‘Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe’ is a young-adult novel by Benjamin Alire Sáenz from 2014.
The plot is about two teenagers, Aristotle (Ari) and Dante, struggling with their identity and sexuality. The author set the book in El Paso, Mexico, in the late 80s.
Sáenz has created complex and profound characters searching for their true selves. And as you follow their path, you question your own choices and behaviour as a teenager because a lot of it was relatable to me. This, in turn, meant that I needed some time to think after finishing the book. I maintain that this was also the author’s intention.
Ari’s feelings, especially his pent-up anger, were very understandable to me. I felt similar when I was his age. You question yourself and your future because you reach a point where suddenly everything differs from what you would have planned when you were younger.
On the other hand, there’s Dante, who is the opposite of Ari. He’s open-hearted and bubbles with kindness. Logically, when the two meet, two worlds collide.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a compelling coming-of-age story that pulls you in. Moreover, the author managed not to drag the chapters out unnecessarily. Thank you for that! I can recommend this novel to everyone.
My rating for ‘Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe’
I really enjoyed reading this book. Although it didn’t give me the same excitement as a 5-star book, I can totally recommend it.
About the author
Benjamin Alire Sáenz is an American poet and novelist. One of his best-known books is ‘Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe’, for which he won many awards.
In 2021, he published its sequel ‘Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World’.