Welcome back to another #BroodyBFF Challenge entry!
If you haven’t heard about the #BroodyBFF Challenge before. It’s a series of challenges being held for #BroodyBFFs (aka the Broody street team) to participate in in honor of the swoon-worthy Brooding YA Hero getting his own book called Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me (out October 3rd).
This week’s written challenge is…….. writing a post on your most favorite (or most anticipated) LGBTQIA+ YA book.
I have several favorite LGBTQ+ Young Adult books, but More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera is the one that has impacted me the most by far. The main character is gay & Latnix. It’s also #ownvoices.
More Happy Than Not follows teenager Adam Soto after his father’s recent suicide, and his recent attempt, in a near-future version of the Bronx where memory alteration procedures exist. When his girlfriend leaves for a trip, Adam starts spending time with new guy Thomas. Over time, Adam develops feelings for Thomas and then considers getting a memory-alternation procedure.
This book absolutely destroyed me. After I finished More Happy Than Not, I had to leave my house and take a drive to calm down because I was so out of whack.
More Happy Than Not deals heavily with internalized homophobia & mental health. During the course of the book, Adam has to decide whether or not he wants to forget that he’s gay. His thought process is that by getting the procedure, that it will fix everything wrong with his life because he’ll be able to stay with his girlfriend and keep his friends.
I’m bisexual. Accepting that was incredibly difficult for me. I grew up in an extremely religious, homophobic house, I went to religious (and again homophobic) school, I went to bible study, the whole nine yards. I was constantly taught that being gay was essentially evil. I didn’t even know that bisexuality was a thing until I got active on the internet in my early teens.
Reading about Aaron’s internalized homophobia was painful, but it resonated with me so much that it was almost reliving to know someone else could feel the same way as I did. That’s the power of #ownvoices. I loved the journey that Aaron goes on to accept his sexuality and that at the end of the day he was more happy than not (I know how cliche. You can throw paper balls at me for referencing the title) despite everything that happens over the course of the novel.
Having books with LGBTQ+ teens is vital, especially with ones with teens that face multiple marginalizations. I wish I had more books like More Happy Than Not when I was younger and entering high school. Because of how I grew up, I didn’t have anyone in my life who could relate to my struggles or tell me that it was okay to feel the way I did. Media was the only way I could see people like me. And the first time that I read a book with a bisexual main character wasn’t even until 2016.
I’m really glad that every year I see more and more books with LGBTQ+ main characters are being published. But, I hope we can get to the point where I can’t count the LGBTQ+ books being published by the big 5 in a given year.
More About More Happy Than Not~
Title: More Happy Than Not
Author: Adam Silvera
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2015
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Near Future, Science Fiction
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?
Note: More Happy Than Not does have ableism. There’s one character that has a nickname with the word “crazy” in it and he’s the “villain”, which is unfortunate. Also, big content warning for suicide, homophobia, and homophobic slurs.