Howdy y’all! It’s been a long while since I posted here and I missed reviewing books, so let’s get to it! For this month, the Fanboy Book Club‘s book of the month is:
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-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?
I read this book without knowing or reading about its plot or summary. All I knew was I was reading about a book with a male lead. As I read further, I realized this was no ordinary book with a male-lead. It was a diverse book that talked about being gay in a world where it wasn’t socially acceptable and that hiding who you really were and forcing yourself to be straight for the sake of other people’s opinion was more important.
This book made me feel a lot of feels. It made me cry in some parts, and empathetic in most. I felt for the main character, Aaron, in this book so much that I also felt whatever experiences and feelings he had as I read it. One of the most important things I’d like to emphasize here is how this book opened my eyes to the challenges faced by people labeled as “abnormal” and “outcasts” just because they finally decided to be true to who they were. People calling them hurtful names and ostracizing them as if they weren’t humans apparently wasn’t enough. Some people even resort to physical assault to express their hatred for the gay community. Now you tell me, how does punching and kicking and hurting gay people make you any more human than they are? Does calling them names make you proud? Stronger? Smarter? How is it fair that their happiness is deprived for another’s satisfaction? I couldn’t logically think of a reason why people would label the LGBTQI community as anything less than a human being. No matter what a person’s sexual preference is, they are still human. They will always be. Perhaps even better humans than those who criticize them.
The book started off taking on a light and funny route, but as you read further, lines start blurring for Aaron and he starts to question things happening in his life and his identity until things go so wrong he attempts suicide, and eventually pursues undergoing procedure in Leteo Institute, an insititute that helps you forget memories, just so he could forget about being gay and be accepted by his friends and family again.
All I wanted to do was go inside the book and give Aaron a hug and tell him he was more precious than he thought he was. It hurt me to read that he said it was better off being brain dead than waking up as himself. It makes you think: the ostracizing and the judging of people are getting so out of hand that it drives some people to sacrifice their own happiness and change themselves just to feel welcome and feel that they belonged.
The book was about finding happiness and there are two major things that the book taught me: First, I think happiness is found when you let yourself be happy despite everything — all the hardships and challenges — you’ll inevitably go through. Happiness is a choice and you shouldn’t let other people dictate your own. You hold it in your hands and no one other than yourself has the right to make you feel wrong about it; and second, that life is definitely worth living. And there’s one quote in the book which I really love in relation with this:
I’ve become this happiness scavenger who picks away at the ugliness of the world, because if there’s happiness tucked away in my tragedies, I’ll find it no matter what. If the blind can find joy in music, and the deaf can discover it with colors, I will do my best to always find the sun in the darkness because my life isn’t one sad ending – it’s a series of endless happy beginnings.
This book definitely made me more happy than not and I’d rate it a 4 out of 5 stars.
I really enjoyed reading this book and I hope more people will get to read it and love it as much as I did. 🙂
Thanks for reading! Til the next post. X