This is a hard recommendation to write, because no matter how many different ways I come up with to describe what this book is about, none of them sound like a book I would actually read, much less recommend to others. I am so over the whole “teenager dealing with tough issues” thing. Too many times, authors end up trivializing serious subjects in an effort to make them accessible for younger audiences.
But More Happy Than Not is so highly regarded by so many readers I trust, and then I was in the mood for a quick read, and one thing led to another…
And yeah. It’s good. It’s worth your time to get a copy and read it. Beyond that, I’m not sure what to say. I could rattle off a bunch of themes or plot points, but I’ve drafted those lists about six times now and I’m still not satisfied with how they came out. This is what happens when a book is more than the sum of its parts.
Very, very generally, it’s about pain, and what we’re willing to do to escape it. It’s about who we are at a fundamental level, the parts of us that can’t be changed no matter how hard we try. It’s about healing, scarring over, and getting better even though we can’t go back and reverse all the damage. We can’t undo what’s been done, but we can keep living, if we choose to engage with the hurt instead of pushing it down deep.