Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
When I read it: February 2015
Genres: LGBTQ, Contemporary (sort of), YA, Romance (sort of)
Recommended for: Everyone!!!
Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.
But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.
This book has been everywhere online for a long time. It’s taken over tumblr, goodreads, twitter, youtube, etc., and for good reason. The writing is beautiful, the cast is diverse, and the story is well told. Ari & Dante are precious babies I want to wrap in a happy bubble, and I know I cried at least once while reading this. It was a little painful at times, but I was happy to suffer.There were large and complex issues and feelings in this book, but the language was simple and had a nice flow to it. Have I mentioned how beautiful it is?
I wish I’d had this book to read when I was a teenager. I related a lot to a few things, and back then, there weren’t a ton of easily found YA books. There really weren’t many that dealt with real issues.
Basically, I cried a lot and gained a couple of book-children when I read this, and now I try to make almost everyone else read it.