I do know that it has been quite some time since I last posted and I apologise. It’s just that it’s been a hectic week, being the first school week of the year and all that jazz, y’know? Many things to finish and start on, especially since this year is my last year so everything’s all over the place and I have to buck up tons to pass my final exams in November. I still want to squeeze in reading in my schedule as much as I can and blogging of course. Not only do I enjoy it, but I’m also discreetly practicing for my English exams by improving my English as I go on.
ANYWAY! On to the review!
Summary: Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
I rated it 5 🐳 / 5 🐳
I cannot even begin to explain how much I fell in love with this book and its characters.
It was a bit slow at first and it kind of worried me that I would not be able to get into it as much as I hoped, but I was captivated by the middle of the book. I loved it, I loved it, I loved it, I loved it. The writing, though it took me some time to get used to, was beautiful in a way I don’t really know what. It was simple but at the same time meaningful and I eventually loved it by the end. So much so, in fact, that I now have almost his every other book on my tbr list. I probably won’t get into them now or this year, but sometime in the future, definitely. It’s very lyrical and the flow of the speech and the transition of the scenes were just really smooth and I really appreciated that.
The story itself was very refreshing, especially since it’s 1) From a boy’s point of view (Most of the books I’ve read are from a girl’s POV) and 2) Sexuality was a big theme in the book.
I haven’t read any books that have sexuality as one of the main themes, much less exploring and discovering their sexuality, and also have a point of view from someone exploring their sexuality. I feel like this is a big, huge plus for me because I’m at the same point of my life where , you know, I’m exploring my sexuality. It helps a lot that the characters were my age, or at least for the first half, and I could just somehow relate to a lot of what Ari, the main character, thought and felt. I know there are a lot of other books out there that have characters around my age too, I mean clary was 15/16 in the first mortal instruments book right? But a lot of them are fantasy or something similar so I can’t really relate much to them because their world and my world is different and they’re going through stuff that I haven’t and never will experience so it’s really different and refreshing to have characters like Ari and Dante who are in the same world as I am, though different time periods, and are going through things that are very similar to what I am going through. Things I can actually relate to and think back to when I go through them or when I went through them. The pace of the story was quite slow but that’s the way it’s supposed to be plus it’s contemporary so I was okay with it, I actually really liked it. It’s a nice break from the fast paced Harry Potter books I read last month.
The characters, oh god, I absolutely adored them. All of them. Ari, Dante, Gina, Susie, Mr and Mrs Quintana and Mr and Mrs Mendoza. I just want to hug each and every one of them and hold them in my arms and just be with them. They’ve grown so close to my heart and, I don’t know, they just feel so real. Like they are actual real life people, and that’s another part of why I really loved this book.
The character development in this book was excellent, realistic and suited their personalities. Moody Ari with his constant brooding and misery growing up to becoming more open and accepting things and just growing up. Bright, compassionate Dante with his wit, intelligence, confidence in himself and loveable nature that just makes it literally impossible to not love him, even though there are times where he can push things a little bit for Ari but that’s his job as Ari’s best friend, you know? He’s the opposite of Ari but also his other half. He’s what Ari wishes he was more of, even if he doesn’t really think so sometimes, and Ari is what Dante needs to keep him grounded.
Ari’s relationship with his parents and how it slowly improved, especially with his father, touched me very much and both broke my heart and made it feel all warm and happy. Dante’s healthy relationship with his parents was also very nice and amusing to see, since he was much closer to them than Ari was with his, and then both of their parents’ friendships especially Mr Mendoza and Mr Quintana (gee, look at me being all polite and calling him Mr Quintana, hah). It’s nice to see the parents having a healthy relationship with their children and admitting their mistake and just having nice, long, meaningful talks or amusing banters. They had their flaws, who the heck didn’t anyway? , but the parents were very well written and i especially liked how they had character development as well and how they played a big role in the story.
Since most of the book shows their friendship in a sort-of platonic way, I’d say their friendship for the most part is one of my favourite friendships of all time. I just love how beautiful their friendship is and how they help each other to grow?
And then their eventual non-platonic relationship is also one of my favourites now like I swear, I legit cannot stop re-reading the last few pages because it was just so beautiful. It was heart breaking at some points, especially for Dante, I felt so bad for him, but also so beautiful and it’s realistic and just.
I could go on for days, but I’ll just end this with an I want the book in Dante’s point of view now, or soon. Really though, Benjamin, I need this in my life. Please. I beg you.
On the other hand, I would also like to thank Benjamin Alire Saenz for creating this beautiful masterpiece and giving me, i mean us all, the chance to meet such beautiful characters and experience such an amazing book.
(I’m actually lowkey laughing at how accurate this gif is)
That’s all for this review. I’ll maybe be posting a more spoiler-y one with a lot more gushing soon, it depends on how busy i’ll be for the next few weeks, really. I will for sure be posting on Wednesday or Thursday though as i’ll be participating in my very first T5W!
P.S Follow me on Twitter, @LIELOWATLUPINS