by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Ari lives with his parents. They won’t talk about his older brother who is in prison anhis Dad won’t talk about his time in Vietnam. Ari would like to know more but knows not to ask. He has a lot of questions that have built up over time. This makes him angry.
One summer day he goes to the town pool. He can’t swim. A boy he’s never met before, Dante, teaches him how to swim. They become friends. He goes to Dante’s house and finds that Dante and his parents love to talk, they talk about everything. Dante tells Ari that he wants to kiss boys, not girls. This doesn’t bother Ari as long as Dante doesn’t try to kiss him.
Ari gets on well enough at school but keeps the other kids at an arms length. He gets a job at a burger place.
Dante’s Dad gets a job teaching at a Uni far away for eight months. Dante writes lots of letters, Ari sends two. Dante gets back in the summer and their friendship continues.
Dante gets a job and a boy friend. Dante and Ari’s dads become friends. Events lead to a few dramas and the boys friendship is tested.
I loved this book. Well formed characters with real and interesting life dramas. Great story for 14+ boys.