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

Written in a beautiful yet simple and clean way, Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a thought provoking story that will touch your heart with its message about acceptance.

aridanteAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published: 21st February, 2012
Series: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe #1
Rating: 5

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.

Growing up is never easy. It’s even less easy, when you are different. When you are a person who doesn’t fit into what society thinks of as normal. So let’s stop here for a second, because the whole idea of being normal is kind of mind boggling. Who is normal anyway? You can talk about what the average is, what is most common, because you have statistics for that, but normalness is not something you can quantify.

The story is set in 1987, which gives Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe a sweet and nostalgic feel, and at the same time emphasizes their inner struggle even more. I want to believe that nowadays people as a whole are more accepting of the uncommon and the out-of-average. But what do I know?

This is not an action packed book at all. While I flew through the pages very quickly, not much actually happened, but me and the boys went through a whole bunch of emotions. There was a lot of talking and the most important things happened in Ari’s head. Figuring out who we are is such an important part of our teenage years, and so many things can go really wrong. Both Ari and Dante had such wonderful parents though; loving and supportive, without being perfect. I’m telling you, serious parent goals right there.

Ari and Dante are quite the opposite of each other. While Dante is not afraid to be honest and share his feelings, Ari is beating around the bush and doesn’t even dare being truthful with himself.

This book just has so much going for it!TRIBAL_LINE_17

★ It’s fluffy and heart warming, while covering some serious topics like self acceptance, coming to terms with one’s identity, or the pressures of society.
★ Ari is a proper wiseass. He never failed to crack me up with his snarky comments.
★ Dante is one of the sweetest, kindest and most honest boy I’ve come across for a long time.
Interesting family dynamics. Just like Ari and Dante are opposites, the way their parents treat them showed a great contrast. Dantes’s parents are talkers, huggers, and believe in open discussions about everything. Ari’s parents are more reserved and prone to keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves, they never came across as anything but protective and lovely people.
No abusive or shitty parents. Dante’s dad is quite possibly the nicest man around town.
“I thought he was the kindest man in the world. Maybe everybody was kind. Maybe even my father. But Mr. Quintana was brave. He didn’t care if the whole world knew he was kind.”
Adorable dog
Witty humour
★ Lot of sharing of feelings




  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this book, Norrie! I really had a good time reading it, too and I loved the focus on characters and their emotions so, so much just as well 🙂 Lovely review! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve always wanted to read this! I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this book and it really sounds good! You’ve got a great review here and I’m even more excited to hunt down a copy of this! 🙂


  3. Well, that was a fab review, Norrie, so much so, I’ve ordered this one from my local bookshop. I really love these kinds of tales too, where, for a change, the parents aren’t horrible, and there’s no abuse or other nasty stuff going on. Can we please have more books like this one? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely review! I think today’s youth is much much more excepting then they were in 1987, ironically that is the year I graduated high school! I read this book many years ago and found it wonderful!No mind you I live in Southern California in a very liberal area so I could have a bit of a skewed take on it, but I find my kids and their friends extremely excepting of everything, nothing seems to phase them, it really makes me hopeful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, i agree, nowadays there are far more places where people are more accepting 🙂
      What you just said about your kids, it’s just so nice to hear! ❤


  5. Ahhh! I’ve wanted to read this book so badly for so long! I’m in such a nostalgic read mood, along with fluffy-yet-impactful contemporary mood … which seems to be l exactly this book’s description!!! I know that my library has it, so perhaps I’ll go ahead and check it out (and ignore my other ten library books that are weeping and gnashing their teeth at me 😉 ).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was indeed! That quote spoke to me a lot, because i always had trouble expressing myself. I made some improvements and sometimes i think books like this can give me a push as well 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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