Review: I listened to this book on audio download from the library and it was read by Lin-Manuel Miranda which made it extra special so I would definitely recommend listening to this book if you can. Having said that, this was one of my first reads of the year and I absolutely loved it so I may just have to invest in a copy so that I can read this one again!
The storyline of this one is definitely hard to explain. It is the story of two friends and their journey on self discovery as they grow up both physically and emotionally. This somethings involves them growing together and sometimes involves them doing their self-discovery solo. I loved the friendship between these two characters and this is the strongest theme in this book. There are also LGBTQ issues dealt with as well as issues to do with bullying and immigration/racism. It is an incredibly relevant book, despite being set a few decades ago. Therefore it is definitely something to read if you are feeling slightly despondent about the state of the world!
These characters are really easy to like. I loved the fact that Ari takes on the role of the kind of stuck, in the mud, happy with his own ways boys boy and Dante becomes the wild, carefree character. Its like that saying about someone helping someone to be wild whilst the other helps them to stay grounded, this is definitely the kind of relationship that these boys have. I loved the relationship that they each had with their families too and I'm glad their families play a key part in the storyline. One of the reasons that these characters are so easy to relate to is because they are so realistic and you can easily imagine finding yourself in their shoes.
None of the issues explored in this book are shoved in your face, they are all woven into the storyline and the characters' personalities and are just so cleverly Incorporated and important. Because your become so involved with their lives, this becomes a quick read. Although this is a young adult book, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it as a 30 something and I think no matter what your age or reading genre preference, you would be able to take something from this book, enjoy the read and fall in love with these characters just as much as I did!
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