Hi guys! First of all thanks for all the love on yesterday’s post. You guys are the best.
A little over a year ago, Kari tweeted that she wanted to start a book club, and I responded to that tweet. This month marked 12 months since we started it. Yeah, its mainly been the two of us all along but its been so much fun choosing books with her, chatting with her and writing reviews on the blog. Thanks to all who participated over the year. A year has passed and we learned a lot of what works and what does not work. So next month there will be a relaunch of this book club making it bigger and better than before. But more on that later in the post – Im such a tease.
For now we review the last book of the year. It’s book #11 because we skipped one month.
Benjamin Alire Saenz
A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
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.
Oh guys, I’m glad we ended off the year with a book that in my opinion is 5 stars. I never really give 5 stars but this one deserved it. In fact, Im not always the biggest fan of YA novels, of which this is one, because many of them are straddle the edge of the “cheesy” cliff. This one was in no way cheesy however and I genuinely wish everyone would read this book. It gives me hope for future generations and makes me think that if the world were as tender and sweet as the world in this book, it would be a better place.
This sweet story is one of two friends, Ari and Dante, who meet during the summer they are fifteen. The story is narrated by Ari and the reader is taken on a journey through his eyes. It’s a story of their sweet friendship – which the author does a good job of portraying – and when that friendship turns into something more, a romantic relationship in fact, I found myself rooting for them both. Some may say the romantic relationship is the whole key that ties this book together, and while it was sweet in the way it was developed, it was the friendship and the characters that made me fall in with this novel.
Just a tiny bit about the story without giving away too much, Ari is a loner and a bit of a sad character whose family secrets and life kept him jaded and secluded, while Dante playful, fun and seemingly the complete opposite. Dante brought the novel to life for me, he gave it its heartbeat. The author however takes the reader on a journey so that we find out that they weren’t so different after all. Together they push and pull from each other and learn from each other. Ari, the angry loner learns to let go of some of his anger and Dante the more playful one, gets more wise by the novel’s end. The relationship that ensues between them, one that took Ari almost the entirety of the novel to embrace seemed natural, real and so sweet.
I loved every single character in the book and I also really appreciated that the author didn’t just focus on the friendship between the two boys but that their was focus on families, values, differences, relationships and how they all shape a young adult. I would definitely recommend. No doubt.
“I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.”
“The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.”
“I renamed myself Ari. If I switched the letter, my name was Air. I thought it might be a great thing to be the air. I could be something and nothing at the same time…”