Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe of Saenz, Benjamin Alire on 21 February 2012 - Benjamin Alire Saenz

Summary: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is about a boy named Ari (short for Aristotle) who meets a boy named Dante and they become best friends over a summer. They both go through a lot together and also are trying to figure out who they are and the many mysteries of life. If you like coming of ages stories like I do, books that make you feel, and have liked books along the lines of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - you should definitely read this. But I recommend this book to everyone!!


“I wondered what that was like, to hold someone’s hand. I bet you could sometimes find all of the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.”


Review: Holy SHIT - this book is amazing and one of the best and most beautiful books I have ever read! This book brought me to tears (many times) but when I finished it, I just needed a moment to take in what I just read and I was just sitting there crying. It's amazing when a book and characters can make you emotional like that! I'm not sure I can articulate into words how this books made me feel... but I'm going to try. (I also don't want to say too much) I loved the two main characters - Ari and Dante. Ari, the main protagonist - I loved reading from his perspective and his view on life and the things he was going through. I loved seeing him try to figure out who he was and I was just so proud of him. And Dante, the boy who wasn't afraid of being who he was. Their friendship was beautiful and I loved their conversations. Their parents were amazing too, all of them.  -- I don't want to say anymore than that (I mean I do, but you need to read this book for yourself and experience the beauty of it) I'll just leave it as this -> this book will make you feel in so many ways - it will make you cry, laugh, angry, happy, proud, ,- all of the emotions! Everything about this book is beautiful, the writing, the characters, the things they go through, the message of the story, - everything! Even the cover is gorgeous! Definitely one of my new favorite books and I just can't stop rereading the last chapter!! This book deserves all the stars!! (and awards it's gotten!)




Spoilery Thoughts and Discussion


For those who have read it, I had to share some of my thoughts. This includes major spoilers, so do not click on this unless you have read this amazing book!


Lets get the major thing out of the way. I knew this was an LGBT book and I figured it was the main two characters that were going to fall in love. As I started reading it, I wasn't exactly sure how this was going to come about. Ari and Dante had this amazing friendship and I felt like Ari was gay because of certain things he'd say. How Dante was beautiful and the dreams he was having. But then it came out that Dante was gay in a letter and after that I wasn't so sure about Ari. And when they kissed for their experiment (which that was so cute) and Ari said it didn't work for him. And then he didn't seem to talk about it and it just seemed at this point that he wasn't gay and was just being a really good friend to Dante. And then it just made me so sad how much Dante loved Ari and I thought Ari wouldn't return that love and it was just breaking my heart. But when Ari's parents confronted Ari that they knew he was gay even though he didn't know it yet and that they knew he loved Dante... OMG. I was so happy for Dante, for Ari, and his parents, and Dante's parents. It was a beautiful moment. And then the last chapter - AGH. it was so beautiful!! I was sooooo happy for both of them it just was so beautiful it left me in tears!!! I just can't stop rereading that chapter! And then just thinking back on their friendship and everything and how Ari was feeling - how he wouldn't write to Dante, how he knew something was different, how he saved and defended Dante... I can't contain my emotions right now! So beautiful! This book definitely scared me at times, I had a feeling it was going to be one of those books that would make me feel so much and I was nervous it was going to be really sad. But of course there were sad parts. In the beginning, when a car was coming at Dante I was l so nervous!! I was NOOOOO, and then Ari saved him and was in the hospital and they weren't telling him about Dante. I was scared but thank goodness he was okay... and then when Ari got sick with the flu and it wouldn't go away - I was nervous. And then that scene when Ari came back from his Aunts funeral and Dante's parents said he was at the hospital - god I was nervous then too. And then I got so angry and sad when it was because he got beat up by 4 guys because he was kissing another guy. I was just so pissed and it made me cry. And I loved that Ari beat up the one guy and was mad and confronted Daniel (the boy Dante was kissing) And then I was just so nervous that Ari wouldn't love Dante back... I'm just so happy for them!!! So beautiful! And man both of their parents were amazing! I loved how accepting Dante's parents were and how loving they were. I loved Ari and his mothers friendship as well and how they'd talk to each other. His dad was a mystery at first, but Ari was changing them and how his dad was beginning to open up to Ari and when he did - it was amazing and beautiful! And how they confronted Ari and accepted him - I can't. It was amazing! I loved everyone's growth in this novel. I am sad about Ari's brother Bernardo how he killed two people but how his mother shared that with Ari and started talking about him again. Beautiful. This story will stay with me forever! There's nothing I didn't like about this book, how it all played out, the writing, the character growth - all amazing and inspiring! This book definitely means a lot to me and is just leaves you with an important message about being the person you are and holding onto the ones you love! BEAUTIFUL. I just can't say anymore...

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Have you read this? What did you think of it?