I went into this book completely blind and soon discovered that I was not prepared for the deep beauty that is Aristotle and Dante’s friendship. This story shattered my heart.
This is the story of Aristotle – or Ari – and his friend, Dante. They met by chance one summer day. Ari is a 15 year old boy who prefers to be by himself most of the time. He just isn’t comfortable being around a lot of people, or even new people. Everything changed when Dante walked up and introduced himself. Dante was a bright light in a sea of darkness. He was that one glowing soul that just people migrate to. He came across as an angel, actually. He was just beautiful. Ari and Dante become fast friends and together, they set out to discover the world and who they are.
This story blew me away. It hit me in feels I didn’t know would be affected. This story really is a coming of age story, yet it is mostly labeled in the LGBT category. Don’t get me wrong, it is an LGBT book, but it didn’t feel that way when the story started. The LGBT part of the story comes later, but until then, it really is a powerful story of friendship. As the story continued, I could see things between Ari and Dante becoming… more. Are they gay or are they not gay? I was never 100% sure until the very end of the book. When the truth comes out and how it comes out will shatter your soul.
The one thing that almost turned me off from this book is the writing. It did not set well with me at first. I had a difficult time getting past the rough writing style. The way Ari was portrayed made it very hard to like him as a character. Granted, he probably was written to be incredibly standoffish and brass, but it made me not want to like him. While Dante was written to be an outgoing, full of life, beautiful soul that people gather around. It make me wish there had been a chapter or two from Dante’s POV. That would have been amazing.
I’ve already mentioned how much I adored Dante and grew to like Ari’s characters, but we didn’t get a good look at the rest of the characters in the story. Ari has sibilings but they never play a big part, they are only mentioned. Especially Ari’s brother that is in prison. Throughout the entire story he is referenced, but so little is sadi about him. I really would have liked to know more about Ari’s family and how Ari came to be the way he was.
Overall, I’m glad I read this book. My heart still breaks for the two of these characters. I wish there were more Dantes in the world and I know I strive to be more like him. This is a very quick read but it is one that everyone needs to read. They need to have this book available to them so they can experience this wonderful story.