Friday, February 12, 2016
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Review
Book talk: "The problem with my life was that it was someone else's idea" Ari never asked to be born into a family where everyone is bursting with words left unsaid. His father never left Vietnam behind and his brother is in jail, meaning that all the family pressure is on him to be the good kid. He never asked to be saddled with a name like Aristotle. But his life finally starts to make sense when he meets a boy named Dante. Dante is unabashedly himself--emotional, vulnerable, intelligent, beautiful. Aristotle never felt like he fit in before but he feels a sense of belonging when he's with Dante. Their friendship blooms until Aristotle's own secrets threaten the only happiness he has ever known.
Rave: This book was written by a poet, and that is immediately obvious because the prose is just gorgeous. The plot is fairly quiet, mostly dealing with the inner life of the narrator as he comes to terms with his various emotions, but I read it in a greedy gulp anyway. Not only are Dante and Aristotle painted in heart-breaking detail but the other characters such as their parents are portrayed with complexity and in a way that actually renders them helpful and meaningful players in their children's lives. Highly recommended!
Every book its reader: I'd give this to teens 7th grade and up looking for an emotional novel or a moving romance.
Topics and Trends: LGBTQ, romance, characters of color, poetry,
"The problem with my life was that it was someone else's idea"
"Yeah, I had all kinds of tragic reasons for feeling sorry for myself. Being 15 didn't help. Sometimes I thought that being 15 was the worst tragedy of all"
"We sat, drinking our tea and watching the rain fall on his front porch. The sky was almost black and then it started hailing. It was so beautiful and scary, I wondered about the science of storms and how sometimes it seemed that a storm wanted to break the world and how the world refused to break."
“Words were different when they lived inside of you.”
“To be careful with people and with words was a rare and beautiful thing.”
“But love was always something heavy for me. Something I had to carry.”
“Summer was here again. Summer, summer, summer. I loved and hated summers. Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me. Summer was supposed to be about freedom and youth and no school and possibilities and adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope. That's why I loved and hated summers. Because they made me want to believe.”
Source: school library
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz: buy it or check it out today!