Thursday, 31 July 2014

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

Book: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages: 359 Pages

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased at Chapters

Where to Buy: Indigo ChaptersThe Book DepositoryAmazon CA

Goodreads Summary

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.

My Review

I have no idea how to put my thoughts on this book onto paper. Or internet. You know what I mean. This book was not just a book; it was an experience from start to finish. One filled with love and hope, friendship and acceptance. I had no idea how hard this book had hit me till I finished it, and just erupted into tears. This is such an important book, and I have no idea how people can walk around without having read this and experienced Aristotle and Dante's story. 

The story is around the friendship that Aristotle and Dante develop one summer. They are just boys living in Texas with nothing binding them but a desire to know each other better. While they seemingly have nothing in common, the boys create a strong bond of loyalty and trust. Their friendship and dedication to each other had me longing for my own Dante. Someone who would discover the secrets of the universe with me.

Aristotle has taken up permanent residence in my heart. His journey was one that struck me so much. As a reader you watch him grow, develop into a young man, and go through the struggles that every teenager goes through. But his is so much more poignant. I saw Ari grow from page one, so slowly and subtly that I didn't notice it at first. Watching him go through the stages of self hatred and self destruction brought such a sense of realism to the page that I felt like I knew exactly what he was going through.

The relationships in this book are so incredible. The relationships each boy has with their respective parents and the relationships they have with the one another's parents. They are such great role models and such great characters in general. But the relationship that struck me the hardest was between Ari and Dante. Ari and Dante taught each other what family meant. They taught each other what it meant to love wholeheartedly and unconditionally.  Their relationship is undefinable, filled with emotion and passion that one cannot simply call it friendship.

Please, pick this up. It is such an important book. 5/5 stars. Obviously.


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