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White Like Milk, Red Like Blood

White Like Milk, Red Like Blood - Alessandro D'Avenia In the interest of full disclosure, I received an advance reader edition of this book from Open Road Integrated Media and Net Galley for the purpose of review.

This is Leo's story. It is a story of love, loss, connections, separations, death, grief, life, fear, friendship, learning, and growth. Leo brings the reader along during this pivotal point in his life.

Leo falls in love with Beatrice despite the fact that they have never spoken. He is an average teen who plays on the soccer team with his friend Niko and hangs out and studies with his friend Silvia. His class get a substitute at the beginning of the year who challenges Leo to think. Leo learns that Beatrice is sick with leukemia and decides to give her a letter. He is injured and the letter is never delivered. He does eventually spend time with Beatrice, who later dies after becoming his friend.

During this journey, Leo connects with the substitute "the Dreamer" and his father in a way that has not happened before. He runs into a few conflict with his friend Niko when his priorities chance and soccer is not longer what is most important to him. He thinks of Silvia as only a friend and can not see what is right in front of him until the end of the book.

This book started out difficult for me. It felt a bit choppy and I was not connecting with the characters. Then something clicked and the book flowed and I felt the pain and uncertainty in Leo's heart. I do recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good coming of age story.