I’m what you’d call a book worm or an old-fashioned nerd, someone who is mind-numbingly obsessed with words and the way people string them together to create numerous pictures and, in many cases, a whole other world. Like the way J.K Rowling created a childhood escape for me in a place like Hogwarts that had me hung on every twist and flick. But this isn’t about my love for Harry Potter this is in fact about “More Happy Than Not”. A powerful and moving tale by Adam Silvera set in the Bronx, within the near future summer that’s a little bit more down to earth than the adventures of Harry Potter. This book I relate to more. Let me catch you up with the basic understanding of More Happy Than Not, Adam looks at grief and the aftermath of Aaron Soto’s coming to the understanding of his father’s suicide and looking for his happiness after a smile shaped scar on his wrist along with personal development, understanding and growth. He faces twists turns and Leteo.
My favourite books are always the ones I fall upon without actually knowing anything about them, this one I found while looking for a holiday book to bask in the sunshine with me and suddenly my basket was full of interests. People say constantly you shouldn’t judge a book on its cover however this is how I find most of the best books I’ve ever read and of course I’ve fallen trap to a spicy cover that unfortunately lacks the content. I tend to fall in love with books so easily but this one related to me on a mental health type of level, something I haven’t had since I read “Holding up the Universe” by Jennifer Niven.
The main character I seem to want to cuddle and support in a protective way much the opposite of my interest in making friends with Hagrid or Izzy O’Neil. Throughout the book I couldn’t quite decide on his persona and weather I was on his side or routing against him but for some reason, I couldn’t put it down. Did I believe Aaron was the bag guy in this book focused on self-help for the way he treated the ones around him or a struggling kid that needed every inch of help he could get his hands on. I fell head over heels in love with the world Adam had created. Of course, it isn’t a world with rainbows and unicorns, it’s a world I relate to wholeheartedly. A world searching for happiness in a place that’s hiding from your past. I was hooked with every twist and turn of Aaron’s life and the way it is utterly relatable to the lives of the reader.
I’ve thought about it and I hold my hands up and admit I’d probably take the plunge and jump head first into Leteo a revolutionary memory-alteration procedure, not to for the same reasons as Aaron but to alter my sadness. It’s not my experience that holds me back but my feelings. Is that even possible, even in the book world? Or would it untangle into a world worse than the one I was trying to forget? I’m sure many of us would jump at the chance of forgetting everything that has torn us apart but would that really help, can you run away from everything you are.
A lesson I have taken from Aaron Soto is the simple fact you cannot change the past or who you are; you cannot alter everything you have been through no matter how hard it is to cope with. You will come out the other side to a point you will, in fact, be more happy than not. To take a leaf out of Aaron’s book (so to speak) and ensure I’m living for me, for the first time in my life I’m not going to feel guilty for every bad thing I’ve ever done, I’m not going to beat myself up for the fact I chucked a stone at a car when I was 7 or the fact I’m angry and argue when drunk. I’m sorry for it of course but I’m no longer going to hold myself in a guilt infested coma because of mistakes I have made. I’m going to give myself a Leteo without the aftermath and circumstances. Thank you, Adam, for creating a world that has opened my eyes to the realisation of change and self-awareness.