Book Review

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz | Book Review

“You can’t make anyone be an adult, especially an adult”

This story follows Aristotle Mendoza. Ari is often lost with thought, and filled with self-doubt and anger.

One day he meets Dante Quintana. Dante is articulate, self-assured and often happy and content.

They spend summers together and write back and forth. Learning about each other and, significantly, learning about themselves. Through all the hurdles they face they must continue to believe in one thing – their friendship.

My Thoughts

I won’t say much more than that however, I will say it is a Young Adult, coming of age LGBT story – and it is beautiful.

The writing is almost quite lyrical. I can imagine some may not enjoy that however, I thought it fit with the characters and the narrative perfectly.

In terms of the characters – I loved all of them. I loved the boys relationship with their parents. I loved their friendship. Each character felt real. They both had their own lives and own things they had to work through.

This book did feel quite slow at times however, you really got to know each character. It is definitely a character driven book rather than plot driven. In that way it almost reminded me of We Are Okay by Nina Lacour.

This book made me laugh – although not as often as the characters laugh.

It usually frustrates me when I read something and it says the characters laughed and laughed and couldn’t stop laughing while the reader is still trying to catch up and figure out what the joke was however, in this book it just worked. Aristotle and Dante seemed like they were in their own universe from the start.

This book made me well up at times, it also made me smile. 

I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book however, I’m glad I finally did.

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