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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a novel written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. It was published in 2012. It is a story of a friendship between two boys. It is a critically acclaimed book and has won several awards.


As the name suggests this is a story of two fifteen-year old boys, Aristotle and Dante. Aristotle and Dante are like poles apart. Where Aristotle or Ari is the kind of guy who keeps to his own but will easily break someone's bones if they mess with him and doesn't know how to swim, Dante is a well-mannered boy who knows how to indulge in conversation, likes poetry, and obviously know how to swim. But there is one thing that brings them together, that is loneliness. Dante offers to Aristotle to teach him to swim and from there on starts the journey of their true friendship and discovering the secrets of the universe and discovering themselves.


A few months back this book was all over the internet especially Instagram with glazing reviews and so I thought of giving this book a try. The beauty of the book is it's writing, it's simple but the words written are true. Feels like in reality, two fifteen-year-olds are speaking. The pace of the writing is smooth neither quite fast nor quite slow just perfect. Both the characters Ari and Dante are written so that they become an instant favorite of anyone reading. For me, they are like two sides of a person. Ari is the strong one and the cover we all put up to face the world. Dante is the softer side, who enjoys poetry and appreciates the finer details of life. And both sides are important to understand the universe surrounding us. But that's just my interpretation of the book. The book has some beautiful quotes which touch the heart. In spite of all the things I have written above, this book didn't manage to wow me at any point. It surely is a good book with beautiful writing, lovely characters but the story lacks behind somewhere. In books of this sort everyone knows what will be the end, but the journey of the characters is what makes make the book special but for this book, I don't think the story was strong enough. But again that's just me. I refuse to end my review without mentioning the beautiful cover of the book, feels like a cherry on top.


Though I had higher expectations overall I enjoyed reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and it left me with a sweet feeling. I guess it will appeal more to a younger audience. Keep reading.



“Maybe we just lived between hurting and healing.”

Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe


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