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More Happy Than Not

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,297 Ratings  ·  1,691 Reviews
In his twisty, gritty, profoundly moving debut—called “mandatory reading” by the New York Times—Adam Silvera brings to life a charged, dangerous near-future summer in the Bronx.

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 over
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Soho Teen
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Cat I would say yes, but I'm a firm believer that kids should be exposed to difficult and complex topics because that's life - encountering it first in…moreI would say yes, but I'm a firm believer that kids should be exposed to difficult and complex topics because that's life - encountering it first in fiction makes things less frightening when experienced first hand. It's a coming of age story, so there are sexual awakenings and characters figuring out who they are and what friendships/romantic relationships mean. On top of that there are themes of loss, grief, and depression.

In some ways it's a pretty heavy book, but it's also accessible for young readers - it would get the message across that not everyone has a squeaky clean life, and that's ok. Some 14 year olds will be more ready and receptive to this than others, but I'm always hesitant to say someone is too young because the topics are complex. People are gay, people are depressed, people swear, people have sex, sex is confusing, and puberty is the wooooooorst - kids know all this already, but if it's normalized early on then maybe it won't be so hard for them to talk about it as they're going through it.(less)
Amy Williford I imagine that Thomas is Latino because he refers to himself as brown. Aaron is Puerto Rican and I imagine that he looks like the tall author. …moreI imagine that Thomas is Latino because he refers to himself as brown. Aaron is Puerto Rican and I imagine that he looks like the tall author.
Red Queen by Victoria AveyardAn Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa TahirAll the Bright Places by Jennifer NivenMy Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine WargaThe Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
YA Debuts 2015
13th out of 416 books — 3,118 voters
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliCarry On by Rainbow RowellMore Happy Than Not by Adam SilveraNone of the Above by I.W. GregorioThe Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson
2015 YA Books with LGBT Themes
3rd out of 192 books — 547 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kat O'Keeffe
Aug 13, 2015 Kat O'Keeffe rated it really liked it
WOW. Halfway through this book I thought I had it all figured out. I WAS VERY VERY WRONG IN A VERY VERY GOOD WAY. This book was touching and thoughtful and man oh man, does it pack an emotional punch. Awesome debut, definitely recommended, and I'm looking forward to reading more by Adam Silvera in the future!
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Apr 20, 2016 Jesse (JesseTheReader) rated it it was amazing

(full video review to come!)
Emily May
Jun 05, 2015 Emily May rated it really liked it
“This is still an ugly world.”

I opened with that quote for a reason - while definitely entertaining, More Happy Than Not is a dark, sad book that deals with homophobia, depression and suicide. The quirky dialogue and nerdy references to comic books, Star Wars and action heroes are much needed to lighten up an otherwise very distressing novel.

Personally, I do not think the promised big twist is particularly hard to guess if you've read the description and (view spoiler)
Lola  Reviewer


Oh, damn, what a rollercoaster of emotions this was. Havoc in my heart. I wish I could say that it made me smile or laugh or dream, but that would be lying to you and myself. It is very unlikely that you will turn the last page and sigh, hand on your heart and stars in your eyes. You will very likely be clutching at your heart, in fear that it will break. In hindsight, I realize that I had no idea what I was getting into. When I heard people qualifying thi
Raeleen Lemay
Jun 30, 2015 Raeleen Lemay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, own, lgbtqia
Wow. Wow wow wow.

This book blew my mind.

Adam Silvera
Jul 03, 2015 Adam Silvera added it  ·  (Review from the author)

MORE HAPPY THAN NOT is my debut novel, and there was a time where I believed this book was never going to be seen by others after rejections and nonsense. But it's here! And it's about a boy who is considering a memory-alteration procedure to forget he's gay because leading a life as a straight teen would probably be way easier for him. It's about science versus nature, friendship, sexuality, and a quest for happiness. I hope every book I put out into the universe feels as special and
Reading More Happy Than Not and witnessing the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage has made me a super emotional wreck this week, in the best way possible. This book may even tie Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe for my favorite YA book, and if anyone here has read my review of Saenz's story, you know that means high praise. So, without further ado, I give you:

Five Reasons Why More Happy Than Not has Renewed My Faith in YA Fiction:

1) This book is so freaking sad. Forget plots
Becky Albertalli
Dec 26, 2013 Becky Albertalli rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK. I'm getting choked up just thinking about it. I'll avoid posting details for now, but suffice it to say that:
1. Aaron's voice is pitch-perfect, and it's impossible to read this book without falling in love with him.
2. It is full of surprises and twists and emotional highs and lows, to the point where putting the book down is almost physically painful.
3. It will break your heart in the best possible way.

