Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Book - 2012 | 1st ed. --
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Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Simon & Schuster Children's Pub., c2012.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9781442408920
Characteristics: 359 p.


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kobrien3 Nov 14, 2018

A few of the teens from our Teen Book Club listed this book as one of their favourite reads over the summer, so I picked it up. I'm so glad I did because I loved it too! The skill with which this author writes about the fears and feelings tangled up in growing up is really impressive. I am still so emotionally attached to both Ari and Dante (and their lovely families) and I can't wait for the sequel that is hopefully coming sooner rather than later. If you're looking for an emotionally raw and real coming of age story with a dash of romance, set aside a day and have some tissues on hand, because this read is very hard to put down and will probably bring more than a few tears to your eyes!

Oct 21, 2018

Some things I learned while reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
-Do not read this book if you do not like crying in empathy, compassion, or love for fictional characters.
-Do not read this book if you can't handle fictional characters reaching into your heart and making you feel less alone.
-Do not read this book if you don't like stories that are incredible and moving, heartbreaking yet heart warming, and make you feel every single emotion at once.

If you meet any one of those above, I would have to say that this brilliant novel is not for you. I wish I knew how amazing and how relatable Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was going to be. Currently, I feel like Aristotle- angsty, unsure about my future, and still trying to discover who I am. This novel just made me feel so much less alone, less apprehensive, and more appreciative for all the different works of art out there that celebrate those who still don't know. Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is now one of my favorite books, so thank you, Mr. Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Sep 03, 2018

This is a beautiful story. The characters are realistic and heartbreaking.

Aug 03, 2018

4.25. I loved this book. It was tender, sweet, gritty and real. To hear the details of teenage life in the late 80s was the background of my life as well. Ari's thoughts and feelings were so well written. Just really a lovely read. Highly recommend.

Jul 01, 2018

Sáenz is the master of simplicity. His novel is wrought with desire, conveyed with artful subtlety. I smiled the whole time I was reading this book and for a good twelve hours afterwards. Only one word properly describes this story: beauty.

mko123 Jun 18, 2018

There are secrets in Ari's family that he is not allowed to talk about. For instance, why is his older brother in prison? And what happened to his dad in the war that made him so quiet and unknowable? Ari feels like he wants to explode. The trouble is, he is a fearless fighter and he mustn't let his anger overtake him.Then he meets Dante at the pool and he finds a real friend that he can talk to. Dante has some of his own secrets. With humor and grace the two loners ask the important questions about life as they try to figure out their place in the grand scheme of things. I loved this book.

May 28, 2018

This book is so amazing. Very cute and real and I was begging for more by the end of it. A very soft and cute gay romance, I wish nothing but happiness for my two little baby boys.

Apr 11, 2018

Dante and Ari becomes friends when Dante offers to teach Ari to swim the summer they are 15. The boys are very different, but immediately bond over the fact that they don't fit in with anyone else. The four parents in this book are really well-drawn too, with their own personalities and struggles. There are major events in the book, but the plot isn't really the point in this book. Ari's soulful narration and Dante's openness are what make this book beautiful and this friendship so vivid.

SPPL_Anna Mar 12, 2018

Such a lovely coming of age story, and an absolutely excellent audio version.

Feb 18, 2018

Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe is a book that is effortlessly breathtaking. It starts with two boys named Aristotle and Dante who are of Mexican heritage but have nothing else in common to say the least. Aristotle has questions about his family secrets and troubles and it's starting to make Ari crack within, but then he meets a boy named Dante. They immediately find solace in each other and Ari finds him as a real, trustworthy friend he can confide to. Although Dante has a few secrets of his own, these two find answers to there secrets and questions about life, family, and more importantly themselves while at the same time trying to find their place in the world. Aristotle’s soulful and brass narration and Dante's openness to everyone is what makes this friendship and book so vividly beautiful. These characters are relatable at its finest which Benjamin did a phenomenal job creating. This book is one that make you think, laugh, discuss, and beam with glee because you never want to put the book down. Despite the completed ending, they have announced a sequel which is a release I am more than happy to look forward too. A beautiful coming of age book for anyone looking for new YA novels or just something to make you smile. Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars
- @PocketFullOfBooks22 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

