I was gifted an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Wow. Just wow. A sequel has no right being this incredible.
I think it’s going to be difficult to write this review without comparing it to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, but I think I need to you so can understand what I’m trying to say without spoilers or anything that isn’t already in the book description.
Similar to the first novel, the chapters are short and full of crisp lyrical prose and perfect dialogue. It’s another quiet story, but noticeably less gentle. It’s still emotional and painful and beautiful. While the first book was about two boys meeting at a swimming pool and slowly falling in love, this one is about those same two boys discovering what it means to stay in love and forge a path for themselves in a world that doesn’t understand them or accept their existence. It also focuses on Ari falling in love with his life and creating something that is truthfully and joyfully his own, as well as building relationships outside of Dante. Ari is still beautiful and angry and sweet, but there’s something extra about him this time around. There’s a few references from other characters about him becoming a man and I think that’s right.
The most important thing I can say about this book is this: the only flaw is that this isn’t the first book. And that’s not a bad thing. I’m still trying to master the right words for this analogy, but Discover the Secrets of the Universe felt like reading a book for the first time with all the magic and the sparks and the whimsy. But Dive into the Waters of the World felt like a second read: the same amount of love and joy, but this time it’s full of comfort. This book is the perfect sequel because it captures the same feelings as the first, just that it’s familiar this time around.
I won’t give away or even hint at the ending events (meaning the last 5-10% of the ebook) this far away from the publication date, but I can’t stop thinking about them. There’s a little reference of what I have been led to believe was the original title of the book (There Will Be Other Summers?) that was emotionally painful for me to read and I am obsessed with it. All I can say is that the ending will definitely leave the reader wanting more and I was sniffling into the ebook.
I will leave you with this quote (that might not be in the final version) which says nothing about the plot but means everything to me:
One day you’re going to fill these pages with words that come from you. I have a feeling that you will have a long relationship with words. Who knows? They might even save you.
Full/detailed review to come here / on my blog / on YouTube closer to publication date. There is so much more that I need to put into words.
Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 stars)