BOOK REVIEW: Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe – by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Title: Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: February 21st 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Finished reading: July 7th 2017
Pages: 359

“Another secret of the universe: Sometimes pain was like a storm that came out of nowhere. The clearest summer could end in a downpour. Could end in lightning and thunder.”


I still can’t believe it took me this long to finally pick up my copy of Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe. Besides the simply stunning cover and font I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this story for YEARS, so the only plausible reason for waiting this long is probably my bad relationship with hyped books. Thankfully Aristotle And Dante doesn’t belong to the so-called ‘overhyped’ group. In fact, I can definitely understand the love for this story now! What probably makes this story so interesting is its characters. Both Aristotle and Dante are wonderful and quickly won over my heart. Their character development is very well executed and it was interesting to see them evolve over time and deal with their problems. Aristotle And Dante isn’t just another ‘typical’ diverse story, but also includes characters belonging to a minority, a war veteran who hasn’t been the same since he came back, family problems and several other topics making this into a truly unique and interesting read. The writing style is wonderful and very quotable, although I do have to say there were some parts that read a bit slow. In fact, the second half of Aristotle And Dante was significantly stronger and made my love for the characters only grow. I liked the ending as well, although it did feel a bit abrupt and I would have loved to see how things continue. Fingers crossed the rumors about a sequel coming out some time this year are true! I guess me being late to the party does mean I won’t have to wait that long for another dose of Aristotle and Dante though.


The fifteen-year-old Aristotle isn’t the most friendly teen around and his attitude means he doesn’t really have friends. Dante on the other hand is a know-it-all with an unusual way of looking at the world… When the two first meet at the swimming pool, it seems like they have nothing in common. But when the two loners start spending time together, they discover they share a special bond that will change their lives forever. And they will learn important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.


I know it took me way to long to finally read this book, but I’m definitely glad I did. Although I didn’t LOVE love it myself and some parts were a bit slow, I can’t deny that both the characters and writing style are wonderful. Things only got better in the second half of Aristotle And Dante and I really loved to see their characters develop. The ending was exactly what I wished for while reading this story, although it did feel abrupt and I will be keeping my fingers crossed we will be able to read more about these characters in a sequel soon.


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22 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe – by Benjamin Alire Saenz

  1. Fabulous review… I have not read the book yet either but you’re definitely convincing me to give this a go. I recall all the hype around it and that made me a bit cautious. Also- the blurb doesn’t really sell the book, does it? I think the quote you chose is class though! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true! I was a bit afraid for another unpopular opinion, but I’m glad this one turned out to be an exception. Aristotle And Dante is mostly about the characters and writing style and there isn’t much plot, so I guess that’s why the blurb doesn’t sound all that mindblowing. The quote is a pretty good example what the prose looks like though. 🙂


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  7. This has been on my tbr for years but I never got myself a copy because either the copy at the store is ugly or I’m more in the mood for something else haha. I do really want to read it though. Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I struggled through to first 60% of this one, but agree that the second half is so much stronger. Actually, If I were rating the book on the last 40% of the book, it would have been a 5 star rating from me. There were many things to love about this book: the main characters, the family dynamics, the friendship, etc. etc. I wouldn’t mind reading a sequel to see what Ari & Dante are up to 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely agree; I would have given the final part a full 5 star rating as well! Fingers crossed the sequel will be able to live up to the original story.


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