Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Awaiting the sequel, which is supposed to come out sometime in 2021 (FINALLY), I realized I never reviewed this book. It’s one of my favorite books ever and I think about it often. I can’t wait for Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World. So, without further to do, let’s get into a post that will probably be less of a review than a lot of fangirling.

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I am so grateful I picked up this book because the gods know I didn’t want to. It just didn’t seem interesting to me from teh summary, and then I practically drank it, I read it way too fast. It is one of those books you wish you could forget just to enjoy it all over again.

You have reached the end of the spoiler-free part. There will be minor spoilers from now on, so continue at your own discretion. Conclusion: this book is magic. If you haven’t read it, go do it now. If you have, read it again.

“Ant it seemed to me that Dante’s face was a map of the world. A world without any darkness.

Wow, a world without darkness. How beautiful was that?”

I don’t even know how to explain the plot. I read some plots before reading it, and it just didn’t make it appealing to me. So, I think the best you can do is just enter this book with an empty brain and an open mind and see what happens. Because you know, the title tells you everything you need to know.

I think this is one of the books with the most in depth characters I’ve ever read. Aristotle discovering himself was just amazing. We see him changing so much throughout the book, alongside the people around him. Since the beginning it was clear how in love he was with Dante, maybe even more than Dante loved him, but he was too scared to admit it to himself. It was so clear everyone around him could tell. I loved how every supporting character helped Ari realize certain things about himself without spelling them out (or rather, making the reader realize certain things, because Ari remains oblivious until the end).

What made it so obvious you ask? I think it was the fact that we never ger a real reaction from Ari regarding Dante. Not when he saved him from the accident or when they kiss. Not even when Dante tells Ari he loves him. Any other person would’ve analyzed the information in their heads and arrive to some sort of conclusion: either you feel the same, or you don’t. My guess is Ari didn’t do it because he was in denial. Ari is very deep. Dante is so cute and lovable, even if we didn’t see much of him really. Both sets of parents were a fresh addition. At first I thought they would be the cliche “strict” parents, but I was proven wrong.

The writing is simple and concise. The book is written in first person, told by Ari, so it’s only natural that the voice of a teenager will be simple. It’s nice and it makes it relatable.

Philosophical, sweet, tender, sad, romantic, this book is everything. I simply loved it so much. Dante and Ari’s relationship was so beautiful and pure, I loved it. I know I used the word love a lot, but I just did!

Go read it guys. And if you have, let me know your thoughts!

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