Review: Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

“I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.”

This book is just so, so beautiful. I’m really glad Benjamin Alire Sáenz decided to continue with writing this book and didn’t give up on it, because it’s amazing!

It follows two boys, Aristotle and Dante. Aristotle is an angry teen and has to fight a war within himself. Dante is a stubborn know-it-all with an unusual way of looking at the world. Although the two of them are very different, on the day they first met, a new friendship is born. And it’s because of that friendship that they find out the truths about themselves and who they really want to be.

The book hasn’t really got a plot. It’s just a part from the lives of Aristotle and Dante. From when Aristotle was fifteen, to just before his seventeenth birthday. You read about the things they go through and the events that happened in this part of their lives. It’s been told from the perspective of Aristotle and it’s done so realistic. The writing style is very lyrical and really beautiful. I liked that a lot.

“I got to thinking that poems were like people. Some people you got right off the bat. Some people you just didn’t get–and never would get.”

Although it’s not really fast-paced, I didn’t get the feeling it was a slow book. The opposite actually. I read it in one sitting. Normally that doesn’t happen to me with slow-paced books.

I loved the main characters so much. Especially when they were together.
Their friendship is really wonderful. Even though they encounter some
aristotleanddante2struggles, they always come back to each other. Aristotle is struggling all the time and I just really empathized with him, even though he does things the wrong way sometimes. You know how he is and get to understand why he is doing the things he does and you can’t really blame him for anything. Dante is a very good person and interesting person, I loved everything about him.  When I finished the book I actually thought, how am I going to do without those beautiful characters?

The side characters, the parents of Aristotle and Dante, were all different from each other and all fighting their own wars. All of them wonderful as well, just like the relationship they were sharing with each other and Aristotle and Dante.

“The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.”

Most of the time this book is very sad and there’s a lot of drama, but somehow it still made me feel good. It’s just such a lovely story and the ending is more than perfect. I’ve got myself a new favourite.

RATING: ★★★★★

Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe / Benjamin Alire Sáenz / Simon & Schuster / 2012 / 368 pages / ISBN 9781442408920

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