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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Feb 18, 2018

Aristotle and Dante is one of my favourite books, and I’m so glad that the story was able to be told. After completion, I just wanted to read the book a second time, then a third time, and maybe even a fourth. I loved just about every part of this book, which revolves around Aristotle, a Mexican teenager living in Texas in 1987. The book follows him throughout his high school years, where he struggles with connecting with his detached father, understanding his brother who is in prison, and his newly-formed friendship with a boy named Dante. The characters in this book are ones that will stay with me for a long time. The teens in the book were portrayed realistically; Aris isn’t a perfect character and makes quite a few mistakes. This only allowed me to connect with the story even more. Despite being completely satisfied with the ending of the book, the announced sequel is a release I am really looking forward to. 5/5
- @pastapages of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Nov 20, 2017

love this book so much!!!

Sep 11, 2017

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is one of my favorite books to date. The raw emotion and intricate relationships made for one of the most beautiful and interesting reads. I found myself in tears at the parts of this story that weren't even considered sad, just because of the beauty behind the words. It was refreshing to see a friendship between two boys who had no desire to be anything other than themselves in front of eachother, and also to see them rely on eachother emotionally while going through transitions of emotions and in their lives. Definitely would recommend this book.

Sep 03, 2017

This is a sensitive coming of age story written for a YA audience. It is about 2 friends who are struggling with issues of family and sexuality. For me, it didn't have the crossover quality that would allow for an adult to enjoy this but it is a really strong teen title with endearing characters and important issues. A book that will tug at your heartstrings for sure.

Jul 31, 2017

Well worth the read. Gives a peek in to LGBTQ+, minorities, and those HS kids who don't quite fit in with the rest of the school. It's nice to see Mexican-American protagonists drop in their views on their culture (and also written by a Mexican-American). The psychological struggles the boys self-analyze feel like the type of content seen in a Chris Crutcher book (that's a good thing). The 80s setting reminded me of how I felt while reading Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Lastly, if you like this book, you HAVE to read I'll Give You the Sun.

Jul 15, 2017

Because I needed to cry on the bus.

Seriously though, I can't recommend this book highly enough. At first the short chapters annoyed me, but then I realized the whole book is written more like Ari's inner thoughts and I fell in love. The short chapters also make this a faster read somehow (I think it's because you tell yourself, eh I can read 4 more chapters before bed, they're short). The plot itself is adorable, and at times intense, but it never feels forced.

AL_JENNIEB May 08, 2017

A lyrical novel about identity, friendship and love in 1980s' El Paso, Texas. I fell in love with this book, and its oh so realistic teenagers, Ari and Dante.

Mar 24, 2017

he writing is surprisingly sharp in this modern young-adult romance novel. I enjoyed the very realistic portrayal of the dreams and struggles of a fairly normal teenage boy who is slowly forming his own identity as a man. However, the two main characters and the entire romance didn't exactly resonate with me.

CMLReads_Kristin Feb 22, 2017

A sweet coming of age story with LGBTQ themes. If you want to listen to it, you're in for a treat: Lin Manuel Miranda does the reading!

PimaLib_RachelW Jan 12, 2017

I do not cry very often. But Ari and Dante's beautiful love story kept me laughing and left me crying. I loved the ways in which Benjamin Alire Saenz created complex and loving teenagers with tender and evolving relationships not only between each other, but with their parents. I recommend the audio version, narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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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.

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

Man loneliness was much bigger than boy loneliness.

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Age Suitability

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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

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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