Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1)

Benjamin Alire Sáenz
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.


Reviewed: 2021-12-08
Read (listened to) two times in a row because it's that great. I just couldn't let it go.
If I could give this book 15 stars, I would.
I loved it so much I have no words. I was listening to it and thinking all the way through: I love it, I love it, I love it.
My only complaint is the ending. Because a kiss is not the end, it's the beginning. I need to know more, I need to see more of Ari and Dante, I need to see them together and happy. Is there a sappy sequel in the works? I surely hope so.
Reviewed: 2020-06-24

I really liked it! Glad I finally got to read it. Teared up a few times at these Very Good Parents. I relate to Aristotle very hard. His brand of frustration and emo is very much my brand. Did I say how good the parents were yet? Because they were THE BEST?? Lower score just because it flowed almost too easily, and then some things, like the brother, I think were too rushed.

Reviewed: 2020-06-22

Originally written in January 2015

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a wonderful, entertaining story about two boys discovering friendship, love and themselves.

The story is told from Aris view, but it still tells us a lot about Dante. We get to know both boys and their unique traits, which they definitely posses. The characters are special in their own way, but still feel familiar which is a good thing in this case. It makes it easy to relate to them. I found myself in both, Dante and Ari, because both had traits I could relate to. Their struggle with their own selves are beautifully described and remain the main focus throughout the whole story which I felt not only comfortable with but I also thought it was important. Neither Ari nor Dante had weird character changes which you can find in some movies or books. They would have felt completely out of place and somewhat unrealistic.

In my opinion Saenz has a talent for keeping a story going. Even though barely anything happened I felt myself drawn to the story. It never gotten boring. I caught myself thinking that some things were a bit overdramatic, but I still enjoyed them what isn’t something I normally would do. This makes it an even better story. We don’t get too many unnecessary information which we simply forget again. Saenz only feeds some trivia to his readers which is a nice change and didn’t feel out of place at all.

Overall I can’t say anything bad about Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. The only thing that felt a bit off was the feeling that there were some typos, but maybe it was just me stumbling over words or something.

Reviewed: 2020-01-08
I am a emotional wreck after reading this book! I think I felt every emotion possible as I read it. I cried, laughed, got sad, was happy. So many emotions in only 359 pages. I wasn’t even sure I was going to like this book. The first 50 pages had me feeling a little meh, but as I read, I fell in love with the characters and the story. And the writing style, while I didn’t like it at first, was essential to the story. It showed how the characters were developing. Overall, amazing characters and character development. A great plot and a beautiful story. I’m very happy to make this my first 5 star read of the year. Highly recommend!!
Reviewed: 2019-02-26
My BOOK OF THE YEAR! Why? I'll tell you why.

Firstly, the introductory portion of the book put bright smiles on my face. GENUINE smiles.
Secondly, I got foggy glasses after a long time. It was this emotional.
Thirdly, I LOVED THEIR PARENTS! They were beyond normal. In an unbelievably positive way.
Fourthly, I was able to put myself perfectly into the MCs' minds. And the literary references were magnificent.
Lastly, even though I had a life and death entrance exam the very next day, I couldn't help but read it in one go. A fascinating read indeed.

I'm so glad to be able to read such a masterpiece this year. A work of art, truly.
Reviewed: 2019-01-14
UGHH THIS IS SO GOOD. I finished it in two days and it made me cry happy tears and want to fall in love.
Reviewed: 2018-03-22
I have never shipped so hard
Reviewed: 2018-01-06
I was warned that this book would make me ugly cry, but I thought "Sure, a young adult book is going to tear me open and jump on my heart.  Sure."

Dammit, I ugly cried.

This is a strange little love story about two teenage boys who seem to be so different that you have to wonder how they are even friends. And yet it's clear that from the beginning there's something between them, some understanding that goes far beyond ordinary friendship. Ari and Dante complete each other. The love they have for each other brings their families together, and helps Ari's family to heal from the blows life has dealt them.

Their love is magical.

I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and he made the characters glow with life. They were so real that as angry as I was with Ari much of the time, my heart broke for him too. As frustrated as I was with his parents, I understood their inability to confront their past. And as odd as I initially found Dante's parents, I  came to love them.  These characters are fully developed, and in spite of their flaws, they are loveable. 

I'm not a huge fan of YA literature, but this book made me wonder if I haven't been too stand-offish about it.  If this is the stuff kids read these days, then I'm in.  And I'm thrilled to know that the author is writing a sequel.
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