Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe {Read-A-Thon Book Review}


Published Date: February 12, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz
Pages: 359
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. – Summary from Goodreads

Aristotle and Dante are two 16 year-old-boys who meet by chance at a local swimming pool one summer. Ari {Aristotle} is a witty, unmotivated and pretty much uninterested kid. His mother is a teacher, his father suffers from PTSD {Vietnam}, his twin sisters are 12 years older than him and his brother, Bernardo, is in prison. Dante is a smart, funny boy whose mother and father are both educators and they have what seems to be the perfect little unit going on. He’s an only child and suffers from only-child-syndrome {I know nothing about that as I suffer from middle-child-syndrome}. The only thing Aristotle and Dante have in common really is that they’re both boys, they both have no friends and they both have no clue who they are or what they want out of life. This makes for an uncommon bond that will turn their lives upside down.

I loved everything about this book. First, how awesome is this cover!!! That’s why I bought it in the first place. I’m a sucker for good typography. Second, the chapters are short and the writing is fluid so this makes for a super quick read. Third, let me say that this was my first experience with an LGTB novel. I didn’t know what the book was about {I stay away from reviews prior to reading and I don’t usually read the blurb} but honestly, I wasn’t surprised once I figured out what was going on. This was a story about acceptance, loyalty, love and finding out who you are and being okay with it. There was one point in the book where my heart hurt and it made me think of every family/person who was victimized because of sexual preference. It made me sad. Saenz does an excellent job of handling this enormously heavy issue in a light-hearted way. He makes it relatable even to those who can’t relate directly….if that makes any sense at all! I mean, love is universal right?

Anyway, if you’re looking for a novel that will give you major feels, will open your eyes to the struggle of acceptance, make you realize the importance of trust and loyalty, then this is your book!b

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and The Book Depository.


4 thoughts on “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe {Read-A-Thon Book Review}

  1. I think the only reason I ever garnered any interest in this book was due to the LGBT element… The cover actually weirds me out a little – it’s that ugly red truck. *shudder*

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