unforgettable.”
—Becky Albertalli, National Book Award nominee and author of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

“Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not is a fantastic magic trick I haven't stopped thinking about since I finished reading and suspect will stay with me for some time to come.” 
—Jasmine Warga, author of My Heart and Other Black Holes

"Adam Silvera harnesses a certain reckless energy and unleashes it through the voice of Aaron Soto. Aaron Soto is astounding, full of heart, wit, youthful energy, and a deep desire to be honest about who he is in the world. He sinks into your skin so you can't stop thinking about him even when you aren't reading. High on story, character, and some perfectly executed twists, I loved this book."
—David Arnold, author of Mosquitoland

Product details

  • File Size: 1912 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Teen (June 2, 2015)
  • Publication Date: June 2, 2015
  • Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00NRPNMG4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,954 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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