Hello, Bookish Buddies, and welcome to my impromptu review of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. I wasn’t planning on being even close to finishing this book, but ya know how I cope with stress? Reading. So thats what I did. I binge read this book all day yesterday. I thought Aristotle and Dante was beautiful, here’s what it’s about:
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.
Before going into this book, I thought I was incapable of enjoying a light fluffy contemporary because that’s really not my type of read. Boy, was I wrong. I don’t even know how to describe the purity and rawness of Ari and Dante’s stories. They were an amazing balance of realistic and fantasy, and normally I hate when things aren’t as realistic as they could be, but Sáenz wrote this story beautifully. Don’t get me wrong, there were some points in the story where I thought it was just a little too unrealistic (explaining why I didn’t give it a full 5 stars), but for the most part, I thought it was really well done.
One thing I really loved about Aristotle and Dante was that there wasn’t really a plot. I know that’s kinda weird to say, but it really works in this story. It makes the story flow naturally and it gives it a more realistic feel. Sáenz didn’t really force anything into the story to give it more plot points or drama or anything like that. It just flowed.
I also really loved all of the characters in this story. Dante was a precious cinnamon roll that I want to protect from this cruel world. Ari was a really relatable character that you can’t help but root for. And I also loved the relationships both characters had with their parents. All of the parents in this story were so fleshed out and they actually parented their children (unlike a lot of YA).
One more problem I had with the story was the ending. To me, the ending felt a little off. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the ending was adorable, but I feel like the story needed to be just a little bit longer to make the ending more in depth. I think everyone who’s read Ari and Dante will agree with me that they wouldn’t mind the story being a little bit longer.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a fun, fluffy contemporary, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is for you. Overall, I would give it a 4.25/5 stars.