I have been hearing a lot about this book and read it yesterday all in a breath. It is one of those gems that happens from time to time. I would not quite say I was enthralled by it, but almost. Aristotle is a fifteen year old at the beginning of the story, and meets Dante at a public swimming pool and they start to talk. They both need friends and find each other. They are fierce and interesting in their different ways. Their meeting has a quality of recognition that is wonderfully rendered, and they are able to talk to each other in scenes that are pretty perfect, that capture their voices. Over and over we read that they laugh together. This is just lovely and is exactly what I need in a book these days. All through the book Ari makes it clear that he is straight while Dante comes to realize that he likes boys and in particular that he likes Ari. But they deal with it. There is pretty amazing drama in the book, a life-saving rescue and later an attack, that draw the boys and their families together. The fact that this is a young adult novel was never a hindrance. The reason that I don’t give it that last edge of praise is simply that the ending felt abrupt. Suddenly Ari realizes he loves Dante, after his parents sit him down and tell him he does. He has known most of this all along but finally yields to it. There’s nothing wrong with that except that it feels so easy and happens maybe too fast. And it feels slightly as if Ari has been hiding this from us the whole time, since this is a first person novel and he speaks his thoughts to us throughout the book. But that is more in the line of a quibble. It’s a very fine novel.