Staff Reviews / Book Reviews

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

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


The story is told from the point-of-view of Ari (Aristotle), a teenager growing up in El Paso, Texas. He is a bit of a loner, struggling from "only child syndrome" due to twin sisters and an incarcerated brother, all several years older than he. Ari meets Dante at the local swimming pool and their bond is almost immediate. While Ari struggles to express his thoughts and feelings to anyone (especially his father), Dante is uncomplicated with his openness to share himself with everyone. At the end of the summer, an accident strains Ari and Dante's easy relationship. Despite the first impressions of both Ari and Dante, each carry emotional baggage that threatens to erupt at any moment. Their friendship is further changed by Dante's family relocating to Chicago for the duration of the school year. During their time apart, each learns a bit more about themselves, leaving the question of whether their relationship can resume upon Dante's return to Texas.

Reviewed by Kristen Z.

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