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

87%

25 Critic Reviews

This book, in my eyes, was utter perfection. Told from the perspective of Ari, a quiet boy who has shrunk inside himself as he's grown up around a brother in prison who he knows nothing about, a mother in denial and a father haunted by the war. That's until Dante comes along.
-Guardian

Synopsis

This Printz Honor Book is a “tender, honest exploration of identity” (Publishers Weekly) that distills lyrical truths about family and friendship.

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.
 

About Benjamin Alire Saenz

See more books from this Author
Benjamin Alire Sáenz is an American Book Award-winning author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award winner, the Pura Belpre Award winner, and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. His first novel for teens, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His second book for teens, He Forgot to Say Goodbye, won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, the Southwest Book Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso.
 
Published February 21, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 370 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Gay & Lesbian. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
All: 25 | Positive: 24 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Rosa.Reader on Nov 13 2014

This book, in my eyes, was utter perfection. Told from the perspective of Ari, a quiet boy who has shrunk inside himself as he's grown up around a brother in prison who he knows nothing about, a mother in denial and a father haunted by the war. That's until Dante comes along.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ... | See more reviews from Guardian

A Patchwork of Books

Excellent
on Jun 27 2015

This is all becsuse of the writing (OK, all books are what they are because of writing, but here I want to make a point of it). It's narrated by Aristotle, and we see Dante directly from his letters. We get all of Aristotle's thoughts and questions and emotions and view of the world and it all comes together into a story that feels real and full.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Story Snoops

Good
Reviewed by Tiffany on Dec 21 2016

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a unique and powerful read. An exploration of sexuality and identity, this book is ultimately a love story.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

The Reading Date

Good
on Apr 07 2014

This is a lovely, lovely book. Sáenz writes an honest, topical, timeless, touching story that’s deserving of all its many awards.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Guys Lit Wire

Excellent
Reviewed by Sam J. Miller on Jan 23 2014

Reading Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was so intense I often found myself sitting on the subway, surrounded by commuters, trying, and failing, not to cry.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Ticket to Anywhere

Good
Reviewed by Irish on Jul 29 2015

This was a book that may not appeal to all but for me, I was in the right time and place for it and it was everything I didn’t know that I wanted in a book. This book. Oh this book. I really don’t know what else to say but if you trust my opinion, even the tiniest bit, then you need this book in your life.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

http://blogs.slj.com

Good
Reviewed by Elizabeth Burns on Jun 27 2013

The combination of language; Ari; Ari’s beautiful family; Dante; and the warmth and goodness and compassion, even in the presence of hate; for all of these, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a Favorite Book Read in 2013.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Sarah Says Read

Good
on May 13 2015

This is a perfect summer read – engaging, charming, and atmospheric. I absolutely sunk into this story, and was sad when it was over. I think Ari and Dante are characters that will stay with me for a while.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

http://roofbeamreader.com

Good
Reviewed by Roof Beam Reader on Jun 29 2013

Ultimately, this is a sweet, sweet book filled with emotion, passion, love, pain, and reality. It’s a coming of age story that is believable and remarkable at the same time. Even though I would have taken the ending in a different direction, I’m still thrilled with the experience of reading this book...

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Candace's Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by Candace on Jul 04 2013

This is a YA contemporary book that I highly recommend. It’s beautifully wrote and powerfully spoke. It may be a slower paced novel, but it’s one that will really stick with you through the years.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Book Nerd

Excellent
Reviewed by Giselle on Jan 26 2015

One of my favourite reads of the year, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe made me laugh, cry and giggle all at the same time.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Savvy Verse & Wit

Good
Reviewed by SERENA on Nov 05 2014

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz is a brilliant coming of age story that examines not only how tough it is to be a young boy — a young Mexican American — but also how these boys struggle with cultural stereotypes of what becoming a man should be.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Beth Kephart's Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Beth Kephart on Aug 12 2014

I was reading, and I was saying Yes. Yes. Yes. I was reading, and I was thinking: Mr. Saenz, you deserve every award you have received for this book.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Once Upon A Bookcase

Above average
Reviewed by Jo on Apr 29 2014

It seemed rushed and revealed to everyone in the blink of an eye. And not really right. To me at least. I'm sure that's the direction the story was always going to head in, but it didn't feel right to the characters I had come to know...But still, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is such a beautiful, incredible story.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

A Book and a Latte

Good
Reviewed by Jenny Peterson on May 24 2015

When I say that Aristotle and Dante sneaks up you, I mean it. I made it about half way through the book before I really became hooked. But then, how it hooked me.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

http://theyoungfolks.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Gabrielle Bondi on Apr 24 2013

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is one of those books that leave your heart feeling so wonderfully full. It makes you believe in the goodness and love of the universe and its people. It gives hope, which many books aspire to do but not always succeed in doing.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Waking Brain Cells

Excellent
on Feb 07 2013

It is about being a hero, finding your truth and moving ahead past doubt. Beautiful, strong and incredibly brave, this book reads like a poem read aloud by a best friend.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Angieville

Excellent
Reviewed by Angiegirl on Mar 17 2015

This complexity resonated with me so profoundly, as did basically everything about this beautiful, beautiful love story. Finest kind.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

SarahReck.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah Reck on Jun 04 2013

Sometimes, a book comes along that is so beautiful and powerful and wonderful that it hurts. This is one of those books. I wanted to devour it.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

https://literarytreats.wordpress.com

Excellent
on Jun 26 2013

This is by far one of the best books I’ve read all year. It’s a story about friendship and family and all the things people don’t say.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Her Life With Books

Excellent
on Feb 23 2013

Just as beautiful and awesome as you’ve heard all this time, and completely deserving of that Printz silver medal (among other honors…) Hurry along and read it.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Demons Read Too

Excellent
Reviewed by Brett on Dec 09 2014

Watching the pages slip away, seeing the raw emotion being torn from these characters, I struggled to key a dry eye reading this in public. Hoping beyond hope for a happy ending, yet seeing all of the pain, it wasn’t the book I was expecting it to be, but it one I loved just the same.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Wear the Old Coat

Good
on Nov 29 2013

My only criticism of this book is that I wish there’d been more mention of Mexican culture and heritage...If you ever find yourself craving a read that’s beautifully written, one that explores friendship and love in a gorgeously understated way then this book should be your first port of call.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

https://www.breakpoint.org

Below average
Reviewed by Diane Singer on Jul 26 2013

Somehow, we’re supposed to believe Saenz’s prose style, written at a third-grade reading level at best, is profound and poignant. I just found it banal and insulting to intelligent 15 year olds who are certainly able to form more coherent thoughts and to craft more mature sentences.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

https://campbele.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by Edi on Mar 25 2012

Saenz builds his story around ancient philosophers without weighing it down. Rather, he craftily builds layer upon layer of meaning to the story.

Read Full Review of Aristotle and Dante Discover ...

Reader Rating for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
89%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 567 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×