Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Book Review

Summary: (Borrowed from Barnes and Noble) 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.

Thoughts: I have been meaning to read this book for quite a while since everyone kept singing its praises. The only reason that I kept putting it off was because it was in the classics section of the library and I dread reading classics. I regret not picking it up sooner though because this book was such a great read.

It’s really hard for me to explain how much I just loved this book and the reasons behind it. As I was reading it I was crying just because of how beautiful I found the writing and I’m not sure if it was the stylistic choices I found beautiful or if it was the story of two Mexican boys learning about themselves through each other.

Honestly, it was both, I loved the first-person narrative and how we only got to see things through Ari’s eyes. I thought that being able to just see his perspective added to the mystery of who Dante was, and I really enjoyed that there was not much dialogue in the story. I usually hate having little dialogue but this story called for that, there were no words needed to describe the love that was between everyone in the story. 

Something else that I loved was that here were these two Mexican boys who struggled with feeling not Mexican enough and also not enough of a boy/man. I loved watching them struggle to figure themselves out because of that and watching them compare themselves to their mothers and fathers. I thought this story was so great because of the family’s impact on the boys and their reaction to so many things.

Something else I thought that was beautiful about this book was that the boys still responded to emotions as teenagers would but I found them relatable. While their struggles were ones of young adults I think that some of the struggles they had were not only for that age category.

I recommend this to those of you who love young adult, classics or who are looking for a good LGBTQ+ read.

You can buy this at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library.