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


“But love was always something heavy for me. Something I had to carry.”

A classic case of judging books by their covers, but come one, look at all of those awards.

So Aristotle is a lonely kind of kid, the youngest by far of four siblings, witha brother in prison and parents who refuse to talk to him about it, or much else really. Like all fifteen year olds, Ari is having quite the identity crisis, known to uncontrollable fits of aggression and can’t seem to find his place in the world or even his own family. The summer Ari is fifteen he decides to take a trip to the local swimming pool and while there makes an unlikely friendship with a boy named Dante. Dante is confident, self assured, unapologetically sensitive, and oh my God, they are the most adorable creatures possibly in all of literature.

I loved this novel so, so much. So often when people write about youth, they do so from the perspective of an adult perceiving a teenager, rather than to channel the teenager that they once were and put it into paper. But this novel has all of the the, complexity, confusion and heart that makes it believable as a story about growing up, so even though I may not have been able to relate to everything Ari experiences, but I remember what it’s like to feel how he felt. I can’t say too much about it without giving everything away, but it’s beautifully told and frankly, anybody who doesn’t enjoy it must be completely lacking a soul. I may have even cried a bit.



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