“I’m more happy than not. Don’t forget me.” The last words of this book stay with you for a long time. And for me, so will the book. It made me go through so many emotions that I don’t even know where to start. I want to shout out that I would never forget you Aaron. But that won’t be the truth. I am probably going to forget about him after a few years. All I can say is that right now, it’s one of my favorite books ever.
The Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto — miracle cure-alls don’t tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can’t forget how he’s grown up poor or how his friends aren’t always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it’s not enough.
Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn’t mind Aaron’s obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn’t mind talking about Aaron’s past. But Aaron’s newfound happiness isn’t welcome on his block. Since he can’t stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.
Adam Silvera’s extraordinary debut novel offers a unique confrontation of race, class and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.
This is a science fiction slash contemporary book that was released recently. I have heard about the book so much but booktubers Raeleen of padfootandprongs07 and Kat of Katytastic gave such great reviews about this book that I had to pick it up. And I am so happy that I did. I have only read one LGBTQ+ book before and that was “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” which was amazing. When I picked this one up, I didn’t expect it to be as great as the last one. But I loved this book even more. I don’t know what it was about Aaron that made him so lovable but he found a place in my heart. I don’t know if I would be able to describe exactly how amazing this book was but I am going to try. So please bear with me.
The book, as shown in the description, is about a boy named Aaron who is discovering that he is gay. But his neighborhood does not approve of it and so he has to keep it a secret. Adding to these difficulties, he also has to deal with a traumatic past where his father committed suicide in their bathtub and Aaron, too, trying to commit suicide in the aftermath. The story starts with Aaron meeting Thomas and slowly discovering that he is gay. But Aaron also has a girlfriend who have loved and supported him throughout his life. So, as you can understand, there are a lot of complications. The first part of the book deals with all these and reads like any regular contemporary book. But the second part of the book, where the Sci-Fi components come in, is what elevates this book to a whole new level. The Loteo procedure is sort of like the memory-erasing procedure of the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” but here it is memory altering instead. I can assure you that the twist in this book will leave you astounded. I can’t talk about it much because I don’t want to spoil it for you. But trust me on this, when it comes, you will feel stupid as to why you didn’t see that coming. And the last few pages are emotionally exhausting. I felt so many emotions in those few pages that I couldn’t decide whether I was happy or sad. But ultimately, I guess, I was more happy than not.
Now, it’s time to discuss the characters. Aaron, the protagonist, is the voice of this novel. From the beginning of this story, he is in quest of happiness. As the story ends, you can’t help but wonder if anything that happened to him was fair. Reading these type of books always leave me feeling lucky and content. Lucky because I never have had to face anything that Aaron has experienced. And content because I felt completely satisfied with my life, even if it’s for a few hours. This should be a good time to mention that this book left me in tears of both happiness and grief. If you have read the book, you know what I am talking about. Then there is Thomas. He is to Aaron as Dante was to Aristotle; the adorable, quirky character that we can’t help but fall in love with. The movie-watching moment on Thomas’ roof is my favorite moment in the whole book. The conversations between Thomas and Aaron are a treat to witness too. Genevieve is very relatable as the girl facing unrequited love. I didn’t particularly like any of Aaron’s friends but I did enjoy reading about their moments with Aaron. Another beautiful thing about this book is that the characters are so distinct from one another that you will remember everything about them. The character development that each of them go through is also a thing to notice and marvel at.
All I can say is that please go read the book. I highly recommend it! And if you have read the book, please comment because I really, really, really want to discuss about it with someone. This book is amazing! So don’t wait. Go read it now! I am now going to end this LONG book discussion with a quote from the book that perfectly describes my feelings about reading the book.
“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.”
My rating- 5/5.
My Goodreads rating- 5/5.