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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  44,135 ratings  ·  7,923 reviews
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 shar
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 21st 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 2012)
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John GreenAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire SáenzBoy Meets Boy by David LevithanCity of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Best YA Fiction with GLBTQQI themes / characters
3rd out of 944 books — 2,429 voters
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire SáenzWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John GreenBoy Meets Boy by David LevithanAnnie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
2nd out of 428 books — 630 voters

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1. Obtain a copy of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

2. Read the book.

3. Fall in love. Fall in love with the writing, the characters, everything. Read past midnight, read in school, read everywhere and all the time. Slam the book shut and whisper-scream oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. At the end of the book, allow a single tear to run down your right cheek and say a silent prayer of thanks for the fact that you are able to read at all.

This book was so so beautiful.

In actuality, it doesn't have a "plot". Not a main story or event that the characters center around. It's about a boy. It's a story about a boy who is sad and angry and can't figure out why. It's about him trying to love himself and others. It's about the teenage condition and mentality.

Let's talk about why I loved it. Mainly, I loved the mood and tone. It made me feel mellow and warm. I liked that it was slow paced, that it felt like real life with small but import

Oh gosh, my feelings are all over the place.

It started in a very captivating way. I liked the narrator. Aristotle-nicknamed Ari-is a calm fifteen-year-old boy who prefers being alone...He doesn’t feel comfortable being around people his age but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a recluse. Everyone things he’s sad and lonely but, really, he doesn’t mind it.

And then he meets Dante.

Dante who made him see the world differently. Gosh, how much I loved that character. Everything about him made me th
i really thought this was going to be a slam-dunk of a book. all those prestigious awards and recognitions, a gay coming-of-age story that got the coveted dana stamp of approval, that cover….

and it is not a bad book, not by a long shot; i definitely enjoyed reading it. it just doesn't transcend its YA status like so many YA books do. this is an excellent book for its audience, but for me, it doesn't have that crossover appeal that so many recent YA titles have had.

it gets points for featuring a
Do you remember the feeling you get when you watch the sun rise or set?

Do you remember the feeling you get when you're so happy that you felt like flying?

Do you remember the feeling you get when you're so sad and alone that you felt like curling yourself into a ball and wishing you never had to move on?

Do you remember the feeling you get when you're so mad that you don't know why your mad?

Do you remember the feeling you get when you wished you knew the mysteries of life?

Well, this book brought u
Emily May
I have been saving this book. Just waiting for the right moment for us to come together and love one another. And this book is fine, I guess. It's okay. But I really don't see the magic that prompted so many five star ratings and literary awards.

It's weird because I was sure we were meant for each other. A Printz Honor book featuring a gay romance between two quirky characters - one of whom is a rough guy who gets into fights and has a complicated relationship with his father; the other being a
All the Secrets of the Universe
Through all of youth I was looking for you
without knowing what I was looking for

— W.S. Merwin

The Book Smugglers , a book review blog, wrote this review, and I quoted ...

"I think the best thing I can say about the book is how I can see Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe as a book that can be picked for a lit class to be dissected for its craft and examined for its themes BUT only after the reader is able to recover from becoming a blubbering m
Raeleen Lemay
Franco  Santos
Me gustó mucho. Es un libro tierno, sobre la amistad, el amor y los secretos que se esconden dentro de nosotros.

My mother and father held hands. 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.

Es una historia que nos enseña a valorarnos por lo que somos, sin importar lo que los demás piensen o digan de nosotros. Una historia que nos enseña a ver y encontrar lo que más nos hace felices, a apreciar a los q

Posted at Shelf Inflicted

I really loved Last Night I Sang to the Monster. It was sad, beautiful and powerful. It moved me deeply, making me cry buckets, shredding my heart to pieces and putting it all back together. I’m not really a crier. If a story has the kind of power to turn me inside out, then I want more.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to finally get a copy of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe from the library. The cover is gorgeous and infused with meaning.
Such an amazing story about love, identity, and family. I really feel everyone should read this book.
Clau R.
helen the bookowl
Wow, this was pure perfection! I started out reading this book with a neutral mind. I thought it was going to be good, but I didn't think it was going to be as brilliant as it turned out to be. The beginning was mellow but interesting, but it was the middle part and the ending that created the bigger picture and made me fall in love with this book.
I didn't know much about the plot going into it and I think that's how you should go into this story. You'll quickly fall in love with the main chara

”We all fight our own private wars.”

Secrets. Some secrets and truths in life we discover and share along the way. Others we hold close. But there are some things that should not be kept in and hidden away. Who we are in life. Who we want to be. Who we want to love should never be hidden. These are secrets Dante and Aristotle learn along their journey to manhood.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz is a beautiful book. Simple. Pure. Powerful. Poetic. My

4.5 stars

I'm verklempt.

I want to use all the right words to do this book justice, but I'll fail. And that makes me angry. At myself. And at this book for being so great that I can't describe it properly. And at the author for giving me this book and jumbling up all my emotions. And for making me love it so.

^^^ and that is how this book goes. Because this is how Ari goes. He's an angry young teenager who doesn't know why. Who's so deeply honest with himself inside but so shut down to the world ar
Rachel ♥Reads Ravenously♥
5 stars!!!!!

“Sometimes pain was like a storm that came out of nowhere. The clearest summer could end in a downpour. Could end in lightning and thunder.”

 photo arianddante.png

This was beautiful.

