Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

This review is a part of my #NerdPrintz challenge.

Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Publication: February 21, 2012
Source: Library book

Goodreads Summary: 

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.

My Thoughts: 

This is a beautifully written book that explores so many deep issues.  I was transfixed by the language and found myself slowing down to really appreciate the lyrical quality of the writing.  I also found myself falling in love with all of the characters.  Dante and Ari are both amazing boys with amazing parents.  The love that is shared in these families is beautiful to see.  This book deals with complex issues and many of the characters are dealing with past traumas and moving through their suffering.    The backstories of the characters really made the characters dynamic and complicated people, which made the story that much more realistic.  This book is one that stayed with me long after I finished reading it.  These characters are living in my mind and will be in residence there for some time to come.  This book was absolutely deserving of all of the awards bestowed upon it.  

Here are two of my favorite passages from the novel:
"SUMMER WAS HERE AGAIN. SUMMER, SUMMER, SUMMER.  I loved and hated summers. Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me.  Summer was supposed to be about freedom and youth and no school and possibilities and adventure and exploration.  Summer was a book of hope.  That's why I loved and hated summers.  Because they made me want to believe."

"My dad picked me up and rocked me in the chair.  I felt small and weak and I wanted to hold him back but I couldn't because there wasn't any strength in my arms, and I wanted to ask him if he had held me like this when I was a boy because I didn't remember and why I didn't remember.  I started to think that maybe I was still dreaming, but my mother was changing the sheets on my bed so I knew that everything was real.  Except me."

This book is all about discovering your own identity and accepting yourself for who you are.  I highly recommend it to teens and adults.  

5 out of 5 stars

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