Review | Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and DanteTitle: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Authors: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Release Date:
February 21st, 2012
Simon & Schuster
YA, Contemporary
Pages: 359

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.

“Words were different when they lived inside of you”


Geez, this book made me feel a lot of things. It was just so lyrical and poetic and rhythmic and beautiful. I don’t even know how to begin to express my deep love for this book.

I don’t think I can review this story like I usually review books. It’s not just the characters that intrigued me, or a plot that kept me hooked; it’s the way the words were arranged in this book that makes me love it so much. It felt so musical and fluid, so alive. Sure, the character’s were amazing, all so unique and complex and genuine, but I was transfixed by the language.

I loved the way the dialogue was laid out. It wasn’t all ‘such and such said this; such and such exclaimed that.’ No, it was just all written out in a stream-of-consciousness kind of way. Just line after line. It felt very real and, like I said earlier, fluid.

“I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it!”
“Did you tell them?”
“Of course I told them.”
“You told them?”
“Why are you getting mad?”
“You told them about what happened?”
“Of course I did.”
“There’s a rule, Dante.”
“You’re mad? You’re mad at me?”

This is only a short review, because I simply can’t put into words why I loved this book so much. It filled me with such love and wonder that I can’t accurately articulate my feelings for it. All I can say is I’m definitely gonna be reading it again soon. In fact, there is a very high possibility of me re-reading it before I return it to the library.

I honestly can’t recommend this book enough. I know I didn’t really do much in the way of explaining just what is so great about this book, but hopefully you can understand the emotion that I’m trying to convey. Please just read this book if you haven’t already. I’m sure you won’t regret it.

Buy it on Amazon
Buy it on Amazon

10 thoughts on “Review | Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

  1. Giselle @ Hardwork Boulevard October 18, 2015 / 5:28 PM

    This is probably one of the best books I’ve read in 2015. I have to agree with you that it’s very lyrical and rhythmic in nature and also filled with likable characters! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachel K October 18, 2015 / 5:55 PM

      Right?! I’m suffering from some major post-book depression right now 😵

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reg (She Latitude) October 19, 2015 / 1:33 AM

    What an amazing review! I’ve seen this one floating around the internet before but never thought to pick it up, but you just really convinced me. It sounds so amazing! I hope I’ll enjoy it as much as you seem to. :p

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachel K October 19, 2015 / 7:37 AM

      Thank you! It really is a great book, so I’m sure you’ll love it 😁


  3. ari jaya April 26, 2016 / 12:23 PM

    i found this book and i have a best friend named dante i cant wait to read this omg


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