Adam Silvera & Friends at Carlow East in New York City

Adam Silvera: A Tribute to My Friend, the Acclaimed Young Adult Fiction Author and His Inspiring Journey

So, I remember a “tall for no reason,” twenty-something, who laughed a lot, loved life, and reminded me a lot of me when I was younger (before I got married and divorced and put my passions on hold for one bad relationship after another). Adam is unquestionably the most likable person that I’ve met. Everyone wanted to be around him, and he quickly became one of my best friends in New York City. Anyone who could call Adam a friend was lucky.

His first novel, More Happy Than Not, was released shortly after I moved back to Texas. Reluctantly, I left New York for New Mexico and lived in Santa Fe for several years before moving to Texas. After moving back to Texas, I remember walking through a bookstore in San Antonio and being drawn to a book on a shelf, I couldn't tell you what about the book demanded my attention, and honestly, I couldn't say why I was even browsing the YA books section to begin with (I don't particularly enjoy reading YA books), but then I saw Adam’s name.

And more aggressively than I intended, I ripped the book from the shelf, and audibly said, “No f$&king way?!” I flipped through the book to the rear cover looking for the author's info and his picture was there staring back at me. I was excited for him. A small handful of us, living together in New York, were writers, Adam, of course, was among them. At some point, during one of the last times I saw Adam, and before moving to New Mexico, he mentioned that he had started writing something, "big," was the word I remember him using, “big,” and nine novels and eight years later he has accomplished so much, and I couldn't be prouder.

          Adam and I met working at Barnes&Noble at 86th and Lexington, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. He has always been an avid reader, especially of Young Adult and Children’s books. I think because the genres have a tendency—or at least they used to—to celebrate life in a way that contemporary adult fiction doesn't, that is what Adam is all about, celebrating life. I needed to be around someone like Adam. I struggled a bit, emotionally, before and after moving to New York.

I moved to the city for several reasons, one of which was because I was in the process of getting a divorce, and that took an emotional toll on me, a toll that I was unwilling to acknowledge for a long time. We make mistakes, especially when we are at our most vulnerable. If we can be conscious enough, we might be capable of learning from those mistakes so that we can learn to be better during those times of vulnerability and enjoy the practice of living. Adam, too, has struggled with depression, but he never let it get in the way of good friends, and the possibility of creating and sharing an experience.

Adam hasn’t changed much, at least on the surface. I’ve watched a few interviews he’s given and panels that he’s sat in. He is more confident, although I never saw Adam as someone who lacked confidence, nevertheless, he’s living his life as if only good things were possible—a mindset that I admire and have been working hard to adopt myself. After releasing his debut novel, More Happy Than Not Adam would go on to publish, History is All You Left MeThey Both Die at the End, The First to Die at the End, Infinity Son, and Infinity Reaper, as well as co-authoring a series, the debut novel, What If It’s Us.

They Both Die at the End, is a YA bestseller, and has been for more than a year, and his prequel, The First to Die at the End, was released earlier this year and has been a YA bestseller since its release. I was managing Barnes&Noble in Bozeman, Montana, and loved watching They Both Die at the End fly off our shelves. We couldn’t keep the book in stock. I got to brag to my employees about knowing and boarding with Adam Silvera. I often show pictures of the lot of us at 'Pat’s' (Carlow East Pub), and bumming around New York City, it makes me miss hanging out with him. Adam and I spoke a few times after I moved to New Mexico, I'm terrible at maintaining correspondence with people who don't live in the same several blocks let alone state and unfortunately, we lost touch.

          I already said this, but Adam genuinely is one of the best people I have known and the pleasure to befriend. To have witnessed his talent and to watch his success progress over the years, is something that I’m grateful for. Adam's story is one that I like to hear about and share because it seems like it doesn’t happen enough to the best of us, Adam deserves every bit of success he’s had. I’m proud of you Adam.

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