Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQIA+
Date Read: 26/04/2015
Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.
But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is written in first person by Aristotle. Ari is a fifteen year old moody loner who at the beginning of his summer break decides to go swimming at the local pool. Though he really can’t swim, never learned how, so he only floats around on his back. But when he hears, “Want me to teach you how to swim?” He meets Dante and a friendship blossoms.
Aristotle and Dante are two very different characters. They basically are a contrast of each other and yet their friendship, their love is inspiring. It’s the kind of friendship everyone deserves. They are two highly relatable characters. They have their faults, plenty of them but they see the best in each other.
Chapters are short and to the point. Some in fact are only a few sentence long. It’s like reading Ari’s journal. Ari and Dante quickly became real people to me and I easily fell in love with them both. There is no complex plot with many moving parts. It’s just a simple story about two boys and how they discover themselves, the world and the part they play in it.
Although I predicted how the ending would go, it was still written out perfectly. I recommend this book to everyone that hasn’t picked it up yet.