Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe: A Book Review


Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books

Published on: February 2012

Genre: Coming-of-age, Contemporary, Young-adult


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.



Before I talk about WHY, let me tell you WHAT the book is all about. Here we have two male protagonists. Aristotle, is this angry teenager who seems to enjoy solitude contrary to what other thinks about him– a sad, lonesome little fellow. But Ari does not care about what other thinks. Then, we have Dante, one of the most beautiful person I’ve ever met (in the fictional world), who sees the world differently and who is so sure of himself. So they met at the swimming pool and thus begun their lifelong friendship.

Now, lets talk about why i love this book. Basically everything about it is just sooo beautiful that this book seemed like it grasp my heart, encased it in its beautiful cover, touched the deepest part of my soul, grabs hold and wont let it go. Can you see what I’m talking about? HAHA

Lets get into detail, this is a coming of age YA novel that deals with friendship, familial love, homosexuality and discovering ourselves. Now this book does not have that kind of heavy theme or plot that revolves around the characters but instead it has this feeling of reality. Of those small important events that actually happens to us too and makes life what it is. So basically it is RELATABLE!

The familial love that surrounds the two main characters exudes to you from the insides of the paperback. They are the most supportive parents in a YA novel and i love them so so much! Now with Ari and Dante, the special friendship they discovered was something that is so life-changing. Both of these characters are insightful and makes you have that moment of silence when you slowly puts down the book, takes a pause, stares into the abyss, be mesmerized by the beauty of the words and allow it to change your perception of things. I love the character development that Ari goes through. He is the youngest of the family, with a huge age gap with her sisters and who has a brother in prison. He struggles about finding out more on why his brother got into prison and why his parents act like his brother is dead. And his dad, a war veteran, who became distant after the war. He was this angry teenager, who cant figure it out most of the time, then he met another lonesome boy named Dante and they spend most of the time together. Dante, oh my i love him! He is this kind of guy you’d like to spend time with and he’ll make you feel like everything is alright when it obviously isn’t. Dante’s friendship with Ari develops into a deeper thing– HE IS IN LOVE WITH ARI! ha! ❤ ❤ and so romance develops. With the ending, it was again beautiful. But at some point, to me it was like clumped up together. I feel like at some point it was shoved directly into Ari’s face. Maybe I just needed Ari to slowly understand what he really felt and not like its being spoon-fed to him. But overall, it beautifully ended. And honestly, I have to say this and it rarely happens to me in a book, it made me cry and feel soo good at the same time.

Honestly this book is simple, yet as cliche as it may sound, the simplicity of this book makes it beautiful. It is slow-paced that showed those small details and made me appreciate it even more. This book is something that makes you understand people. Makes you think things through and in a way enables you to discover yourself. And I totally agree with this one quote of the book “We all fight our own private wars.” 

P.S. This is probably one of the first book reviews I did on my blog. I wanted to share it again to all of you my lovely readers because I sincerely believe that this book will manage to change your perspective in some important things. 😉

Have a wonderful day ahead, wherever you are! God bless!

4 thoughts on “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe: A Book Review

  1. Pingback: Single and Proud! | aBookishOwl

  2. I just recently added this to my TBR list because I had heard so many good things about it, but I was still a bit skeptical about it. Your review made me much more excited for it! Can’t wait to get my hands on this one.
    Lovely review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had those moments of insight so rarely when reading, when you need to put down the book just to think about how much you love it! I love those glorious moments- it’s incredible when you find something like that!


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