Beautiful, beautiful book.
Jul 30, 2015 Bangadybangz rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this one, because a) I read it in the Caribbean, and b) its a very engaging story with likable (and despicable) characters and a genuinely shocking twist. Definitely recommend, especially if you're looking for good LGBTQ oriented books
Brian Yahn
Mar 30, 2016 Brian Yahn rated it liked it
Adam Silvera's writing immediately absorbed me into the life of Aaron Soto--a troubled youth anxious to lose his virginity. And making the obvious comparison of the Leteo Institute's memory procedure to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I was definitely intrigued to see where the story would go, especially since I was enjoying the prose so much. The realness of it swept me away like The Catcher in the Rye.

Predictably, this isn't just a story about a kid losing his virginity. No, it quickly
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

"It's okay how some stories leave off without an ending. Life doesn't always deliver the one you would expect."

Holy book slump, Batman! I was on a tear through 2 and 3 Star books when More Happy Than Not finally queued up at the library. Then Larry told me I had to love it or we could no longer be friends, but I had to go watch my kids lose 427 baseball games first so I left the book on the table . . .

Houston commercial photography

When I finally returned (my al
Jessica (priceiswong)
Apr 27, 2016 Jessica (priceiswong) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: unread-books, own, ebook
Wow! Read this in under 24 hours and it blew me away. Definitely surprised me, and I loved how raw and real this felt. Amazing, memorable characters... I really don't even know what to say. I really enjoyed this and would love to read more by this author in the future!
Mar 17, 2016 Lauren rated it it was amazing
A few days ago my good friend, and talented author, Adam Silvera posted this piece on his blog: Happiness Isn’t Just an Outside Thing. The blog post talks mainly about depression, which Adam has grappled with for some time now, and is a beautiful meditation on the failure of external validation to satisfy the holes that truly need filling. I’m so proud of him for sharing his hard journey with all his readers with the same incisive honesty that makes him such a fantastic writer.

On that note, a fe
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)

Oh, boy. I won't.

More Happy Than Not didn't turn out to be what I expected, and let me tell you, it was so much better than I thought it would be. Messed-up when you think about it, this containing one of my biggest pet peeve make it plural : several of my biggest pet peeves - nah, I won't tell which ones, I can be annoying like that. But let's start at the beginning, shall we?

There are books that make you feel like a voyeur, as the characters seem so real that you get the impression to spy on
Apr 24, 2016 Theresa rated it really liked it
Whew! This book was intense! I liked it but I didn't love it. I thought some of the dialogue seemed forced, and the first 150 pages were too draggy. I'm still giving it 4 stars because the plot was interesting and I liked the protagonist, Aaron even though he was a bit selfish and impulsive. This book dealt with a lot of heavy topics like suicide, homosexuality, love, rejection, betrayal, self-loathing, domestic violence, etc. Even though it was depressing at times, overall I thought it was a be ...more
Clau R.
Jul 14, 2015 Clau R. rated it liked it
Shelves: my-feels, 2015
I don't know what to think about this book. I just know it broke me. And that it is definitely NOT more happy than not. It is more like "More depressing than not". Ugh, I ended up so distraught :(.

I kind of liked it, but I could never really connect with the characters, although I really liked a bunch of them (Aaron, Gen, Aaron's mom, Eric, Evangeline and Thomas, specially Thomas). I didn't care about them as much as I feel I should, and I was surprised when I started crying towards the end! So
Jun 29, 2015 Spencer rated it it was amazing

“The boy with no direction taught me something unforgettable: happiness comes again if you let it.”


Some books give me that single tear; Some books give me a few tears but not a lot; Some books give me enough tears to fill up a river. More Happy Than Not made me cry a book river. Despite the smiley face on the cover, this isn't a happy book. I have never cried so hard in a book as I did reading this book.

I have copious amounts of respect and adoration for Adam Silvera, the auth
Neil (or bleed)
"I'm more happy than not. Don't forget me."

More Happy Than Not tore my heart into million little pieces; that it has been used as confetti in a musical variety show.

But seriously, More Happy Than Not is a dark, depressing novel. I didn't expect it to be this sad. I thought this book will be kind of a light read but I guessed I was wrong. I should have known. I got surprised on how much I've been emotional reading this beautiful, precious novel.

