: 5 stars
I reread this gem last year and the feels are still incredibly strong. Long story short this is a coming of age story of teenager Aristotle (told entirely in his point of view) during the 1980s set in El Paso, Texas, and spans two years.
The summer was hot and humid, the rain was like a veil into different emotional dimension I kid you not. And the birds, well they were there crapping on people in a real way. Oh, just read the thing and you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s raining as I’m writing, and usually when it does I’m reminded of my summer boys.
And I’ll be straight with you, dear readers, this is a novel I cannot formulate a coherent sentences worthy of a decent review so I’m afraid you’ll have to settle for this mass of fangirl babble. Ari was at the awkward age where he’s coming to terms that his body is changing, he’s occupied with thoughts of his veteran father who’s in another world most of the time. Added to that he’s somewhat obsessed with an older brother who he barely remembers.
He meets the soft spoken and bookish Dante (one of the cinnamon-iest cinnamon roll I’ve read so far) one day at the pool. A loner by choice, Ari begins to find his company an education.
The friendship that grows between these two … it’s simple yet it’s not. For better or for worse they change each other. Simply by being there they challenged themselves with facing the hard questions, the kind of questions that makes them realize just how vast and painfully tangible the universe possibly is.
What I loved
- Sáenz didn’t mince words, let me tell you. When I first read it I was confused and uncomfortable but then I got it. This was Ari’s voice: raw, undiluted and straightforward. Also the writing gets poetic, which I expect from a book with a guy named Aristotle in it. Not that he’s poetic. Hmm, well he does get poetic but he doesn’t think he is.
- Ari. I like him. A lot. Full of angsty pubescent emotions, foul mouthed (as much as a fifteen year old can be in YA), a natural born smart ass, and an actual decent human being. Cute too, did I mention?
- Dante, another smarty pants. He’s the yin to Ari’s yang. Gentle, fierce, kind and forever curious. If I recall correctly, he has identity issues with his Mexian ancestry, having not been immersed in it as much as Ari. He’s terribly brave when it comes down to it.
- The parents Continue reading
Here’s my offering for this week’s Picture it and Write! photo prompts hosted by Ermilia Blog. I must admit this was was a half hearted attempt but I would truly appreciate your thoughts. Cheers!
via Ermila Blog
Another day has caught up with me. The night giving way to the morning, but not without a struggle, for I sensed the rain before I heard it pelting on the cold zinc roof. The chaotic many-tiny-fisted pounding echoed with the way I’ve took a habit of feeling these days. What am I doing staying up, reading books that only feed imagination? At this point Percy Jackson is having a ball finding his path on his way of becoming a hero. In what way was that helpful? When see people my age getting jobs and slowly becoming adults, it prods an uneasy spot in me that gives way to hopeless panic.
I can follow up on the AL biology texts I’d thrown in a corner. But it’s not like I get into that field. I haven’t a clue in which way direction to stumble towards. The wind howled past me, sending the closed window to my right into a fit of nervous shuddering. I fancy it was trying to make up its mind too, hearing my mental distress and was attempting to choose a proper cardinal point.
If I was honest with myself I would admit that I knew exactly what I wanted but I find that my sense of duty a somewhat reluctant obstacle. I mean, it’s not like I could pack up and go exploring. I’m almost broke and living with my aunt and her husband to whom both I already owe a lot.
I should probably find a profession that involves traveling and learning. Archeology was shot down pretty gently and I’m quite embarrassed for myself for submitting to that conclusion they’d drawn up so confidently; my “Indiana Jones” phase. There’s this restlessness inside me that stirs at the glimpse of the churning sea, or at the uneven horizon of mist shrouded mountain tops, the drifting scent of fresh dew and the far cry of a high flying bird.
Aunt Em says that I am pining for my parents. That I want to somehow go out in the big yonder in search for a long gone trail. How do I explain to her that I gave up on them? Continue reading
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This morning I hadn’t much sleep, but unlike most this was with good reason. My grandma wasn’t feeling well and I got up to test her sugar and pressure a couple times. She took her pills. I worry about her. I followed her to the washroom least she falls and hit herself again. She insisted on going with my father to the city, ordering my mother and I not to tell him anything. I usually do tell him, but I suspect if I did today she’d end up getting mad at me and stressing her tired heart even more. I love my grandma dearly.
I’m always told that I’m her favourite, and I always smile because I could see that I was. For the most part of my eighteen years I slept by her side and as each year sprints away I wonder how much longer do we have with her. Well, her and my granda. I wouldn’t handle it well at all should something happen to them, and I hate to say this to sound biased, especially her. That woman is the most hard working person, next to my dad, who I had the honor to know, I would cry if I were to recount what the both of them have been through. My parents will be around for a while yet but I hope to God that I get to squeeze as much time with them.
I set my phone to wake her up a 2:30 AM. I got up again at five, opened my favourite window and cloud gazed. Mornings are for … I forgot this already, let me try … Mornings are for positive thoughts and good energy. Think about it; they aren’t there just to look pretty (if the weather feels fine), it has a purpose and if you look hard enough and far enough you’ll see it.