More Happy Than Not

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Silvera, A. (2015). More Happy Than Not. New York, NY: Soho Press.

978-1616955601

Hardcover-$12.74 (Barnes & Noble)

This title is also available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audible formats

 

Awards/Honors: Booklist Top 10 LGBTQ for Youth; Booklist 2015 Top 10 First Novels for Youth; SLJ’s Best Books of 2015, Young Adult; Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2015, Teen; Booklist Best Young Adult Books of 2015

Life has dealt Aaron a pretty rough hand and he is trying to figure out who he really is.

More Happy Than Not covers the dark, gritty feelings of Aaron, a teenage boy dealing with a family member’s suicide, as well as his attempt on his own life. As if this isn’t hard enough for a teenager to deal with, he starts having feelings for his new friend, Thomas. Aaron becomes confused because he still loves his girlfriend, but he can’t deny this new attraction. All of these feelings become overwhelming and come with some brutally unfair consequences. Blank considers taking the easy way out by having his memory altered, but is it really worth losing his identity to be “happy”?

This book covers some pretty tough subjects, but they are realistic feelings and emotional struggles that teenagers deal with on a regular basis. Silvera’s debut novel is essential for anyone trying to figure out his or her own identity. It lets teens know that they aren’t alone and it is okay to be yourself, whoever you are. Do you have any memories that you would want erased or do you feel those memories help make you who you are?

Take a look at this Epic Reads interview to see what Adam Silvera had to say about diversity in YA

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The Darkest Part of the Forest

20958632

Block, H. (2015). The Darkest Part of the Forest. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group.

978-0316213073

Hardcover-$18.99 (Books of Wonder)

This title is also available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audible formats

 

When a dangerous Fae is loose, it is up to a brother and sister to figure out why and to keep their town safe.

 

There’s a monster in our wood

She’ll get you if you’re not good

Drag you under leaves and sticks

Punish you for all your tricks

A nest of hair and gnawed bone

You are never, ever coming—“ (p.18)

Hazel and Ben live in a small town called Fairfold where humans acknowledge the presence of the fair folk, but try to stay away from their mischievous ways. In the middle of a clearing is a glass coffin with a horned boy inside, reminiscent of Snow White. Hazel and Ben grew up pretending to be friends with the boy and protecting the land as knights. One day they wake up and the coffin is shattered and the horned boy is missing. The teens quickly become entangled in the dangerous activities of the Fae. Will their feelings for the horned boy turn them against each other?