It was a punch-in-a-gut, a pierce-in-a-heart kind
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
Geez Adam Silvera, you sure know how to make a girl feel all the feels! I felt like I was sucker punched in the stomach, inflated with helium to rise high in the sky only to get popped back down to earth. I'm pretty much a mess of emotions right now. Excellent debut! Excuse me while I finish tearing because I'm probably incorrect as I type this.

I heard nothing but praise about More Happy Than Not and I also knew the author from Twitter since he's also a Shelf Awareness reviewer. The pull that
Apr 22, 2016 julio added it
i need a minute
need a minute and a minute and a minute more
heart pounds and my throat's so tight
memories aren't my friends tonight

Kathe L
"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."

I have so many things to say. I can say this book is perfection, that everyone should give this book a try. And you may believe me, like I believed when people told me this before I read it, but you won'
May 14, 2016 Kai rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, glbt, underrated
“The boy with no direction taught me something unforgettable: happiness comes again if you let it.”

I've waited so so long(well, since this was released I guess) to read this. This was one of my most anticipated books of 2015 and it did not let me down.
Adam Silvera seems to be a cool guy. I like the way he interacts on social media, I think he's quite funny and so is his writing style. Maybe not his novel(because yeah it is kind of sad) but definitely his writing style.

This was a page-turner from
Apr 15, 2016 Kenchiin rated it really liked it
I think I need a hug.
Apr 10, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
Wow. This book was just too good. I haven't been overwhelmed by the feels to this extent since reading Allegiant (still not over it). It was this raw, emotional character study that was almost too realistic. Bravo, Adam. I had to take a week to compose myself before writing my thoughts on this otherwise they would have looked something like "Feels and tears. Aaron. Wait I can't. I need pizza and ice cream." To see my full thoughts, go over to right here: ...more
Lindsey Rey
Nov 23, 2015 Lindsey Rey rated it liked it
Rating to come. I honestly don't know what to rate it right now. This was definitely one of the best LGBTQ books I have ever read. On the other hand, I have some problems with it from some mental health stand point. I need to sleep on this one!

I honestly don't know what to say. I started reading this out of curiosity after all the hype this book was getting. First few chapters and I stopped to ponder what got all these people raving about a book which I found pretty conventional at first. Well, aside from the whole Leteo brouhaha, I was utterly confused as to what the fuss was about. So I kept going until several hours later I've finished it and yet here I am -- still staring at Aaron's last sentence, still mildly confused but for a c

“I’m more happy than not. Don’t forget me.”
No, I won't.
Nothing could have prepared me for this intense and emotional story. I don't know why but I expected it to be a light read despite of the fact that everything about this book says that it's a sad story. Except for the title, which misleading because this book is more SAD than HAPPY! I started reading the book at midnight and finished it at early morning, and it's needless that I was crying my eyes out at the end. This has to be the most sad
4.5 stars. (I've changed my rating from 4 stars to 4.5 stars since I just can't seem to get this book out of my mind. I think about it from time to time, and yeah, it was just a really emotional read for me.)

// I'm actually a bit exhausted now. What an emotional book! I don't even know what to say right now.
Larry Hoffer
Jul 12, 2015 Larry Hoffer rated it it was amazing
It's been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice but expecting a different result each time. I'll also say that insanity is believing a book will make you an emotional wreck (admittedly an easy feat, but...) and reading it anyway. And so it was with Adam Silvera's beautiful, sad, thought-provoking book, More Happy Than Not .

Life hasn't been easy for Aaron Soto. He has grown up poor in a Bronx housing project, his father committed suicide in their small apartment, he
Apr 21, 2016 Emily rated it really liked it
Well that was just really sad.

And totally not what I was expecting. Did I love it? Did I think it was okay? Did I really hate parts of it? Do I like what happened? I honestly have no idea, for some reason I feel like I'm in book limbo and I need more time to think about this.

But that last line will always haunt me.
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Young Adult Conte...: #9 More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera 20 33 Mar 14, 2016 11:07AM  
  • Not Otherwise Specified
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Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked in the publishing industry as a children's bookseller, marketing assistant at a literary development company, and book reviewer of children's and young adult novels. His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, received multiple starred reviews and is a New York Times bestseller, and Adam was selected as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. He wri ...more
More about Adam Silvera...

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“Memories: some can be sucker punching, others carry you forward; some stay with you forever, others you forget on your own. You can't really know which ones you'll survive if you don't stay on the battlefield, bad times shooting at you like bullets. But if you're lucky, you'll have plenty of good times to shield you.” 65 likes
“The boy with no direction taught me something unforgettable: happiness comes again if you let it.” 55 likes
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