Welcome to our interactive Nerds and Beyond Book Club series! Our book for September is More Happy Than Not (MHTN) by Adam Silvera. The book is Silvera’s debut novel. It is a New York Times (NYT) bestseller, an Editors’ Choice for NYT and Booklist in 2015, Best First Novel of 2015 for Booklist, and Best Young Adult Novel for several sites, including Paste Magazine, Kirkus, the New York Public Library, and Magill’s Literary Annual for 2016. It was also a James Cook Book Award Honor selection.
“For those who’ve discovered happiness can be hard.”
Aaron Soto, 16, is struggling to find happiness after his father’s suicide. With support from his girlfriend Genevieve, Aaron thinks he’s finally beginning to find normality and happiness again. Then he meets Thomas. As the two become closer over the summer, Aaron finds contentment in his new friendship, but begins to struggle to accept his new feelings for Thomas. As his feelings become more intense, Aaron considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s memory altering procedure to return to normal, even it means forgetting himself in the process. The book is divided into five parts that are Aaron’s varying stages of happiness.
I was immediately captivated with the story. I love how much honesty Silvera put into Aaron’s story. It’s raw, emotional, and genuine. Aaron and Thomas are characters anyone can relate to, regardless of how similar or different their circumstances are to the reader. Aaron struggles with the idea of happiness and accepting himself, which anybody can no doubt relate to. MHTN offers a story that provides comfort and validation to those who find themselves feeling like Aaron, reminding them that they aren’t so alone in their struggles. It will keep you hooked, break your heart, and make you smile.
Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked as a bookseller, a consultant at a literary development company, and a reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. His highly acclaimed debut novel, More Happy Than Not, was followed by History Is All You Left Me, and New York Times bestseller They Both Die at the End. He co-authored What If It’s Us with Becky Albertalli, and his next novel, Infinity Son, releases January 14, 2020. He lives in Los Angeles, and is tall for no reason. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
To participate in our Nerds and Beyond Book Club, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Book Club” in the subject line no later than Sept 27. We will email out discussion questions that will be posted in an article at the end of the month.