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- An Ember in the Ashes
In the months after his father's suicide, it's been tough for sixteen-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?
Silvera managed to leave me smiling after totally breaking my heart. Unforgettable.
Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
"Adam Silvera explores the inner workings of a painful world and he delivers this with heartfelt honesty and a courageous, confident hand . . . A mesmerizing, unforgettable tour de force."
John Corey Whaley, National Book Award finalist and author of Where Things Come Back and Noggin"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-04-13
- Reviewer: Staff
Aaron Soto, 16, lives in the projects in a Bronx similar to the real one except for the existence of the Leteo Institute, a neighborhood facility where patients can have painful memories erased (the most fantastical element of this procedure perhaps being that it is covered by Aaron’s insurance). If anyone deserves to have his past wiped clean, it’s Aaron, who has experienced poverty, his father’s suicide, and the violent death of friends in his short life. But what Aaron wants most to forget is that he’s gay, especially because the boy he loves is no longer able to be with him, and because his own inability to fly under the radar has made him a target. Silvera’s debut is vividly written and intricately plotted: a well-executed twist will cause readers to reassess what they thought they knew about Aaron’s life. It’s also beyond gritty—parts of it are actually hard to read. Silvera pulls no punches in this portrait of a boy struggling with who he is in the face of immense cultural and societal pressure to be somebody else. Ages 14–up. Agent: Brooks Sherman, Bent Agency. (June)