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Friday, August 5

Book Talk | Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe

Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe 
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz 
Page Count: 359 
Genre: YA, Contemporary 
Goodreads Rating: 4.34 
My Rating: 4.5 
Book Cover Rating: 4.5 
Would recommend to: Gay fluff lovers 
Bad Book Review: I need an inhaler every time I say this title
Review type: First part spoiler free second part spoilers.
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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.

Spoiler free thoughts
Like I already said in the intro of this review, this book was absolutely beautiful, or at least I thought it was. In this novel you follow 15 (to 17) year old protagonist Aristotle, or Ari, as he likes to call himself. To me Ari was such a relatable character and it was very nice to see a teenage boy struggle with issues such as insecurity and sadness. In YA books, it's far too often that guy are always tough and don't really show much emotion, but Ari did and that was nice. I'll be going into that more in my spoilery part of the review.

Dante is the other character in this book, though you do not read from his point of view, which was a shame to me because I would have loved to read about his thoughts and follow him on his journey throughout this novel.  I feel like I didn't get to know him enough, though he is just as interesting as Ari. Dante likes art and poety and has a very interesting view on the world, a view that I really liked reading about. 

The journey these two boys go through is beautiful and heartbreaking, at some points in this novel, I actually felt like crying because it was so sad to me. It sad in a heartbreaking way, but I don't know, sometimes this novel just made me sad, I think I'm a lot like Ari in that way. 

I would also like to say that the way this book is written is very beautiful. I don't usually like books written from a first person point of view, but it didn't bother me at all in this book. Benjamin Alire Saenz really has a way with words and knew exactly how to trigger certain emotions.

That's about everything I can say without spoiling you, you should really read this book and come back to my review later so we can talk about it. If you haven't read this novel yet, I recommend you stop reading now because I don't want to ruin it for you.


I'd like to talk about Ari's character a bit more. I don't think I've ever read about a character I could relate more to. Aristotle is a very sad boy, doesn't have any friends until he meets Dante, doesn't like to show emotion or talk about his feelings and has quite some issues.
Ari feels very lost in the world and doesn't really know who he is or what he wants to do. I often feel the same way and this is why I liked him so much as a character. Sometimes Ari had bad breakdowns and they made me so incredibly sad. You don't often see boys break down and cry, because most of them don't show that much emotion, so when Ari did break down, you knew he was really hurt. 
I also liked that throughout the entire book, he doesn't really realise that he is in love with Dante and that most of the things he did, like jump in front of that car to save him, or beat up the guy that beat up Dante, was out of unknown love for him. 

I have to say that I was a little bit disappointed by the romance in this novel. I love the journey Ari and Dante went through, but I was hoping for them to get together before the book ended. I honestly would have liked some more kissing scenes and maybe like a date or something, but there's another book coming, so hopefully I'll get more in that one. Despite the lack of romance I was hoping for, I still really liked the connection between Ari and Dante. I loved to see Dante struggle with being into boys and being a disappointment to his parents and I loved to see Ari not realise his feeling for Dante until everybody told him it was very obvious. 

The parents
Even though I don't agree with certain choices of Ari's and Dante's parent's, I still really loved them. Ari's brother is in prison and his parents do not talk about him and kind of just pretend he is dead, I think this was a very bad decision, because that way Ari will only get more questions, but then again, I understand that they were deeply hunt, they just didn't really handle it the right way. 
I also like that Ari's dad struggled a lot with the war in Vietnam and just keeps all his pain and feelings boiled up inside of him. This showed that Ari is a lot like his dad and eventually this lead to them understanding each other better. It was nice to see all of them getting along and understanding each other in the end.

So that's kinda all I wanted to talk about for the spoilery part. I'm sorry my reviews are always so long (even though this is a short one to me), I just usually have a lot of feelings about the books I read. Don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments so we can talk about the book together. And if the comments is annoying for you, you can always message me personally on tumblr:

Favorite Quotes

“Another secret of the universe: Sometimes pain was like a storm that came out of nowhere. The clearest summer could end in a downpour. Could end in lightning and thunder.” 


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


“Sometimes, you do things and you do them not because you're thinking but because you're feeling. Because you're feeling too much. And you can't always control the things you do when you're feeling too much.”


“Scars. A sign that you had been hurt. A sign that you had healed.”   


1 comment:

  1. I honestly loved this book. I cried and laughed so much the first time I read it. Its one of the most beautifully written novels written where the characters are very much alive and i am very glad that you enjoyed it.