One Sentence Review: A novel that was absolutely stunning, this book was one of the craziest emotional rollercoasters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, while also being one of the most eye-opening stories I’ve ever picked up.
In the months after his father's suicide, it's been tough for sixteen-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 honestly don’t even know where to start with this book, because it was just so completely shocking and was really a huge reality check. It shook me and woke me up and broke my heart, and I really just don’t know how to put my feelings towards this story into words because it was more of an emotional journey than anything.
I’m going to keep this review really short, because I’m hoping you’ll just trust me when I say you should really, really read this book. The characters were so realistic I felt like I could pick up the phone and call them, and the plot was so unpredictable I just wanted to cry on every page because I was so scared of what was coming next. Silvera held so much power over my heart, and he definitely weld it to teach me a profound lesson.
Not only was the book itself flawless, but it was also beautifully diverse. It always makes me so happy to see marginalized groups represented in YA fiction, and this story is definitely one of the absolute best examples I’ve seen.
Overall, what more can a reader ask for? It’s really rare to find the books that change your perception of the world around you, but this book was undeniably one of those for me. I loved it (and still love it) so so much, and now am anxiously waiting for Silvera’s next novel, History Is All You Left Me.
Make sure to come back next Wednesday for a new review!
PS This book does discuss a lot of sensitive topics, so just be ready for that if you do decide to give it a shot (which you totally should… You’ll thank me later ;)) J.