Saturday, May 10, 2014

Favorite Book Spotlight: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

359 pages
Published: February 21st 2012 
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought
Rating: 5/5
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.

This book, people. THIS BOOK. I'm a little ashamed that it took me this long to pick it up. If you've read it, great! We can be best friends. If you haven't, let me give you four reasons to go to your nearest bookstore as soon as possible (so we can be best friends)! 

1. Characters:

I loved the two boys and their families. I'm not sure why parents are absent in most YA novels but that's not the case here. Aristotle is not the most optimistic guy but Dante balances him out perfectly. They see the world in completely different ways and that alone makes their friendship really interesting and unique. Since this is a coming-of-age story, you get to read about their evolution from children to young adults and the way their relationship develops throughout the years. I loved that their parents were always there to support them and how much that support meant to Aristotle and Dante at the very end of the book. 

2. Story:

This a story takes place during a long period of time. It isn't centered around a plot, which I loved.  It evolves very organically and it captures your heart very quickly. I knew within thirty pages that this book was special. I really tried to think of something that I didn't like about it but I couldn't come up with anything. I enjoyed the entire story and the way it made me feel. Which, by the way, is sad but very hopeful at the same time. To say that I was a mess by the end is a huge understatement.  

3. The Writing:

“The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.” 

This is my first book by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and it won't be my last. I had the urge to reread it as soon as I finished it, which hasn't happened in a long time. Some of my favorite quotes are a little spoilery so I can't share them with you but there's just something magical about the way this author puts words together.  I'm not sure how many times I had to put this book down because one sentence would make me really emotional. Aristotle is very angry and very negative but the instances he sees beauty in his world are just beautiful to read. 

4. Diversity:

There has been lots of talk about diversity lately. I've seen it all over Twitter, Tumblr, and the blogging community as a whole. This book raises a lot of questions and deals with race and sexuality. The characters are Mexican-American. The boys are young and learning about themselves. This is the perfect book to add to your TBR if you're looking for a more diverse read! 


This post was really difficult for me to write. I'm not sure I can ever make this book sound as good as it is. Just know that the multiple awards on the cover don't lie! :)

Which one is your all-time favorite book? By the way, keep checking my blog if you're interested in this book but can't buy it right away.  I might be planning a sneaky anniversary giveaway. Just saying. 
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