Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz

Goodreads Synopsis –  

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

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.

Goodreads Rating – 4,32/5 stars

My review – 

Ari and Dante are both of a Mexican decent yet they represent two very different sides of the Mexican community. As I read the first couple of chapters I was surprised at how extremely different the two protagonists were. As I read the book though I began to understand that the author created two very different characters with a purpose… they balanced each other out. Opposites attract. 

There are many amazing things about this book, but the thing that really makes it great is the fact that it feels so real and relatable. The characters aren’t perfect. They have normal issues, such as a loss of identity, problematic homes, problematic social skills, etc; Perhaps the readers themselves won’t have experienced what the characters have but I’m sure that everyone has a friend or family member that has experienced an issue or two in their lives. There were so many ties throughout the book where I just wanted to tell Ari and Dante that everything would ok and that in the end it would all work out. 

The main theme of the novel is the search for owns own identity among the secrets of the universe. It’s the idea of how one single person can become lost among so many people in our vast universe. We see two teenage boys and their dynamic parents figure out who they are and what makes them stand out from everyone else in the society, country, content, planet and universe.

Of course this book is also about secrets. Secrets we keep from our friends, children, parents and most importantly, ourselves. I would recommend this to everyone, both children and adults. 

My Rating – 4,5/ stars

Instagram – Globalbookmania

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 


  1. kirstyreadsblog · March 23, 2016

    ooooh this has been on my TBR for a while now, excited to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so, so glad to read you liked this book, I really liked it, too. There are so many quotable passages, and the writing is just beautiful. Plus, I loved seeing the evolution of the main character, and reading about his struggles just felt like being in a teenagers’ mind. Like you just said, it’s so relatable, and that’s what’s the most amazing about it. Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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