Sunday, January 24, 2016

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

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
By: Benjamin Alire Sáenz (@benjaminaliresa)
Published By: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on February 21, 2012
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 359
Goodreads // Book Depository
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.

Words were different when they lived inside of you.”
Maybe I was a bit too late to this bandwagon, of course, this book was published over almost 4 years ago, and maybe the hype was too much. Nevertheless, this book was enjoyable, especially the characters. 

The characters were where this book shone, of course. Aristotle and Dante are just two teens, and I really love how their dialogue together actually showed how stupid and confusing this world was. I honestly just felt so bad for Ari. He didn't have his shit together, and he was confuzzled on the prospect of his life, while Dante was all cheery, looking at the world in ways that Ari never imagined. My favorite scenes between them were the swimming scenes. <3

My problem was the pacing. It felt slow, and while others liked it, I didn't find it very amusing. I got bored a few times, and the fact that Sáenz set it over a course of 2 year just made me squirm in my chair. I don't particularly like long periods of time change (unless it's a prologue or an epilogue, of course). 

THE PARENTS. Oh my god. I'm so freaking sick and tired of authors purposefully killing off parents to make the reader focus on the main character, and I'm beyond delighted that Sáenz didn't kill of Dante's or Ari's parents. I especially loved Dante's parents. They just seemed so real and lovable, and while Ari's parents were a bit more guarded, I loved how they changed their ways in the end. Both sets of parents truly cared about both of them, and it just warmed my heart. Good times. 

Let's discuss! What did you think about Aristotle and Dante?

Final Rating: 


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