More Happy Than Not Review: To Be, or Not To Be. That is the Question

January 27, 2017 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Is there an aspect of your life that you’re not proud of and you wish you could forget? If you had the chance to erase any of your memories for a better life, would you do it?

In More Happy Than Not, the experimental Leteo procedure is designed to make people forget things. It’s used to make people forget the bad decisions that they made, for murderers forget their evil deeds, for the grief-stricken to forget loved ones who have passed. As for Aaron Soto, he wants to forget that he’s gay because he thinks it is central to all his problems in life. All in all, the Leteo procedures is for the pursuit of happiness. Or the idea of it, anyway.

Aaron has had a hard life, as he’s lost in the aftermath of a dead father and his own suicide attempt. We’re introduced to Aaron as he hangs out with his friends, falls in love all over again with his girlfriend Genevieve and meets his new best friend, Thomas. The slow start to the book is quite draggy, without much depth and information about Aaron’s background. I started to lose interest, wondering whether it was going to get better…but patience paid off and oh boy, it really DID get better.

From his friendship with Thomas, to realising that there may be something more and his subsequent confusion over Genevieve, I felt things progressed a bit too quickly for Aaron. The book takes a lot of time building up the friendship with Thomas as they get to know each other, without much background behind their developing feelings. If you’re like me, you’ll question the lack of emotional development between the characters. But as I kept on reading, all the pieces fell into place and the twists were completely unexpected.

I loved how the book explored gay relationships and the pain, truth and guilt that people endure to live with their decisions. Being gay is not a choice, and I was really touched by the author’s note at the end where he believed that it was in his youth. If you could choose to be straight or gay, then why would you choose the hardest path? This book explores the nuances of that in a raw and honest way, showing the hidden sides to many people around Aaron. While I didn’t agree with some of the character’s decisions, I could see why it happened that way because everyone chooses the path that will bring them the most perceived joy.

Memories: some can be sucker punching, others carry you forward; some stay with you forever, others you forget on your own.

More Happy Than Not is a mind bending experience, one that you’ll immediately want to relive again once you reach the last pages. Once you have the full story, it’s easier to go back and find out why things happened the way they did. Aside from the slow beginning, I loved how More Happy Than Not played out, with the unreliable narration, to the sci-fi concept, the LGBT representation, while questioning the true meaning of happiness.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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30 responses to “More Happy Than Not Review: To Be, or Not To Be. That is the Question

  1. I cannot believe I haven't read this yet. I bought it on Kobo when there was a sale last year but for some reason whenever I buy ebooks I tend to forget about them (like the time I bought a paperback copy of I a book I already bought on Kindle omg why). But after reading History Is All You Left Me in January, I KNOW that I need to read this ASAP because History was so incredibly beautiful and heartbreaking.

    I'm glad you ended up liking this one, Jeann!

    • I'm so glad you enjoyed History Chiara, I can't wait to read that one considering how much I loved this. Adam is such an important voice as well so it's definitely a plus. I think you will love this one Chiara!

  2. Bec

    I've been brushing this one off as just another contemporary for a while now but I've never read the memory erasing concept before. That is fascinating! I think you've convinced me I need to read this one some day

  3. It was brilliant, I'm so glad I ended up sticking it out because I was considering a DNF at one point! I'm looking forward to reading his next one too and looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

  4. SO GOOD TO HEAR YOU ENJOYED THIS! I am a little nervous for it because there are a mixed bag of reviews for this but they seem to be more positive than not (ha ha see what i did there? yeah i know, it's lame!)

    • Yessss it was so good Anisha! I've only heard good things from trusted bloggers so I'm so glad I ended up really liking it! Hahaha nice one

  5. YAY I'm glad you loved this! I read this around a year and a half ago, and although I don't remember the details, I do remember pretty much sobbing over it. And I loved the sci-fi element of it. I remember at the time thinking that such a thing could never happen, because brains, but now I'm like "eh it's fiction for a reason!"

    • Yeah, it was a bit of a bittersweet ending strangely and it was so impactful in a way. Like so deep and meaningful but unexpectedly so? Yeah, I went in knowing it would be spec fic but I loved how it all played out!

  6. deathbytsundoku

    This is a lovely post. I have only heard of this book in passing, but I love the idea. Very Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind– but exploring LGBTQ issues. You have definitely inspired me to look into this book. I appreciate that you left out spoilers, too. It only made me more curious to see how Silvera played everything out. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thakn you, it was such an important book with the LGTBQIA issues and the way it was constructed and put together. That's also a very apt comparison!

  7. Zoe

    I've heard nothing but great things about this book, but for some reason I haven't picked it up yet. Your review definitely makes me even more anxious to give it a try! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

    • I know, I had it on my TBR forever and I'm so glad I finally picked it up, it was super worth it. I hope you give it a shot soon Zoe! Hope you are well lovely <3

  8. I'm definitely in the minority with this one, because I didn't love it as much as everyone else did </3 But Adam Silvera is such an important writer and I'm glad everyone seems to love his books.

  9. Yes, I'm so glad you enjoyed this! It's one of my favorite books that I read last year, and I agree with you 100% about the slow beginning, but I adored the message and the overall moral behind this story. It's heartbreaking, and yet lovely at the same time!
    Great review!
    Keep up the good work!
    -Sam. x

  10. Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

    More Happy than Not is so emotional. I wasn't expecting that plot twist which made me so sad. I can't wait to read History is All You Left Me. Great review Jeann!

  11. Bieke (Nelly B.)

    I still haven't read any of this author's books, which I KNOW I should change soon. And I want to! But I don't have a copy of this one and I have a HUGE TBR already. Oh but I do have his other book though…

  12. Oh oh I so want to read this, especially after I just recently finished History is All You Left me and it was so emotional and heartbreaking. <3 I basically want to read all this author's works of ever!!

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