Thursday, April 9, 2015

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

Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe
By Benjamin Alire Saenz
Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published on April 1st, 2014
359 Pages
4 Stars

Dante can swim. Ari can't. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari's features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.

But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.

It’s so Beautiful. It’s just so beautiful. This is one of the best unplanned reads I have ever done. The book was calling to me off the self and I am extremely glad I listened to it. I never had even heard of this book and I picked it up and I LOVED it. 

Aristotle or Ari was a deep and secretive character, yet I could still see through him. He is a social outcast that doesn’t want to bother with all the coming of age drama, but he still gets caught up in ti anyways. Ari was a symbol of all the guys out there who just want to sit down and try to avoid your awkward teenage years. You can;t avoid them though. This guy is the definition of awkward teenage years. It was sometimes just so frustrating on how much he din’t know himself. Every time he did something that seemed real and not awkward subconsciously I felt like jumping up and cheering. Then he would immediately take it back and I would get frustrated again. One of my favorite parts about him though is is love for rain. It is one of those character traits that you have to go deeper into to really characterize a person. He liked the rain because it was sad, mad, and beautiful at the same time. It was a lot like him. 

Dante reminded me a lot of St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss. Now no one can be as awesome as St. Clair, but this guy was close. They both were funny, happy, and yet they had this dark side to them that makes them really interesting. He was more aware of himself than Ari which made it easier for me when Ari did something frustrating. I really loved how he loved his parents. I envy their relationships at some point. He embraced his sexuality which did get him into trouble, but still was cute and came out well in the end. 

Now I need to talk about both their parents for a second. Their parents seemed like omniscient  gods. They could always tell what their sons were thinking and/or feeling. Ari’s parents had to explain his feelings to him a lot. The main point though is how supportive they were of their sons. Ari’s parents didn’t even blink when he acme out. They knew before him and were the ones that had to give him the pieces of himself and help him put them together. Dante’s parents were surprised, but settled into it quickly and did everything they could to make sure their son was happy. The book would not be the same without them. 

There was no plot really. It wasn’t problem and in my option it made it more likable. It was just a bunch of mashed up scenes of their lives. It could come off as slow to some people, but it never affected me. When it did seem like it was starting to get slow something would happen and pick it back up again.  The theme was LGBT, but there was also a lot of mention of race. They were both Mexican and talked about being Mexican and joked around about being Mexican. The romance was kind of nonexistent, but there was tension. At some points you could feel it there, but it was never formally addressed till later. 

I really did love this book it was beautiful. I recommend this book to anyone who is willing to read LGBT fiction or a good story about coming of age. 

Hope you keep reading!

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