In his twisty, gritty, profoundly moving debut—called “mandatory reading” by the New York Times—Adam Silvera brings to life a charged, dangerous near-future summer in the Bronx.
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 kind of, sort of, definitely loved this book… And it was nothing like I expected it to be.
On rare occasions I stumble upon books like this that leave me speechless but with a terrible need to talk about it. Last night, when I finished this book I turned in tears to my husband who when he saw that I was actually sobbing, offered to make me a cup of tea. I NEVER drink tea, except when I’m sick or terribly sad. I was simply heartbroken.
You need to know that this is a heart wrenching story. It’s so deeply sad that just punches you in the stomach over and over. Well, no. This book has beautiful moments of friendship. It’s full of literature and comic references. It definitely has that element that screams “teens”, but it’s so different from other YA books I’ve read. I love when j can say that a book is beautiful. This book wasn’t. Not in the conventional way, anyway, it has a different kind of beauty – the dark one that slowly sucks you in and you can’t break free from it.
This book deals with pain. That kind of pain that makes it difficult to breath. It deals with loss, and desperation. It deals with that kind self-loathing that makes it difficult to walk and want to go on. It deals with hate, but also love. It also deals with discrimination, homophobia, but also with acceptance and learning to be who you are despite it all. It’s about learning that, well, he heart wants what it wants. And that you could never be something you’re not.
For the first half of the book I thought I knew where this was going… And oh boy, was I wrong. So, so, so wrong. And when the truth of the boy in this book, our story teller, Aaron, hit me, I was absolutely destroyed.
This book, in my opinion, has no happy ending, though I found it painfully realistic in the setting it presents. I wanted to crawl into the book and hold Aaron so tight, but I couldn’t. So I finished the book and hugged my kindle instead. What this book does have, is an ending where the MC learns a very important lesson: your true self will always find a way to show, no matter what you do. No matter what you’re willing to give up.
I absolutely recommend this book to everyone, but I need to ask you to read this when you’re in a very good place.
Despite me being in tears for like an hour after I finished it, and wanting to tweet the author a: YOU BETTER SEND ME HOT COCOA BECAUSE IM CRYING! AND I HATE YOU! I most definitely read more of his work, because if this is how he writes, then he needs his own space in my shelf.
AMAZON || BARNS AND NOBLE