The year is 1987. Ari is a loner, he keeps to himself and prefers it that way. One day, at the age of 15, Ari ventures to the public pool where he loves to float. There, he meets Dante who offers to teach him how to swim. From then on the two are best buds, inseparable for the entire summer. Sketching, reading, talking
What a beautiful story! I loved Ari’s voice and the simple and straight-forward writing style. The issues this book dealt with all interested me a lot: it’s a story about friendship, love and sexuality, but also about family dynamics, identity and race. I think all of these issues were handled realistically, and I kind of feel like I learned a lot while reading this book. However, there was also something missing for me. Sometimes I got a bit irritated by the supposedly deep philosophies Ari com ...more
Alexander Ayala
El mejor libro que he leído en toda mi vida. Se ha convertido sin excepción en mi libro favorito.
Ellen Hopkins
This book speaks to the heart of humanity. Poetic. Beautiful .
Danny Phanton
A veces hacemos cosas, simplemente las hacemos, pero no porque estemos pensando en ellas, sino porque las sentimos. Porque sentimos demasiado y no siempre podemos controlar las cosas que hacemos cuando sentimos demasiado".

Releído 27.06.15
¡Lo ame tanto como la primera vez! Simplemente hermoso y de mis favoritos para toda la vida.

Lo primero que tengo que decir sobre este libro es que la portada es simplemente HERMOSA. Desde la primera vez que vi este libro me gusto mucho la portada y todo mundo ha
"The problem with my life was that it was someone else’s idea."

It’s funny how just the other day I was talking about writing craft, the combination of skill and care that is so important when putting together a story and how certain books unfortunately fail in every conceivable way.

It is possible that Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is the antithesis to every single terrible book I’ve read lately. In fact, Aristotle and Dante is the kind of book that gives me hope that
Danielle (Love at First Page)
4.5-5 stars

Maybe everyone loves differently. Maybe that's all that matters.

If words were tears, I'd have a bucketful right now.

As it is, a proper review seems impossible, but here's what you need to know: this book is about a teenager stuck between boyhood and manhood, who doesn't understand the world or his place in it. It's about meeting that one person who will forever change his life, someone who is an open book to his bottled emotions. It's about family, a parents' love for their childr

“Why do we smile? Why do we laugh? Why do we feel alone? Why are we sad and confused? Why do we read poetry? Why do we cry when we see a painting? Why is there a riot in the heart when we love? Why do we feel shame? What is that thing in the pit of your stomach called desire?”


This book was a masterpiece, sheer freaking perfection. It was one of the most heartbreaking, beautiful, tragic, and yet, hopeful novels I've ever head. The writing was so poetic and ev
I might have a stick caught in my eye.

Maybe a tree.

Or a forest.

Jesus Christ but the adults in this book are just unbelievably well-adjusted.

Holy shit.

I mean, I’m not saying I was expecting “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and Shortly Thereafter Dante is Tragically Beaten To Death with a Tire Iron by Men Who Fear What They Don’t Understand and Dammit Dante, Aristotle Wishes He Knew How To Quit You,” but neither was I expecting this:


Ari, the problem isn’t just that Dante’s in love with you. The real problem—for you, anyw
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
No matter how many books I review, I so rarely describe them as beautiful, and yet, when I started thinking about Aristotle and Dante, beautiful was the only word that pushed itself to the forefront of my mind. It is a gorgeously written, warm little book that would melt even the most hardened of hearts. The second I finished it, I found myself torn between the need to celebrate it rather loudly, and the odd desire to keep it jealously to myself. Alas, with the well-deserved Printz medal on its ...more
Rafaella ➴
Where do I even start?
This book touched me. It spoke to my soul. And I'm NOT exaggerating one bit. It gave me goosebumps, made me laugh and even cry a little. I honestly feel like I've just been told the most amazing secret of the universe. (view spoiler)

This is a book of self-discovery. This is a book that portrays friendship and family in a way I've never read.
I think the reason I got so

"A veces hacemos cosas y no las hacemos porque estemos pensando, sino porque estamos sintiendo."

Está demás decir que este fue un libro que básicamente me enamoró desde un principio por su portada. Puede que no tenga nada de sentido para algunos pero cuando veo un libro con una linda portada yo estoy tipo: tengo que leerlo. Y éste no fue la excepción.

Soy honesta y realista y puedo decir que cuando lo tomé en mis manos no lo solté más, pero, también soy sincera en esto: no es lo que espera
Giselle at Book Nerd Canada
Aristotle has the type of personality you know that will confuse you. He'll say one thing and think the opposite. He's a walking contradiction. When he saves his best friend Dante's life, he realizes that friendship is probably one of the most important things in a boy's life.

Love the family dynamics! There was so much to like. Aristotle's mom who is fiercely protective of her only son. His dad who shows how much he cares in his actions. Dante's parents who love him so much and treat him just li

W O W !!
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Benjamin Alire Sáenz (born 16 August 1954) is an award-winning American poet, novelist and writer of children's books.

He was born at Old Picacho, New Mexico, the fourth of seven children, and was raised on a small farm near Mesilla, New Mexico. He graduated from Las Cruces High School in 1972. That fall, he entered St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado where he received a B.A. degree in Humaniti
More about Benjamin Alire Sáenz...
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“Words were different when they lived inside of you.” 946 likes
“I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone's hand.” 831 likes
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