“Memories: some can be sucker punching, others carry you forward; some stay with you forever, others you forget on your own. You can't really know which ones you'll survive if you don't stay on the battlefield, bad times shooting at you like bullets. But if you're lucky, you'll have plenty of good times to shield you.”
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. But Aaron can't deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself. 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?
Why does happiness have to be so hard?
Although the cover is really simple, it kind of sticks out to me, and it’s really beautiful. The “happy face” kind of is a theme throughout the whole book, and so I think the choice of this cover is perfect.
I wanted to read this book since it came out, just because it sounded really amazing, and one of my favorite authors of all time (Becky Albertalli) really enjoyed it too. I trust her, and so I pre-ordered the book. And man, it was the best thing I could’ve done.
Let’s first start off with the writing. I enjoyed Adam’s writing-style so much, because he just was so honest about everything. And these honest words made it feel like you really read from a teenage-boy’s POV. It was absolutely beautiful. No complaints whatsoever.
Moving on with the story and plot itself: I did not expect these things to happen, and it went a completely different way than I thought it would. Yeah, I was expecting that I would be heart-broken by the story, but this book crushed me. I cried like 7 times, and all throughout "Part Zero". From Chapter one on I felt such a strong connection to these characters, as if I knew them my entire life and that never happened to me before. I was rooting for Aaron from page one on. This isn’t just a story about being gay, and trying to figure out how to deal with it, when the environment that surrounds you doesn’t support it, but it has many more aspects to it; like how to deal with memories and pain. Yes, we all have these memories that we kind of would like to block or erase, but if you had the chance to do so, would you really do it? The past can be hard and painful, but in the end the memories make us to the person we are right now. This book showed me, that happiness can be found also in the small things in life. Happiness can be found in comics, books, paintings, even in just a small conversation. Life can be hard and painful, in fact it most of the time is, and when you think that it can’t get worse, it shows you that it actually can. But even then, the memories we hold are important, and sometimes they are the only thing we have left. And the main thing is to choose to be happy and to accept the past and move on, right? This book just touched me and made me think about my own life, and my own memories and it definitely gave me the feels (in a good and bad way, I guess). There are also other aspects to it, like how to deal with an illness, or how to deal with it, if you actually have tried to commit suicide, but it didn’t work. I think these topics are dealt with in a great way too in this book. The characters in this book were all very authentic and great too, especially Aaron. He was so honest with himself, and courageous too. So many bad things happened to him in life, but he stays strong. And overall, the story is more happy than not. (see what I did there? Haha)
This book was just fantastic; I do not have enough words to describe how great it was.
And Aaron: I will never forget you. I promise.
A fantastic, amazing, brilliant, honest, beautiful book. I am speechless.