Books,  Reading Challenge

Bonus Book Review – More Happy Than Not

Hi, Hey, Hello!

And so here we come to the end of all published Adam Silvera books. He has become one of my fave authors this year and I still remain fucked up over They Both Die in the End. I am also happy that there is one more to come later this year (with Becky Albertalli) because I am not ready to be done with him yet.

The last book I have by him was actually the first book he wrote and I could kind of tell that it was his first. There was something that felt a little bit like he was finding his footing as a writer and there were parts of it that felt a little messy at times for me.

I enjoyed this book for the most part, but also having said that it is my least favourite of the 3 books. The ending felt odd to me. I don’t even know why. Maybe because it wasn’t a happy ending but Aaron had somehow convinced himself that it was and that felt kind of sad because his quest to just be happy had ended like that. I don’t know. I don’t like when books end realistically, it makes me sad.

Anyway, this book threw me through a damn rollercoaster. Mainly the twist in it caught me right off guard. But once it happened it seemed kind of obvious because the signs were there. I just stared at the page for a little bit as the twist that had just occurred truly settled over me. And then a wave of sadness washed over me for Aaron. That only got worse as I moved through the whole part of the book. Because it just kind of served as a reminder that sometimes life is just shitty and sometimes you can’t change those circumstances.

This book is heavy. It has its light moments don’t get me wrong, but it deals with depression, suicide and homophobia so it was never gonna be rainbows and butterflies. It’s brutal at times. There are very few punches held. Especially as it moved backwards into the past and then moved back into the present. In fact the thing that triggered the whole journey to the past was actual punches. It’s a lot.

But it’s good.

The characters felt really well rounded, especially Aaron and Thomas, but they all did. It really helped you get a feel for the community that he was a part of and how it would be a hostile environment that you would want to forget in any way possible. Silvera did a great job of conveying the fear that Aaron felt at being gay in the immediate world that surrounded him. Thomas was a great counterpart to Aaron because on some level he seemed to know on a broad sense what he wanted and he seemed to be relatively okay (or happy, if you will) with himself and although Aaron maybe didn’t believe him as a reader you were never really sure if he was projecting or not. And I guess never really found out.

His relationship with Genevieve felt real on some level. It did kind of read as the kind of relationship you have when you are still trying to desperately cling onto the part of you that the world considers ‘normal’ and when it is thrown into a new context it becomes complicated and messy. I liked that element of the book. I liked how Aaron interacted with both Thomas and Genevieve and how they allowed Aaron to be different versions of himself.

I enjoyed this book. Like I said, the ending felt kind of rushed and a little messy which in the context of the whole story made sense but from a reading perspective was a little unsatisfactory. The story itself is sad and happy, not in equal parts but you can’t have the darkness without a little light. The characters are well rounded and the world that Silvera built felt very much like the one that we live in just with the added ‘bonus’ of being able to manipulate your memory. But as this story shows, that doesn’t necessarily work because the brain is complicated and it wants to remember. And also people are shitty.

It’s real. I mean it’s fiction, but the themes and the emotions felt so very real. And I liked it for that. I am so glad that I discovered Silvera this year because the way he writes is stunning and I love the diversity of his stories and his characters. He’s definitely an author you should read. This isn’t the first book I would recommend of his, but don’t sleep on it either.

3/5 stars

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

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