As soon as I finished this book, I had to lay down and process everything I had just read because it affected me so much. I picked up it up because I heard good things about it and I knew there was Gay/Bisexual representation who were also Mexican. (I love reading representation, especially in the LGBT community!) The first person POV originally turned me off this book, but it actually works very well with this story. This book may as well be one giant poem. Every page has so many beautiful sentences that I want to stare at forever. As soon as I finished, I wanted to forget everything so I could re-read and experience it all again for the first time. I would recommend this book to every teen struggling with their identity or looking for a good cry in a book. (Or both) 5/5 stars
- @mae of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Aristotle and Dante is one of my favourite books, and I’m so glad that the story was able to be told. After completion, I just wanted to read the book a second time, then a third time, and maybe even a fourth. I loved just about every part of this book, which revolves around Aristotle, a Mexican teenager living in Texas in 1987. The book follows him throughout his high school years, where he struggles with connecting with his detached father, understanding his brother who is in prison, and his newly-formed friendship with a boy named Dante. The characters in this book are ones that will stay with me for a long time. The teens in the book were portrayed realistically; Aris isn’t a perfect character and makes quite a few mistakes. This only allowed me to connect with the story even more. Despite being completely satisfied with the ending of the book, the announced sequel is a release I am really looking forward to. 5/5
- @pastapages of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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Add a Quote

Laura_X Aug 03, 2018

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

Nov 18, 2017

"Do you remember the summer of the rain...You must let everything fall that wants to fall. —Karen Fiser”

Jul 08, 2015

All I did was smile at him. He'd told me something about himself. I was happy
Ari (pg.66)

Aug 18, 2013

"Smiles are like that. They come and go."

Violet_Lion_31 Jul 03, 2013

"Scars. A sign that you had been hurt. A sign thst you had been healed."

Violet_Lion_31 Jul 03, 2013

"And me, I always felt that I didn't belong anywhere. I didn't even belong in my own body - especially in my own body. I was changing into someone I didn't know. The change hurt but I didn't know why it hurt. And nothing about my own emotions made any sense."

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

To be careful with people and with words was a rare and beautiful thing.

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

I had a rule that it was better to be bored by yourself than to be bored with someone else. I pretty much lived by that rule. Maybe that's why I didn't have any friends.

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

I didn't understand how you could live in a mean world and not have any of that meanness rub off on you. How could a guy live without meanness?

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

See, the thing about guys is that I didn't really care to be around them. I mean, guys really made me uncomfortable. I don't know why, not exactly. I just, I don't know, I just didn't belong. I think it embarrassed the hell out of me that I was a guy. And it really depressed me that there was the distinct possibility that I was going to grow up and be like one of those assholes.

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Jul 13, 2018

KaylaAlexander thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

May 16, 2017

cllehman thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

homarrmirezz Feb 24, 2017

homarrmirezz thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

ArapahoeJennieB Aug 01, 2016

ArapahoeJennieB thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Aug 19, 2015

VV12 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

bootsandcats Apr 29, 2015

bootsandcats thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

BklynAllisonA Oct 16, 2014

BklynAllisonA thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 26, 2014

jroxy49 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Violet_Lion_31 Jul 03, 2013

Violet_Lion_31 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


Add a Summary

olive_bird_01 Jul 22, 2015

Through their friendship, Dante and Ari find the courage to become who they really are.

Jul 08, 2015

Ari doesn't know how to swim, but that doesn't stop him from going to the pool everyday. Thank god he does though cause this is where Dante enters, saying he can teach Ari how to swim. Soon there friendship starts turning into something Ari didn't think could happen.


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