Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster for Young Readers
Page Count: 359
Publication Date: 2012
Category/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Romance, LGBT, Fiction
Good Reads Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.34)
My Rating: ★★★★☆(4.0)
A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
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
The prompt for my 2020 Reading Challenge was to read a book written about or by someone in the LGBT community.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a coming of age book about two Mexican-American teens trying to find their way in the world.
“I had a feeling there was something wrong with me. I guess I was a mystery even to myself.”
The story is written from Ari’s perspective, from the first time he met Dante at his local swimming pool and follows the two as their friendship takes form and grows over the course of several years.
What seems like a simple story about friendship is much more than that, centering around not just friendship, but family, trust, loyalty, and being honest to ourselves and who we truly are.
“Maybe we just lived between hurting and healing.”
Sáenz crafted a quiet and gentle story that pulls the reader into the narrative and course of two teens lives in a breathtaking way. There are profound themes woven in and the characters are relatable as they wear their confusion, longing, passions on their sleeves.
This was a great read about coming of age, figuring yourself out and coming to terms with your place within the universe.