Excerpt from More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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More Happy Than Not

by Adam Silvera

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera X
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2015, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2016, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Bradley Sides
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Excerpt
More Happy Than Not

It turns out the Leteo procedure isn't bullshit.

The first time I saw a poster on the subway promoting the institute that could make you forget things, I thought it was a marketing campaign for some new science fiction movie. And when I saw the headline "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow!" on the cover of a newspaper, I mistook it as something boring, like the cure for some new flu—I didn't think they were talking about memories. It rained that weekend, so I hung out with my friends at the Laundromat, chilling in front of the security guard's old TV. Every single news station was interviewing different representatives of the Leteo Institute to find out more about the "revolutionary science of memory alteration and suppression."

I called bullshit at the end of each one.

Except now we know the procedure is 100 percent real and 0 percent bullshit because one of our own has gone through it.

That's what Brendan, my sort of best friend, tells me at least. I know him as much for his honesty as I know Baby Freddy's mother for her dedication to confirming the gossip that comes her way. (Rumor has it she's learning basic French because her neighbor down the hall may be having an affair with the married superintendent, and the language barrier is a bit of a block. But, yeah, that's gossip too.)

"So Leteo is legit?" I sit down by the sandbox no one plays in because of ringworm.

Brendan paces back and forth, dribbling our friend Deon's basketball between his legs. "That's why Kyle and his family bounced," he says. "Fresh start."

I don't even have to ask what he forgot. Kyle's identical twin brother, Kenneth, was gunned down last December for sleeping with this guy Jordan's younger sister. Kyle was the one who actually slept with her, though. I know grief just fine, but I can't imagine living day by day with that—knowing the brother I shared a face and secret language with was ripped out of my life when the bullets were meant for me.

"Well, good luck to him, right?"

"Yeah, sure," Brendan says.

The usual suspects are outside today. Skinny-Dave and Fat- Dave—who are unrelated, just both named Dave—come out of our local bodega, Good Food's Store, where I've been working part-time for the past couple of months. They're throwing back quarter juices and potato chips. Baby Freddy glides on by with his new steel orange bike, and I remember when we used to give him shit years ago for still needing training wheels—but the joke is on me since my father never got a chance to teach me to ride at all. Me-Crazy is sitting on the ground, having a conversation with the wall; and everyone else, the adults mainly, are preparing for this weekend's community event of the year.

Family Day.

This will be the first time we're celebrating Family Day without Kenneth and Kyle, or Brendan's parents, or my dad. It's not like Dad and I were gonna have father–son wheelbarrow races or father–son basketball games; besides, Dad always paired up with my brother, Eric. But father–son anything would've been better than this. I can't imagine it's any easier for Brendan, even though his parents are both alive. It might be worse, since they're just out of reach in boxy jail cells for separate crimes: his mother for armed robbery, his father for assaulting a police officer after he was caught dealing meth. Now he lives with his grandfather who is thugging it out at eighty-eight.

"Everyone's going to expect smiles from us," I say.

"Everyone can go suck it," Brendan replies. He pockets his hands, and I bet there's weed in there; dealing pot has been his way of growing up faster, even though it's pretty much what landed his dad in prison eight months ago. He checks his watch, struggling to read what the hands are saying. "I have to go meet someone." He doesn't even wait for me to respond before he walks off.

Excerpted from More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. Copyright © 2015 by Adam Silvera. Excerpted by permission of Soho Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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