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.
Ari, bless him is just trying his best to get through the summer and high school and has to deal with a lot. His family keeps a lot of secrets and doesn’t communicate with each other very well. He is a little awkward and puts himself down a lot. He definitely undergoes quite the evolution over the course of the storyline and it was really gratifying to see him come into himself and accept his flaws and acknowledge what he needs to work on.
Dante was a very interesting character; he contrasts starkly with Ari but their dynamic just works so well together. He is very talkative, spouts random knowledge all the time and is almost overly emotional. I like that when he is away from Ari in Chicago he makes friends and goes and experiments, really reinforcing with himself who he is. The letters that he shared with Ari were incredibly personal and I like that he is open and honest enough to want to discuss these things with a friend instead of internalising everything like Ari tends to do.
I loved that we got to delve into the characters backstories and we learn a lot about their families. It makes the book as a whole a lot more relatable and engaging. There were stages at the start where the pacing was a little on the slower side. All we really had was angsty Ari overthinking everything and I kind of had to push myself to continue.
This was really a lovely, touching, sometimes hard hitting story about two boys coming of age and discovering their own identities. I couldn’t predict what was going to happen next and I was extremely satisfied by the end!
⭐️4/5 stars just a truly lovely story