#wndb #lgbt #ya lit

Aaron Soto is not having the best year. His father killed himself and not long after he had a little run in with a suicide attempt himself, a little happy faced scar reminds him of those dark days, but at least he’s got a great girlfriend. Completely, supportive and fantastically artsy and cool, she’s the reason he’s come out on the other side. Still, the Lateo Institutes memory wiping technique is tempting.

When he meets Thomas and begins to develop feelings that he never knew he had he wonders if you can forget who you really are?

The premise for More Happy Than Not had me super excited. Latino kid in New York with real issues to overcome, but still has that slick city swagger, a coming of age story with a taste of science fiction, who wouldn’t love that? It is all of those things and the bit characters with names like Me-Crazy are fun to read about. The problem is that the setting is bigger than the plot. Silvera takes great care and time immersing the reader into how it is to live in this particular neighborhood at this particular time while the finer points of the plot are lost. Aaron goes from head over heels in love with his girlfriend to completely gay in two pages without very much internal fanfare. It just didn’t feel very believable.

There is also the issue of genre blending. This is contemporary fiction, but bills itself as a blend of CF and SF. Not so. Nearly three quarters of the book are gone before you get any real taste of the Lateo Institutes mind erasing technology. Even with all that the book is still worth a read. Pick it up, especially if you’re visiting the city this Summer. You’ll find yourself wrapped in music of NY.

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