Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Book - 2012
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Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781442408920
Branch Call Number: Y SAE
Characteristics: 359 p. ; 22 cm


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OPL_MichelleC Jan 16, 2019

Very well told story. No major conflict, which made it a little tough to get into. The characters are well developed.

Dec 13, 2018

This book will always have a special place in my heart. I truly loved how supportive the community around these two young men were and how the story progresses. It taught me not to fear being myself, others who love me will support me no matter what. Overall, a very well written book.

Nov 17, 2018

This is a dangerous, irresponsible book:
(1) The ending contradicts the content of the book, & is unbelievable - suggesting that cotton candy is a proper response to human experience, feeling, & suffering;
(2) It is dangerous & irresponsible to advise young people that human gender & sexuality are a lottery; & that the facts of nature, and human procreation, do not matter;
(3) It is dangerous & irresponsible to advise young people that the love, truth, & beauty of friendship is not valid unless it includes physical, homosexual contact!

I learned about this title in a LGBTQ Teen Fiction list. After devouring the book, I can easily say that this book is one of my all-time favourites. I loved the dynamic and sometimes-complicated relationships between all of the characters; not just main characters Aristotle and Dante, but the relationships that each boy has with his family. If you’re a fan of John Green’s work, you will love this coming-of-age tale filled with poetic symbolism and deep insight about what life is about when you’re a teenager. If you’re in the mood for a great young adult novel, or an engaging read; Aristotle, Dante and the universe’s secrets will delight and charm you from cover to cover. (Submitted by Mara.)

kobrien3 Nov 14, 2018

A few of the teens from our Teen Book Club listed this book as one of their favourite reads over the summer, so I picked it up. I'm so glad I did because I loved it too! The skill with which this author writes about the fears and feelings tangled up in growing up is really impressive. I am still so emotionally attached to both Ari and Dante (and their lovely families) and I can't wait for the sequel that is hopefully coming sooner rather than later. If you're looking for an emotionally raw and real coming of age story with a dash of romance, set aside a day and have some tissues on hand, because this read is very hard to put down and will probably bring more than a few tears to your eyes!

Oct 21, 2018

Some things I learned while reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
-Do not read this book if you do not like crying in empathy, compassion, or love for fictional characters.
-Do not read this book if you can't handle fictional characters reaching into your heart and making you feel less alone.
-Do not read this book if you don't like stories that are incredible and moving, heartbreaking yet heart warming, and make you feel every single emotion at once.

If you meet any one of those above, I would have to say that this brilliant novel is not for you. I wish I knew how amazing and how relatable Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was going to be. Currently, I feel like Aristotle- angsty, unsure about my future, and still trying to discover who I am. This novel just made me feel so much less alone, less apprehensive, and more appreciative for all the different works of art out there that celebrate those who still don't know. Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is now one of my favorite books, so thank you, Mr. Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Sep 03, 2018

This is a beautiful story. The characters are realistic and heartbreaking.

Aug 03, 2018

4.25. I loved this book. It was tender, sweet, gritty and real. To hear the details of teenage life in the late 80s was the background of my life as well. Ari's thoughts and feelings were so well written. Just really a lovely read. Highly recommend.

Jul 01, 2018

Sáenz is the master of simplicity. His novel is wrought with desire, conveyed with artful subtlety. I smiled the whole time I was reading this book and for a good twelve hours afterwards. Only one word properly describes this story: beauty.

mko123 Jun 18, 2018

There are secrets in Ari's family that he is not allowed to talk about. For instance, why is his older brother in prison? And what happened to his dad in the war that made him so quiet and unknowable? Ari feels like he wants to explode. The trouble is, he is a fearless fighter and he mustn't let his anger overtake him.Then he meets Dante at the pool and he finds a real friend that he can talk to. Dante has some of his own secrets. With humor and grace the two loners ask the important questions about life as they try to figure out their place in the grand scheme of things. I loved this book.

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Add a Quote
Laura_X Aug 03, 2018

The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.

Nov 18, 2017

"Do you remember the summer of the rain...You must let everything fall that wants to fall. —Karen Fiser”

Jul 08, 2015

All I did was smile at him. He'd told me something about himself. I was happy
Ari (pg.66)

Aug 18, 2013

"Smiles are like that. They come and go."

Violet_Lion_31 Jul 03, 2013

"Scars. A sign that you had been hurt. A sign thst you had been healed."

Violet_Lion_31 Jul 03, 2013

"And me, I always felt that I didn't belong anywhere. I didn't even belong in my own body - especially in my own body. I was changing into someone I didn't know. The change hurt but I didn't know why it hurt. And nothing about my own emotions made any sense."

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

To be careful with people and with words was a rare and beautiful thing.

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

I had a rule that it was better to be bored by yourself than to be bored with someone else. I pretty much lived by that rule. Maybe that's why I didn't have any friends.

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

I didn't understand how you could live in a mean world and not have any of that meanness rub off on you. How could a guy live without meanness?

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

See, the thing about guys is that I didn't really care to be around them. I mean, guys really made me uncomfortable. I don't know why, not exactly. I just, I don't know, I just didn't belong. I think it embarrassed the hell out of me that I was a guy. And it really depressed me that there was the distinct possibility that I was going to grow up and be like one of those assholes.

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Age Suitability

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Jul 13, 2018

KaylaAlexander thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

May 16, 2017

cllehman thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

homarrmirezz Feb 24, 2017

homarrmirezz thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

ArapahoeJennieB Aug 01, 2016

ArapahoeJennieB thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Aug 19, 2015

VV12 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

bootsandcats Apr 29, 2015

bootsandcats thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

BklynAllisonA Oct 16, 2014

BklynAllisonA thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 26, 2014

jroxy49 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Violet_Lion_31 Jul 03, 2013

Violet_Lion_31 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


Add a Summary
olive_bird_01 Jul 22, 2015

Through their friendship, Dante and Ari find the courage to become who they really are.

Jul 08, 2015

Ari doesn't know how to swim, but that doesn't stop him from going to the pool everyday. Thank god he does though cause this is where Dante enters, saying he can teach Ari how to swim. Soon there friendship starts turning into something Ari didn't think could happen.


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