“One summer night I fell asleep, hoping the world would be different when I awoke. In the morning, when I opened my eyes, the world was the same.”
I probably shouldn’t be writing a review for this book because it’s my all-time favorite, and all you’ll hear is ”fangirlfangirlfangirlfangirl,” but I’ll do it anyway.
Maybe I should start with why I love it so much. The thing is, it’s pretty hard to say for certain. Everybody has different favorite books, and all for differing reasons. [For the sake of everyone, I will refer to the book as AAD for the rest of the review.]
AAD is my favorite book because of several reason, one being the beautiful language that is used.
Some of the prettiest quotes:
“Another secret of the universe: Sometimes pain was like a storm that came out of nowhere. The clearest summer could end in a downpour. Could end in lightning and thunder.”
“It was good to laugh. I wanted to laugh and laugh and laugh until I laughed myself into becoming someone else.”
“The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.”
“And being alone made me want to talk to someone my own age. Someone who understood that using the “f” word wasn’t a measure of my lack of imagination. Sometimes using that word just made me feel free.”
The second reason I love it is because it taught me a lot about people and families and the way the world works with humans living inside it.
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.
The story is told in the point of view of Aristotle, and as you saw from the quotes, I think he has a very pretty way of telling the story. He has a very different personality and way of talking than Dante Quintana, the other main character of the novel, although he doesn’t narrate.
The third reason this book will forever belong to my heart is because I realized as I read the book that each of the characters loved in their own unique way. I haven’t read a lot of books compared to how many there are, but I still have read a fair share and no author was able to portray the different ways of loving someone before better than Benjamin Alire Saenz.
I think this one of the most important reasons to love this book. Also, I should probably mention how well the theme of coming-of-age, sexuality/lgbtq, heritage, and boyhood was woven into the story. The whole thing felt natural. A real life. Not to mention the cry-worthy, fangirl-worthy, and oh-my-god-it’s-three-in-the-morning-but-this-scene-is-so-enthralling-just-one-more-page-worthy parts of this book. Yeah, it’s definitely worthy.
And I know that no matter how much I gush, like I said before everyone has different favorites and this might not captivate you as much as it did me. So I don’t want to go on and raise the bar higher than heaven, even though I still believe this is the best book ever and no one can not like it [I mean I guess technically they could but whatever].
So in conclusion, give the book a chance. It deserves one.
[also, all pictures or gifs containing quotes is from the book.]