Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
By 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.
This was an amazing novel. Extremely well written while still being relatable, the novel isn’t about a specific plot line. There are no actions sequences or actual storylines. Essentially you are following the relationship of the two characters Aristotle and Dante. It is about their evolution as people, as individuals and coming to terms with their sexuality. It was really interesting. Even though the book is not long the dialogue is hilarious and alluring. Every word is insightful, funny or quotable.
The author skips over almost all of the tedious retelling of the time spent in high school classrooms. Instead focusing on the time spent between Dante and Aristotle. Luckily that means that there is almost no part in the book where you are not intrigued by the characters.
The best part about this novel is that everything is so simple. No outrageous plot twists or crazy malicious characters. The simplicity of the plot coupled with the incredibly real protagonist give us a look at the woes of a teenage boy in the midst of a confusing period in his life.