karen’s review of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1) > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Gema (new)

Gema hey Karen, I want to read this book because it looks awesome. What do you think about this book?

message 2: by karen (new)

karen i'm a little behind in my reviewing, but i will review this soon, i swear!

message 3: by Jonfaith (new)

Jonfaith I may grab this from the library on Friday. Happy xmas.

message 5: by karen (new)

karen sweet! i will read it later.


message 6: by Dana (new)

Dana Haha, nope. You're gonna have to write that fic.

message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim Odd that we would read YA books at the same time and come away with similar reactions, albeit mine was gay-themed (although it was gay-friendly).

message 8: by Camille (new)

Camille Adams Great, detailed review.

message 9: by karen (new)

karen hey, thanks!

Michael Leo Tlaseca B xxx shows th hfvhckhdvDhggsdvcaxjflis

message 11: by karen (new)

karen and then there's that.

message 12: by Tandy (new)

Tandy Ellen I loathed the same things about this book. I read and listened to it on audio, hoping the repetition would be a device. (It was not). I loved this book but it didn't haunt me like I wanted it to.

message 13: by Virna (new)

Virna hi karen, thx for the review - at first I thought I was the only one thinking how weird these 15y.o.s talked, and your review nailed it. I still love the lyrical style, but have to wonder if it'd work better if the characters are females? just a thought..

message 14: by karen (new)

karen that's an interesting thought....

message 15: by Paula (new)

Paula A+! Can I just copy this review, put it on quotation marks and paste it...! I agree with 97% of the things you said.

message 16: by karen (new)

karen i love agreement, huzzah!

message 17: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany I had the same reaction to the writing! It felt super forced to me.

message 18: by karen (new)

karen yeah, it was a little disappointing, but i'm glad that books like this exist nonetheless

message 19: by Brian (new)

Brian I just finished this and I had the same problem with the ending. SPOILER: I felt that the author took the easy way out. How much more difficult would it have been to write an ending where Ari is NOT gay and has to deal with that? Much harder. Nothing prior to the ending pointed to him being gay. People do shit for their friend and feel strongly for their friends without being gay. In the end, it all felt to easy ...

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

I loved this book but I have to agree with the part of Ari's coming out. I was hoping more for him to say it and his parents to accept rather than his parents tell him. Like an awkward, croaky admission to being gay or loving Dante. Though it was sweet, it sorta dumbed down the how meaningful it is to come out.
The style itself didn't bother me as much as it seemed to bother others, though,

message 21: by Sian (new)

Sian Lile-Pastore I loved this book but kinda agree with you too - but I was so caught up with it that the stuff you mentioned didn't bother me too much.

message 22: by karen (new)

karen yeah, i definitely didn't hate the book, it just wasn't as mindblowing as i had hoped. still good, though!

message 23: by Mirjam (new)

Mirjam (thebookcafee) pretty much my thoughts...

message 24: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Irwin I found your comments really insightful. Exactly what I was thinking except so much better expressed. Have you ever considered being a beta reader for an unpublished manuscript?

message 25: by karen (new)

karen i've done it once or twice, for friends, but i don't really enjoy it. i don't have strong enough grammar skills to help on that front, and the rest is all just opinion. i do't even have time to read all the book i have planned on reading, there's no sense in making it worse!

message 26: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Irwin Forget grammar--your opinions are worth their weight in gold.

message 27: by Rhiannon (new)

Rhiannon Leonard My feelings exactly. Gripe number one was a big one for me - I would have liked it if he had come to the decision by himself. It seemed to be going that way at the start then completely veered off, so coming back round to it so suddenly right at the end didn't seem like a natural flow, it just felt rushed and abrupt.

message 28: by Rhiannon (new)

Rhiannon Leonard My feelings exactly. Gripe number one was a big one for me - I would have liked it if he had come to the decision by himself. It seemed to be going that way at the start then completely veered off, so coming back round to it so suddenly right at the end didn't seem like a natural flow, it just felt rushed and abrupt.

message 29: by Dave (new)

Dave Huff It's truly a shame that you don't get this book, which is beautiful, both stylistically speaking and in content. The awards from Lambda, Stonewall, and other legitimate voices in the LGTB community speak for themselves.

But your review points to the problem when reviews are written by people who have no common touching points with either the characters or their lives. It's as if i were qualified to write a review of what it is like to grow up as a girl, transitioning to a woman. My review would be false, just as any attempt I might make to write such a book would be. It's not my world.

Growing up and emerging alive as a gay young man, a boy, in America is hard enough. As a Mexican in the South West it only gets much harder. The sensitivity with which the difficulties in communicating, in expressing, in showing myself to others is laudable. Yet you feel that the conversational style is not real. As a member of that very community, let me assure you that it is very real. And how can you think that you can comment on that.

This is not a grade-school style - this is the way many young Latino boys, gay or not, communicate.

I am appalled that such a sensitive book, about such a sensitive subject, written with such beauty and classical stream of consciousness style, has been trampled by such unfeeling feet. It saddens me.

