Aristotle and Dante are two different people with two different personalities. They never saw themselves starting a friendship until that one day when they met in the swimming pool and started to talk. Then they realized that they have more stuff in common. Their friendship made them understand each other and understand themselves and who they are and what they want out of life.
I will start this review by saying that I absolutely fell in love with this book. I read it because of all the hype around it. I hear people everywhere saying that this book is great or you have to read it, so I decided to read it out of curiosity and when I got the chance to go to the bookstore, I bought it and left on the shelve for around a month before picking it up. Then one day, I was bored and decided to read the first few pages of the book just to get a general idea about it but I couldn’t put it down until I finished it.
This book was my first experience with LGBT books. I never came across this genre before this book not for any specific reasons, I just never came across them. It’s the first time for me to read a contemporary romantic novel where it have two males point of view, but I believe that the author (Benjamin Alire Saenz) did a great job with the book. I was impressed with it.
I loved the writing of the book, it was simple and easy to understand. He understand how to use dialogues in his favor because the book was full of them. the story flow was great too. The book is only 360 pages but a lot of things happened in these pages, however, I found that everything happened in the right time and nothing was rushed, the book had a normal speed that allows you as a reader to engage with book and observe the characters’ development and growth.
In this book, it’s hard to hate any of the characters (except for the bullies of course. But, even though they were secondary characters, they had a role in the progress of the story). I loved Aristotle’s (Ari) personality. In the beginning of the book, he was an angry and a weak teenager, and he constantly was trying to understand himself, but the more the story progress, the more you know about him and you even fall in love with his personality.
Dante is the other main character. Dante is smart and intellectual person, he love reading and art a lot and he is open minded about everything and that’s because of the environment he grew up in. He understand himself and he is comfortable with who he is more than Ari because in the book, Ari is in a constant inner battle with himself. He try to deny his feelings and emotions because he don’t want to accept them.
Another thing that I loved about the book is the family dynamic. I loved how their families had a big role in their lives, they were supportive and acceptive about everything. They helped their teen sons to understand and accept themselves and not be ashamed of who they are, which is something you don’t see a lot in some contemporary novels where the parents are always in the background and they barely have a role in their children’s lives.
This book was a fantastic read. It’s simple but deal with great issues, it easy to read, the language is very simple but strong, and once you pick it up you can’t put it down until you finish it.
Favorite 5 Quotes:
“I wondered what that was like, to hold someone’s hand. I bet you could sometimes find all of the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.”
“I hated being volunteered. The problem with my life was that it was someone else’s idea.”
“One of the secrets of the universe was that our instincts were sometimes stronger than our minds.”
“Through all of youth I was looking for you without knowing what I was looking for. – W.S. Merwin”
“Feeling sorry for myself was an art. I think a part of me liked doing that.”
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.