“From the shapes cast by the green paper lantern, you would never know that there were two boys sitting closely to one another trying to find themselves. You would only see shadows hugging, indiscriminate.”
Twenty-four pages in and I was already in love. Five stars can never express how incredible this book is.
Aaron Soto lives in the Bronx. He struggles to wrap his head around his father’s suicide a few months ago, but with his friends from his block, his girlfriend Genevieve, and his newfound best friend Thomas, he somehow manages to find a little happiness. That is, until everything he knows start to lose meaning. With the breakthrough memory-alteration procedure within his reach, Aaron questions whether this would help him sort out everything in his life.
I cannot say anything more about the plot without spoiling it, but just know that everything about this book was perfect! The story got me hooked from the beginning and kept me up all night because I needed to keep reading. The book talks about being gay in a society that has never really escaped the plague of bigotry (much like the one we currently live in). I felt rage, heartache, sympathy, and ultimately, hope. Hope that someday being anything other than straight will no longer be as big of a deal as everyone makes it.
It tackled not only sexuality but also mental health and a bit of medical ethics. It was frightening because of how close to reality it all were, raising moral questions such as “How far would science go to shape a person into society’s mold?” and “Where do we draw the line between providing relief and freeing a person from guilt?”
Aaron showed so much vulnerability but when he decided to fight back, I was in awe of how much strength it took to convince himself to keep going. It was emotional, heartbreaking, and most of all, real. I cried so hard countless times (34 continuous pages made me bawl my eyes out for 30 minutes!), empathized with Aaron’s struggles, and learned to always choose happiness (even if it’s the tiniest amount).
At the risk of sounding very generic, More Happy Than Not is a very important book. I truly believe that everyone should read this, regardless of demographic. You will definitely find something to relate to here.
I will remember Aaron Soto’s journey forever.
Rating: ∞ out of 5 stars