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

What’s the Story – (From Goodreads)-

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.


Truth be told I haven’t read YA in a while. Now I am questioning what I have done these last few years. Why haven’t I been diving into YA romance like I once did? I definitely need to make room for some of these amazing books that I have been finding within the genre.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is definitely one of those books you make room for on your to read list.

One of the first things I noticed about Benjamin Alire Saenz’s writing voice is just the way he can make everything appear with every word he writes. The descriptions he writes makes it so that I can see everything in stereo. The rainy days and the desert nights in particular stand out to me. Every emotion felt by the characters, I felt too. Reading this book for me was a whole experience.

What I also found amazing with this book was that I connected with both Ari and Dante. I could see myself as a teen within them. Saenz did an amazing job of portraying what it was like discovering yourself and having depression while doing it. The way Saenz was able to portray depression was raw and real for me. There were times that I would tear up and shake my head with agreement. I would say out loud, “Yes that is what it feels like.”

Love comes to us in several ways. No one has the exact same love story or coming out story as another, and these two boys are not an exception to the rule. Their story is beautifully told through a mixture of angst and bittersweet moments. I found myself wanting to hug both boys quite often. They became as real to me as my own children or my nieces and nephew.

This book is special. The parents in this book are special. Coming out and finding your true self in this book is raw and real.

Read this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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