Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 21st, 2012
Source: Library
Date Read: 7/21/14 to 7/24/14
359 Pages
Rating: 

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.
HOW DO I EVEN PUT MY FEELINGS INTO WORDS?????

This book. This BOOK. THIS BOOK.


Honestly, I don't know what to say. Sure, I knew how good it was when I first borrowed it from the library. But did I expect this awesomeness? No, no I didn't.

Where do I even start?

Honestly, I've concluded that writing this review of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is the most frustrating, hardest thing I've done this summer. This is not an exaggeration. Somehow a story about how a boy, meets another boy, and then becomes the best of friends, has made me speechless.

Reasons why this review will be short:


  • I refuse to spoil this amazing book. I feel like anything I say will be a spoiler, so I will leave you in just as much mystery as I was in before I picked this up. And look at me now, I'm at a loss for words
  • I'm tempted to say nothing happens, BUT THAT IS A LIE. A lot of things happen. A lot of things I do really, REALLY want to talk about, but can't because of bullet point above.
  • I just, this book. I don't even have any words. I am out of words, and this review will do no justice to how amazing this book is



Though, I do want to mention how amazing the parents were in this, both Aristotle's and Dante's. After books and books of YA protagonists going on adventures without any sort of parentals involved, this was an absolute refresher. Seriously, Ari and Dante love their parents, and I love their parents too. And the dog, Legs. I WOULD NAME A DOG "LEGS" AT THIS POINT. And then ARI AND DANTE THEMSELVES ARE BEAUTIFUL.


Oh, and there is no end to how many times you can quote this book. Seriously, you could just quote the whole book and I wouldn't care. It's all gold. Especially since most of it is dialogue. Short dialogue too, but MEANINGFUL and so INSIGHTFUL, and GAH. This was actually a really fast read for me because of that.

DO YOU WANT EXAMPLES, HERE LET ME GIVE THEM TO YOU:

“I wondered what that was like, to hold someone’s hand. I bet you could sometimes find all of the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.”

“He tried not to laugh, but he wasn't good at controlling all the laughter that lived inside of him.”

“Do you think it will always be this way?"
"What?"
"I mean, when do we start feeling like the world belongs to us?"
I wanted to tell him that the world would never belong to us. "I don't know," I said. "Tomorrow.”

Yes, I do recommend this to everyone. I know, this review probably didn't tell you anything about the book, but really, I think that this is how it should be. Because right now, I'm an emotional mess and this book is to blame.

34 comments:

  1. AFDJSA I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH AND I'M GLAD YOU FELT SIMILARLY. Legs! I loved Legs! I loved that everyone loved Legs! And also, Ari and Dante were just adorable and sweet and I...I just...nope. I also highly approve of grand parents who actually take an interesting in their children's lives, unlike *cough* most YA books. What's with knocking off the parents??? They can be awesome. I loooved how Ari's dad read the same books as they're way of "talking". SO SWEET. I'm just here. With feels.

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    1. YESSs THAT WAS AMAZING. Yeah, even though Ari had a hard time talking with his dad, THEY KIND OF OVERCAME IT IN THE END, and ugh it was great. And Legs was SUCH A GREAT ADDITION. And everyone loved Legs! THIS BOOK. THE FEELS.

      Wow, I don't think I've ever read such an amazing story featuring boys coming of age and parents being understanding.

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  2. This review has totally made me want to read this book!! By the way, I love your use of gifs :D

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    1. Hahaha thanks so much! And you should definitely, pick this up now, go go go go!

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  3. I keep hearing wonderful things about this book, I really need to read it soon!

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  4. I was going to leave a crappy comment saying how I haven't heard of this book (as I haven't) and some other stuff on here but god damn it Val I think I might need to now read this book as soon as possible! My TBR pile is 100+ and here you are convincing me to add yet another book to it with your review!

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    1. Hahaha I think everyone here should just read this NOW. The feels, ugh, just, I can't even explain anymore.

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  5. OMG THE QUOTES!!! THOSE QUOTES!!! GIMME THIS BOOK NOW. AS IN NOW. You made me want to read this badly (plus Cait's review!)

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    1. YAY CAIT'S REVIEW. I think that review got me to read this. AND THOSE QUOTES!

