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More Happy Than Not

by Adam Silvera

Published by Soho Teen / Soho Press, 2015
295 pages
ISBN: 978𢴔16955601

Age 14 and older

Aaron Soto and his neighbors in the Bronx projects have had more than their share of bad experiences and tough times. The memory-wiping promises of the Leteo Institute are a tempting solution. The procedure seemed to help Aaron抯 friend, Kyle, start a new life after his twin was accidentally killed. Aaron has survived his own family tragedy梙is father抯 suicide梬ith the help of his dedicated girlfriend, Genevieve, and his loving mother. Still, life in the family抯 one-bedroom apartment is grim. His mother is overworked and depressed, and his brother is distant. When Aaron meets thoughtful, artistic Thomas, he finds some happiness and a true friend. As they grow closer, Aaron realizes he is in love with Thomas. Heartbroken by Thomas抯 rejection, Aaron抯 sadness feels inescapable, and the Leteo Institute抯 memory wipe may be the only escape. But, this high-risk procedure has questionable rewards. Set with small, vivid details that bring the book to life, Silvera creates a palpable tension between the loss of childhood, lack of safety, and wonder of love in a novel that offers an honest, edgy look at race, class, sexuality, and mental health. Ultimately, Aaron抯 struggle to be honest to who he is and the beautifully developed relationships between Aaron and others are the heart of this book.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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