Tuesday, 9 February 2016

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

Publication: February 21st 2012 by Simon & Schuster

GoodReads description:
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.

My thoughts:
Now I understand why this book has received so many awards, and after reading it I can say it deserves each and every one of them. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is such a simple yet beautiful story that's just stunning. It's about family, understanding those around you, understanding yourself, growing up,  friendship, identity and lots more. It's a powerful read I'd recommend for everyone to give it a go.

I loved that it surprised me. The story was nothing like I was expecting. I thought it was going to be this cutesy adorable YA romance but it wasn't. There was nothing really cutesy about it. It had it happy moment and sad moments but essentially the story was about Ari finding himself. Growing up. Learning to be okay. It's a story of self discovery and I loved that!

I think Aristotle and Dante is one of the most thought provoking books I've ever read. The writing can seem so ordinary and then suddenly there's these sentences that you have to stop and read multiple times because it is just so beautiful. It makes you think. I think those are the best kind of books; the ones that made you wonder about things. Benjamin Alire Sáenz scatters these beautiful messages in throughout the story an it's wonderful.

Aristotle and Dante is definitely a character driven story but even though there wasn't much of a plot I still managed to read it in one sitting. Ari, the main character,is such an interesting boy, he has a lot of internal struggle going on and that made me fly through the book, I wanted to see how he was going to grow throughout the story. He's sad and angry and he doesn't know why. He doesn't have friends, he prefers to be alone. He's just as teenager trying to live his life and I really appreciated his character because he felt real. I related to him in some ways, which made reading from his point of view easy. His development was perfectly paced and well done.

The friendship between Ari and Dante was developed well but the relationships I enjoyed most reading about was the relationship between the boys and their parents. What I really appreciated was how big a part both sets of parents played in the story. I loved that both Ari and Dante's parents where so present in this novel. Parents are non-existent in  YA and I think they should be in the stories we read because our parents/guardians play an important role in our lives.

I really enjoyed this book. I will probably revisit it when I'm older to see what I think of it a few years down the line.

My rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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