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  6. I love this book so bad! I totally get what you mean and those gifs are perfect! I read this a few months ago and still...the feels. =)

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    1. Ahaha yeah, I love it when books are THAT memorable!

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  7. I loved this book so much, and I still get excited when other people are as excited about it as I was. It has been a few months and I still can't seem to get it out of my mind and I probably never will (not that I want to get it out). This whole book is my favorite quote.

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  8. Isn't this book INCREDIBLE? I need to reread it soon, even though I didn't read it that long ago!

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    1. NOW YOU'RE MAKING ME WANT TO REREAD IT. Even though IT'S BEEN A WEEK

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  9. ASDFGHJKLKJIFS! This is so weird, I'm fangirling over your review. It's short but it shows how much you loved the book. And the quotes, I think I'm PMS-ing or something but it's making me cry. It's squeezing my heart (channeling my inner Mafi) Anyway, love your review, Val! :D

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    1. Thanks Paula! And of course you should fangirl over the review, BUT DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S BETTER? READING AND FANGIRLING OVER THE BOOK!

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  10. Yaay! Another terrific review of this incredible book~ I've been itching to read it, but I want a physical copy BECAUSE LOOK AT THAT COVER, and it's just one of those books that you would want to personally own you know? And breathe in, and touch, and hug, and kiss... among other things. I love the fact that the parents are present here, like hello?! How often do you see that in YA fiction? Not that much I bet. Thanks for the awesome review, Val~~ When you're in an emotional mess because of a book, you know it was fabulous!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. OOooooo go get a physical copy definitely! The font for the chapter numbers are also beautiful too. JUST THIS WHOLE BOOK IS BEAUTIFUL! And yes the parents were THE BEST!

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  11. Well darn! I guess I just need to read this book :) I've heard so many great things about it. I love the gifs and the quotes!

    Rachel @A Perfection Called Books

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    1. Yes the quotes!!!!! Just go read this book now!

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  12. Wow! Haha! I honestly wasn't expecting this to be so...good! LOL! Definitely intrigued though; I love the sound of the emotion this one provokes and the family dynamics (actual parents in the story? No way!) Definitely going to give this a try. Thanks for sharing Val, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. Yes this is definitely AMAZINGLY GOOD. And I have to say I adore the family dynamics in this, AND GIVE THIS IS A TRY NOW.

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  13. OMG, this sounds so AMAZING! I ordered the book 4 WEEKS AGO and it didn't arrive yet :( I am dying to read it...And every review I read of it is positive and convincing and enthusiastic and I die a little more every time. LOL. Anyway, lovely spoiler free review ;)

    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

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    1. 4 WEEKS AGO????? WHY ARE YOU NOT PANICKING! You should definitely look into this so that you can READ IT SOON!

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  14. I knew it was going to be awesome, but I totally didn't expect it to be THIS awesome. This book was so beautiful, I just loved every minute of it! My review is actually going up tomorrow :D I totally agree how quotable it is.

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    1. Yay I can't wait to read your review! :D

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  15. I feel the exact same way!!! I just LOVE Ari and Dante (and their parents) so SO much. <333 I can't even... SO MANY FEELZ!!
    AWESOME REVIEW!

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  16. Oh, gosh, another fabulous review for this book, and another wave of: CHIARA YOU NEED IT - NOW. I seriously want to read it because it is affecting people in such a profound way and even those three small quotes make me want to run around frantically to get my hands on a copy. Which I have tried. At three bookstores. It still eludes me, and the universe is a cruel place because of it.

    This was a great review, because it really really let me know how great you think this book is! So you have convinced me EVEN more that this book needs a place in my life. The sooner - the better.

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    1. YOU DO NEED IT, NOW! Just keep waiting! Maybe ask the bookstore to order it in for you :)

      YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE! GO GO GO

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  17. I've heard so many amazing things about this book, and the only thing stopping me from reading it is TIME. Where does all the time go? Those 5 stars and the raving gifs and glowing words are mighty tempting, though. *sigh* I'm so glad you loved the book! Hopefully I'll get to it at some point soon.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. It's ok! You will eventually have the time to read it, and then after you're done, you'll wonder why you didn't read it sooner :D

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