Claire's Reviews > Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
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's review
Jul 16, 2012

really liked it

I am not an avid reader of YA novels, however, I confess I fall for titles which include names that arouse the classical-scientist/artist-wanna-be in me. I also tend to notice books on display and well, this, with it's calligraphic writing and understated artwork, were convincing asides.

I was expecting a meaningful journey from Saenz's protagonists and was not disappointed. The friendship that develops is organic; the characters and their family, identity, teenage relationships, emotions, and crises--relatable. Those with an an ethnic background easily experience the strong ties Ari has to his culture and, the loose ties Dante has to his.

One will encounter genuine compassion, respect, understanding for attempting to navigate the tempestuous waters of that horrid thing called adolescence. Ari has just enough angst so as to empathize and not go dark goth overkill, so as to be annoying. Discovering the secrets of the universe with the titular, unassuming teens is a worthwhile journey.
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