Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date: February 2012
Summary from goodreads:
"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."Things I Liked:
I can completely see why this had a huge number of awards at the children's book awards. It is wonderfully written, in spare prose, but with so much emotion and reality. I really cared about Ari and Dante. I wanted to help them face their challenges, put an arm around them, be friends with them. I really liked how supportive and involved their parents were in their lives. That's how my parents were and I hate absent parents in literature, even if they happen in real life a lot. The story was dynamic and interesting and I was figuring things out right along with them. Really, more of what I'd call an important story.
Things I Didn't Like:
The thing I struggled with, is that I just thought it was ok. It wasn't the most amazing thing I'd read, which is kind of what I expected with all that hype. I can understand why people think its important, what with the discovering oneself and accepting yourself. But, I was not blown away. Also, it kind of made me want a story about two guys who are just friends. Not that this should have been that story, since it was exactly what it was meant to be, but I just found myself wanting to read about a strong male friendship, sans romance. Are there books many books like that? Raven Boys comes to mind, but has so many other complicated things going on, it's not the main point. Anyway, good book, important message, not so much for me. I can see how it will help some struggling gay teens, though.
I can't think of any...
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
quite a few, with casual f-bombs here and there
nothing actually happens, but teenage boys will talk
Overall rating: ***
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