My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I may be a little stingy with the stars for this story, and that could be because I did some long-distance walking myself once, and found myself questioning one or two details of Harold’s walk. But that’s really a side issue. It’s a nice story, some of the descriptive passages about the English countryside were very good and my favorite part was actually the last section about Queenie. But overall, I don’t know, I found something a little contrived about it.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a fine piece of writing, the story of two fifteen-year-old boys over two years of their lives. Introvert Ari, the narrator, and extrovert Dante meet at the swimming pool one El Paso summer and become friends. Ari battles not being able to talk to his dad and resentment that no one will talk to him about his older brother, serving time. Dante seems to have no problems.
The friendship strengthens and survives separation as Dante moves north with his family for a year.
The families are strong in this book and I liked both of them. The boys are loved and supported and Ari’s first-person point of view is completely plausible. This is another in the growing list of Young Adult novels that can be read and enjoyed by anyone.