Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, LGBTQ, 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.
Source: School library
How I Found Out About It: Goodreads
Before I picked up this book, I had previously read an ARC of The Inexplicable Logic of my Life and absolutely devoured it. This book had been on my TBR much before I even picked the ARC up, but I have to say that reading Saenz’s newest release first raised this one up much higher. With that being said, let’s get down to business- I adored this one, too!
For a brief synopsis, Aristotle & Dante is about two teenage boys named, well, Aristotle and Dante. Ari has been quite upset with family and personal troubles, and Dante is very smart and optimistic. One day, Ari and Dante meet at the local swimming pool, and despite their being polar opposites, they realize that they were destined to be close friends. As the two get to know each other, they help each other navigate the secrets and ways of life.
One thing I can say about Benjamin Alire Saenz is that he is the literal PRO at creating decent characters who stick out and have many unique qualities to them. I loved both Ari and Dante a lot!
Ari was such a philosophical, wise guy, and his head was always full of thoughts- thoughts that most people would never even think to think about, haha! I also found him to be very strong whenever tragedy struck (which was often, by the way), and he never broke down or gave up on himself during these times.
Dante was quite the mysterious character, I must say. Not too much was known about him since he usually presented himself with letters during the book, not in dialogue. I don’t see mysterious characters too often in YA, and for me, it was quite refreshing for there to be one. I’m aching for there to be more!!
Now for the plot, there truthfully wasn’t too much of one, but the growth in the amazingly crafted characters absolutely made up for it. I personally believe that a story does not necessarily need to be full of twists and turns to be amazing, and Aristotle & Dante is a great example of that!
All in all, I can 100% see why so many readers have been raving over this story for the past 5 years, as it was magnificent! I don’t know if I have just become stricter at rating books or if this book was lacking a small something, but for now I will only be rating it 4 stars. These days, I just seem to think that a book does not deserve full stars unless it moves and shakes me. Anyway, if anyone is looking for a diverse, beautiful novel about friendship, family, finding yourself and your passions, then join Aristotle and Dante as they discover the secrets of the universe!😉