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.
My problem with this book is not that it was bad, it’s that it was very meh. I’ve heard so many people talk about how amazing this book is and I think it has been very much over-hyped. However I do agree that from a diversity standpoint this book makes a huge leap forwards (for those not in the know it’s a LGBT story about a mexican-american boy). But still as much as I enjoyed it, I wasn’t amazed by it.
I really wasn’t all that interested in the plot, I didn’t care for the main characters, it almost felt like Ari was one of those manic pixie dream girl types I see so many people complaining about. He is angry and doesn’t like spending time with other boys and nothing makes sense till he meets Dante and suddenly everything is sunshine and roses (I’m not even going to talk about how Dante is a little too emo). It was almost as if they didn’t feel like real teenagers, Ari is angry and confused and looking for the meaning of life and it didn’t feel real. But maybe thats just because I didn’t have an existential crisis at 15 and I couldn’t relate to him. I don’t know.
I admit I did find this mildly interesting but I feel it was lacking something, what that something is however I haven’t worked out yet. I just felt that Benjamin Alire Sáenz was trying a little too hard to create an emotional rollercoaster-ride break-your-heart kind of book and it ended up not being any of those things.