Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz
Published: February 21, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Hardback-borrowed from library
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.
I’ve heard some good reviews about this book when it first came out but I wasn’t quite interested in it. Contemporary fiction isn’t really my thing but I figured I could branch out a bit. I’m so proud to have finished at least one book during the read-a-thon!!! 🙂 FYI: It is a story about a gay relationship so if you are not interested in that I don’t suggest reading it.
The story follows Aristotle’s (nickname, Ari) POV and his relationship with the people around him-though he doesn’t have any friends. That is until he meets Dante and his life goes spiraling out of control. Ari doesn’t know what to make of his new found friend who is talkative and says what he means. Dante rescues birds and is crazy in love with his parents. While Ari likes to be alone and keeps his feelings inside. He loves his mom but doesn’t understand his parents very well. He also has an older brother who is in jail but everyone pretends that he is dead. There is really no “plot” per say it’s basically a coming of age story for Ari. He goes through puberty and his locked up feelings and not being able to ask for help when he needs it. It’s a beautiful story and I’m so glad I picked it up.
The only issue I had was that it took me awhile to get into it. It’s a little slow considering that I love fast paced fantasy novels where there is action in the first chapter. This one is slow going but it works for the story. You can’t rush this kind of coming of age story and the writing style is unique. Some chapters are a couple of pages while some are just 3 sentences. It allows you to really fall in love with the character and sympathize with him. I totally understood Ari, I was sometimes sad and angry going through high school and didn’t understand any of it. (of course now I am happy and not so angry anymore).
I highly recommend this book to people who like unique coming of age story’s.