More Happy Than Not

Aaron Soto is sixteen years old and lives in the Bronx in a one bedroom apartment with this mother and older brother. He is on the cusp of adulthood and is about to reach a major life milestone: he is about to have sex with his girlfriend…right before Genevieve tells Aaron that she is going away to a three week painting retreat.

What is Aaron supposed to do without the love of his life?

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When he meets Thomas, his summer changes. He finds in the other boy a best friend, who is interested in the same things Aaron is but lacks direction in his life. Aaron spends the better part of the summer helping Thomas figure out where is life is going; as the pair become closer, Aaron begins to realize that he is developing feelings for Thomas. He still loves Gen, but he also loves Thomas.

When things take a change for the worse, Aaron considers going to Leteo, a medical company that promises a pain free procedure to represent unwanted memories. Aaron wants to forget his summer with Thomas to help forget his feelings and live a normal life. But is that really for the best for Aaron? For everyone?

More Happy Than Not tackles some major life issues. It not only addresses the subject of homosexuality and how difficult it can be for young teens to come out, it also delves into what happens when one tries to suppress their memories and emotions. There are things about yourself you cannot simply forget or hide away, and More Happy Than Not does the difficult but successful task of addressing these issues.

I was apprehensive beginning Adam Silvera’s debut novel, but I quickly came to enjoy the story. (Normally I am not a fan of contemporary, but I’ve been attempting to read them more in an effort to have some reader’s advisory in mind when I become a librarian.) Silvera’s language is simple, much like how teens communicate which makes the story relatable. It is a wonderful story that everyone is encouraged to read to better understand the struggle teens go through in their young lives.

My rating: 4/5

 

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The Unbound

It has been almost four weeks since Meckenzie Bishop defeated Owen Chris Clarke by creating a void door. While she continues on as a Keeper for the Archive and prepares for a new year at a new school, Meckenzie can’t shake the constant nightmares where Owen attempts to kill her. She isn’t sleeping, but she can’t let that keep her from her duties.

As she starts a new school year as a junior at Hyde School, Meckenzie knows it is going to be difficult to make friends while separating her life as a Keeper. With Wesley Ayers help, Meckenzie starts to have some semblance of normalcy.

Until people she meets keeps disappearing.

One by one, people Meckenzie encounter start to vanish without trace. There’s no sign of where they’ve gone or who has taken them or why, but they only have one thing in common – each of them met Meckenzie right before their disappearance. Before the local police can link her to the disappearances, Meckenzie must try to solve the disappearances herself. It becomes more difficult when Agatha, a Librarian who has the ability to alter memories, becomes suspicious of Meckenzie and becomes set on searching through her memories.

How is Meckenize going to solve the disappearances, keep her nose clean in high school, return lost Histories on her list, avoid Agatha, and get some much needed sleep before losing her sanity – and herself?

The Unbound is the sequel to Victoria Schwab’s The Archive and continues the story of the library of the dead. It is just as creepy as its predecessor but with some slice of life moments. It took me a little longer to really get into the story, but that’s because I didn’t read The Unbound right after finishing the first story.

I highly recommend this set of books for anyone who likes creepy stories, paranormal themes, and/or urban fantasy. My only complaint is that there are lots of stories to tell about the Archive and yet this is the last one. Victoria Schwab has stated that she has an interest in continuing the story, but the publishers think otherwise. I wish she could continue it because I still want to know more about the world.

My rating: 4/5