What I did want to do was reread the book in order to rethink my perspective on this narrative. There are books I think about reading all of the time. Some I consider teaching every time I design a course. Some I think about just because memory of reading the book is so powerful. Many people consider one of the marks of great literature is it stands up over multiple readings. I think it is also a sign of great YA literature as well. I love the books that keep resurfacing in my mind. I find I have created a list of books to revisit by putting them together on a shelf. Of course, as a YA scholar I am reading new stuff all of the time, but some books just stay in the back of my mind begging to be revisited. I still have favorites from my childhood, Berries Goodman, The Secret Garden, A Wrinkle in Time, and Henry Huggins Jump to mind. These books and many others shaped my life as a reader. I hope we don't criticize kids who we find rereading their favorite books over and over again. Nobody was ever hurt by multiple readings of Harriet the Spy or To Kill a Mockingbird. In fact, they probably gained a great deal.
YA is a bit different than the classics. Those of us that study the field understand that in many ways the field is still trying to claim its legitimate place in the academy. As a preservice teacher I read some of the early books in the history of YA--The Outsiders and The Contender, but I spent too much time focusing on the classics. Not that the classics don't have their place and that some students didn't love them; they did. The problem is that I missed the chance to usher in quite a few more kids into the reading habit. I needed a big dose of influence from the book pusher, Susan James 30 years ago. For the past 15 years, I have been immersed in YA fiction.
I have been think about rereading as a point of academic research since I was in graduate school. That is a post for another time, but I would be remiss if I didn't point out a few texts that discuss this if you are interested. The three I selected are: first, Matei Calinescu's Reading is the most academic; second, Particia Meyer Spack's reflects on her own reading history in On Reading; Last, Anne Fadiman has a edited volume, Readings, in which 17 academics revisit a favorite text.
In my mind there is nothing not to love about Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. It reminded me of the importance and power of my adolescent friendships. Regardless of your sexual orientation I think the book will motivate you to reach out to old friends.