Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a book filled with pure poetry.
When you read books like this you can tell that every word was chosen so delicately and is very important towards the story. I’m so sad I didn’t read Aristotle and Dante’s story sooner. This book was very easy to read, every word flowed and made this a very quick read for me.
“I wondered how that felt, to really like yourself. And I wondered why some people didn’t like themselves and others did. Maybe that’s just the way it is.”
I related SO much to Aristotle.
He’s very calm and doesn’t really like to be around other people. To people he seems lonely and devoid of friends, but this is actually the way he likes it. Then, by chance, he meets Dante. Dante sees the world differently, he expresses his emotions openly, he likes to be friendly and talk to lots of people and socialize. Aristotle and Dante end up spending the summer together becoming the best of friends and end up changing each other’s lives. Through this character-driven story, we see the development of boys coming of age. This is a book about family, friendship, grief and coming to terms with sexuality.
“I bet you could find all of the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.”
The plot is slightly slow, considering it is very character driven, do not read this if plot is something that is very crucial to you, but the words will grip you and take you in. There is some plot, but the character’s development and the relationships around them come first and foremost. Most noteworthy are the relationships with the parents of Aristotle and Dante. They were very prominent in this story. Caring and funny. They were not perfect, but they loved their children so much and they just wanted to protect them. They showed that there is no one way of parenting correctly.
The relationships involved in Aristotle and Dante’s lives were more important to me than any plot.
In addition, I wish we could have gotten Dante’s POV, only because we saw things through Aristotle’s eyes, and Aristotle always saw Dante as someone who was close to perfect, but it would have been nice to see what was actually going on in Dante’s head. Although, Dante was a very expressive and emotional character so it wasn’t too difficult to wonder what was going on with him.
“‘There are worse things in the world than a boy who likes to kiss other boys.'”
You WILL be left in a mess of feels when you finish reading this book. Aristotle and Dante made me smile, laugh and cry.
It made me believe that there are people out there who will walk into your life and change everything. People like me need that kind of hope. The power of love and family is very strong in this book. It was a beautiful book which solicited so many feelings out of me. The development of Aristotle and Dante’s friendship was very realistic and endearing.
To conclude, I encourage you all to read this book, especially if you are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Also, both Aristotle and Dante are Mexican-American. It is a wonderful representation of two boys finding themselves. This is a book I will probably read many times in my lifetime.
“The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.”