Who To Choose?

Early in this section, we are introduced to Ileana as a girl who came up and signed Ari’s cast. Throughout the rest of the section we see Ari start to show signs of liking this girl. He tries to find her at school, thinks about her quite often (she even becomes part of his routine), begins to dream about her, and even ends up kissing her at a party. However, these dreams follow the pattern of most of Ari’s dreams, they’re not happy dreams. He has the same type of dream multiple times as well. He is driving his truck and turns to see Ileana in the street during the rain, he looks but is too late and ends up hitting Dante with his truck. There are two things this brings to mind: the accident as well as how having Ileana in the car and hitting Dante relate. He did not start having these dreams of hitting/hurting Dante until he started to become attracted to Ileana. To me, this shows that (for whatever reason) he is associating his attraction to Ileana with hurting Dante. He is subconsciously thinking that maybe him being with this girl would be a problem for his “friend.” This shows his underlying care and concern for Dante. It also shows that he has an inkling that Dante may like him as well as him possibly feeling an attraction, beyond friendship, to Dante because he is feeling so bad.

Do you agree that these dreams are a foreshadowing of something we already expect?

Is it fair for Ileana to have done what she did to Ari? Do you think he cared about her as much as he does for Dante?

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One thought on “Who To Choose?

  1. This is exactly one of the things that bothered me the most about this book. Because the story is centered around a young man, his growing up and finding his place in the world, including his sexuality, a romantic conflict may or may not be expected. Sometimes it is done to contrast the two secondary characters and make their differences stand out in order to make a point, or more commonly to display the main character’s self doubts in that regard, forcing them to make some sort of resolution or find acceptance with themselves. But for Ileana? It doesn’t seem that anybody really knows. She shows up seemingly out of nowhere and within a chapter or two (so, about 4 pages in this book it seems), Dante falls in love with her. This, of course, demonstrates his doubts (or at least apprehensions) about feeling romantic love for Dante. However this is only done to a certain extent. Ileana is never really given a detailed face or history, nor do we find out her motivations or any hint as to her thoughts or goals. She is disposed of off-screen, basically, and we FINALLY get some sort of backstory about her gang affiliations and whatnot when Ari learns what happened to her. But after that? She’s never really brought up again in any meaningful capacity. One kiss with this mysterious girl and everything pretty much goes back to normal after she is gone. She doesn’t seem to have any real lasting impact on the characters or the story overall. While i enjoyed the book in general, the author’s vagueness here annoys me as a reader.

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