My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary: In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-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?
I definitely had a couple of issues with this book, but overall, it completely destroyed me. I finished it emotionally drained in the best way.
First things first- this isn’t a happy book at all. It deals with depression, suicide, homophobia, and memory loss, and it shoves you right into all of those issues until you’re more depressed than when you started the book. It was a bit of a tough read, but it was totally worth it.
The story follows Aaron, who is trying to get back on his feet after his father’s suicide and his own attempt. He feels like he can’t talk to anybody, not even his incredibly supportive girlfriend, but when he meets Thomas, he also has to deal with the realization that he’s gay. He could deal with it, or not, by having his memories taken away.
This isn’t even a nice love story- there are assumptions made, and cheating, and just sadness all around. There are cute moments, but that’s all they are. Moments.
I did call the twist before it happened, but it was still a truly awesome way to end the book, and the way it was written made me super emotional.
Other things I liked:
-lots of geeky references to be found
-GENEVIEVE. I loved how even in the end, she and Aaron remained friends (kind of) and she wasn’t made out to be some kind of evil character.
This is still an ugly world. But at least it’s one where your girlfriend loves you back.
-the themes and the writing style
-the way that memory loss wasn’t the answer to all Aaron’s problems
Things I disliked:
-the way Aaron assumed Thomas’ sexuality
-the cheating aspect
I won’t go into more detail about that, because it’s kind of spoilery already, but whatever. All in all, this was a fantastic book.