Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Soho Teen
Synopsis: 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 overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.
When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.
Why does happiness have to be so hard?
I have really mixed feelings about this book. I was feeling pretty “meh” about the whole thing in the beginning. I didn’t understand how a guy who had no internal thoughts about being gay was all of a sudden coming out to his (male) friend/crush. When he was losing his virginity to his girlfriend, he was never thinking “This isn’t that great” – he was acting like well, a straight guy. When Aaron starts to have feelings for his new friend Thomas, I was just thinking that he might be bisexual. Because, again, he gave no indication that he didn’t enjoy the romantic times with his girlfriend.
But then, THE THING happens. (You know what I’m talking about if you read the book.) I was shocked when it happened, but when I thought about it, it made perfect sense! I thought this twist was so well done; it made me like the book so much more! It definitely changed my “meh” feelings into thinking that I could give the book at least 4 stars.
However, I didn’t end up liking how some things were handled – particularly the ending. To avoid spoilers, I’ll just say that while Aaron ends up “more happy than not”, I didn’t. I will still definitely be trying more of Adam Silvera’s books in the future, even though I didn’t 100% love this one.