I was there and shared much of that life. The portrayal here is real, accurate, and honest and sweet. I would hope you would try to feel the confusion of the protangonists, not put your own mold over their confusion. This could have been your story - it could have touched you deeply. I am sorry you weren't open enough to allow it to do so.

message 30: by karen (new)

karen i think it's pretty silly stance to suggest that readers can't form opinions on a book just because they haven't shared experiences with its protagonist. that would shut me out of 98% of literature, and pretty much 100% of all genre fiction - sci-fi, horror, fantasy, etc.

i'm glad you liked the book, and i'm glad you have taught me that gay mexican american boys in the american southwest speak primarily in call-and-response repetitive couplets, because i absolutely did not know that.

i don't think my feet were so unfeeling; i just thought there were some weaknesses in the writing and i would have liked a stronger and more self-aware coming out moment. but if you tell me that it's more authentic and powerful to be told by someone else what your sexual orientation is, then i guess i have to accept that as a fact and that my own experiences in life and literature are incorrect.

message 31: by Dave (new)

Dave Huff What a remarkably arrogant response - As if you had lived the life that would permit you to judge how people may actually talk, how they may actually feel. I don't suggest that you shouldn't read and enjoy books about people and places that you haven't experienced but, rather, that you might want to understand the point of view of primary sources before you impose your judgement upon them.

message 32: by karen (new)

karen tell you what - since you feel so strongly about this book, why don't you go write a review of your own for it? i didn't tear the book apart; i thought it was fine, but not mind-blowing and i think i was pretty clear on what didn't work for me as a reader. your comments to me are absurd and condescending and it's just too hot to parse right now.

message 33: by Dave (new)

Dave Huff It's a conversation, not a pronouncement. Sorry that you feel the need to withdraw. I don't agree with you. And so we converse. As you wish not to, I will respect that as your rules, very much like Ari's.

message 34: by [Name Redacted] (new)

[Name Redacted] I know one of my exes definitely appreciated being repeatedly lectured for years by her lesbian friends on how she was absolutely a lesbian, and she definitely didn't regret listening to them, because they were absolutely right and not just trying to get in her pants at all... XP

message 35: by karen (new)

karen but it's not really a conversation when you've already declared i have no right to participate in a conversation on the subject, yeah? i'm honestly not even sure what you're seeing in my review that constitutes trampling or trashing in any way. i thought it was a fine book, but not great. that's hardly a reason to get so ruffled.

message 36: by Emily (new)

Emily Great review, karen- really well written; it was effortless to read ;)
Sorry for the troll!

message 37: by karen (new)

karen thanks! books sure are touchy subjects!

message 38: by [Name Redacted] (new)

[Name Redacted] karen wrote: "thanks! books sure are touchy subjects!"

I shudder to think what your monsterotica reviews will elicit!

message 39: by karen (new)

karen nah, those are less problematic because i've lived that life, so i know what i'm talking about.

message 40: by Emily (last edited Jul 29, 2015 05:24AM) (new)

Emily LOL!!! I think that line might have just made my day ;)

message 41: by [Name Redacted] (new)

[Name Redacted] karen wrote: "nah, those are less problematic because i've lived that life, so i know what i'm talking about."

Oh PLEASE assure me you weren't Taken by the Trash King or whatever that was!

message 42: by Brian (new)

Brian Dave needs to chill. It's FICTION Dave, a created work of art, and can be judged based on style with no commentary on the substance. Karen did a fine job discussing why the book didn't work for her. Your mileage obviously varies ...

message 43: by Kim (new)

Kim I completely agree with your gripes about this book. It's so weird to me that his parents TOLD him he was gay. That really bothered me.

message 44: by Margarida (new)

Margarida Glória Hey, you said this is a good book but not like those YA monsters :) can you recommend me some please? Bye!!

message 45: by karen (new)

karen which YA monsters?

message 46: by Marti (new)

Marti Doktorchik I loved this book, but I felt the same way about the "coming out" scene. Ari sits there saying "no, no, no", then "oh I guess you're right". It was forced and awkward and very out of place considering I found the rest of the story smooth and flowing (we differ in our opinion there!

message 47: by karen (new)

karen i might still read the sequel

message 48: by Amy (new)

Amy Spot on review.

message 49: by Mariah Roze (new)

Mariah Roze Our Diversity in All Forms Book Club is reading this for March. We’d love to have you join the discussion on it. :) https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

message 50: by Katilipops (new)

Katilipops I realize I'm 2 years too late to this party but I appreciate reading this review and chain and REALLY appreciate Karen not letting people get under her skin! Wahoo! Freedom of speech and opinions and all that. That said... I did think the book was good, just not 4.35 worth. Do I think other people who relate to the story more would think that YES! Am I glad there are books out there for everyone? YES! Do I have to love them all? No. Just like I assume other people dont think as highly as The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing as I do - which I loved because I identified with so much at the time I read it. I'll go out on what might be an unpopular limb and say the 4.35 is probably inflated because I bet a lot of people have it 5 starts because they thought they were supposed to. Personal opinion. It was a good book. The dialog didn't bother me because teenage boys aren't exactly emotionally articulate. The story was good until it turned into OK. Like the author got tired of writing or something. Eh, read by lin Manuel miranda who did a good job with voices- so there's that. :)

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