What It’s About: Ari has always been a loner, never letting himself get close to anyone. A Mexican American growing up in El Paso in 1987, he was born after his father returned from Vietnam with a part of him broken. While the war still casts a shadow over Ari’s life, the absence of his older brother does the same, ever since he went to jail twelve years ago. Ari’s brother is never mentioned, and Ari has learnt to take after his parents and never discuss things. Ari is a master at distancing himself from those around him. But when he meets Dante at the local pool, he finds someone he can connect with. Dante is nothing like Ari. He loves his parents and art, reads big books and seems to be able to do anything. To Dante, the world is a great place and he can’t understand Ari’s darkness. Dante is a boy who knows so much and still wants to know more, and would risk his well being just to rescue a bird. Ari is hard and has always known how to hide what he feels. Together, Dante and Ari try to find a way to understand the mysteries around them, and along the way they might just save each other.
Who Will Love It: If you’re feeling disenchanted with YA novels or are having trouble finding a book that can live up to your favourite, then read this one. Also a great candidate if you’re looking for a more diverse read, since the characters are Mexican American and LGBT.
What I Loved: The characters are full of depth and intelligence and will make you love them. The story was well paced, and although there was a lot of discussion and thinking and less action, I read it quickly and fiercely. It’s a coming of age story that still manages to feel unique.