FIRST READ OF THE YEAR: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of The Universe. (kind of spoiler-y, but not really)

Nothing will top this book. Nothing. 

I was seriously a mess after/during reading this book/whenever I think about it.

This book has so many powerful messages about LIFE, what it means to be Mexican and growing up in America, Stereotypes, and what it means to be Mexican and gay.

So it’s no surprise that this book broke my heart.

I’VE FINALLY HAD THE TIME TO REVIEW IT BECAUSE IM ON HALF TERM (i mean, this is a really quick review so don’t get your hopes up ppl)

ALSO, Hey things to note: some spoiler-ish stuff, but not really. rating: 5/5 OBVIOUSLY. Author of book: BENJAMIN ALIRE SÁENZ.


This was my ‘review’ after just reading it:

“I know that I say “I was a MESS” in loads of the reviews that I actually get around to writing. But this book? This book is all those books put together. I read this TODAY. I have been crying ALL DAY. I have never felt so much about a book and I’ll probably get around to writing a proper review for this book BECAUSE IT DESERVES ONE but right now I just want to say HOW IMPORTANT THIS BOOK IS and that this book has changed me forever.”

I even tweeted about it. I KNOW. I went onto an online space and SAID SOMETHING. shocker.

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ARI. His perspective. EVERYTHING. He’s so… I don’t want to say ‘deep’ because that undermines everything. He’s a boy, trying to understand the world and stereotypes and boxes and struggling with being this tiny spec of life on this massive planet and wanting to have answers to questions he doesn’t even know. 

DANTE. and his hatred for shoes! He’s so painfully honest and kind. He freaking DRIPS sincerity. I cry just thinking about him. I don’t understand how one human being can be so kind NO MATTER WHAT. IT’S TOO MUCH MY HEART IS BREAKING. When Dante cries, I’m absolutely certain that a crack forms in the earth. stars obliterate. 

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While reading, things seemed to carry on,,, and carry on,,, and I loved seeing their friendship grow,,, and… And then BOOM plot twist and everything fell apart into ten trillion pieces. {I mean, THIS BOOK IS SET OVER TWO YEARS. so you see some MAJOR character growth while reading}

But they still kept on going. Even from the start, when they were just ‘friends, they loved each other so wholly despite everything Ari feared.

The way that he’s literally in so much pain on the inside, so confused about everything, yet he so completely understands Dante. But at the same time, he totally doesn’t because it’s too much for him but not enough at the same time and I’m going to stop rambling now.

I’m 90% sure Ari is depressed.  

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This book is probably my favourite when it comes to the outstanding FAMILIES that are shown and have a MAJOR role in the plot. It’s not something that you see in YA. You just don’t.

We see the ‘divorced’ trope or the ‘absent parent’ trope that fills the angst of a character. but here we have TWO families, happily married, in love with each other, that absolutely ADORE their children and make sure that their children know they’re loved. THEY LOVE THEIR SONS SO MUCH AND JUST WANT THEM TO BE HAPPY W/ EACH OTHER AND IT BREAKS MY HEART.

ALSO: such important messages on ethnicity!! About what it means to be Mexican and growing up in America, and what it means to be Mexican and gay. SUCH POWERFUL MESSAGES.

AND ALSO: I just love the writing style. SO MUCH DIALOGUE. It’s so simply written and that makes it even more powerful and heartbreaking. it whittles the world down to these two families, these two boys and it’s PAINFUL. 

This book broke me in the best way.

17 thoughts on “FIRST READ OF THE YEAR: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of The Universe. (kind of spoiler-y, but not really)”

  1. SKJDF ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS THIS REVIEW MADE ME CRYYYYYYY. &I cannot wait for book 2????? a few months ago i spent 92% of my time actively thinking about when we’d get a release date, but then i just eventually decided to try to think about other things. it was v hard to do.

    and I am so bad about using twitter???????????? i love when other ppl feel the same, i literally am scared of twitter sldkfjsdlkjf. sometimes i’ll just appear randomly and say something and then quietly retreat for 6 months

    also I’m pretty sure Ari is depressed too, he shows so many of the same things i feel w my depression, but i wasn’t 10000% sure. I wish it were explicitly said because i love rep for that and i need to be reassured that yes, that’s what’s happening with Ari

    +++++their parents being affectionate, especially ***that one scene**** when ari is sick and his dad nurtures him. Holy shit. i love wholesome kid-parent relationships we do not have enough in books

    Liked by 1 person

      literally same i had to stop myself from thinking about a potential plot, release date, etc.

      TWITTER FREAKS ME OUT. absolutely same. bi-yearly tweets all the way.

      i think it’s not explicitly said because he doesn’t know that he is because health care SUCKED at that time and esp for epople that weren’t white-Americans :(( hence why i think his mum got so mad about the doctors trip and he couldn’t understand why???

      THAT ONE SCENE OMG OMG OMG esp bc they don’t seem that close because ari doesn’t feel like he understands him at that point and he’s just sobbing because his dad is taking care of him and I CANT– IM GOING TO GO SOB


  2. I love this review, Lu! Ari & Dante is such an amazing book and I’m so glad you loved it too! Loved what you said about being Mexican and gay at the same time ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just love this book so much!!!! I read it 3 years ago and still think about it all the time 😀 Ari and Dante are SUCH great characters, and I love their families and how supportive they are! I need the sequel like yesterday. Apparently there’s also a movie in the works but I haven’t heard anything about it for a long time, so who knows. Either way, this review really made me want to reread this book! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SAMEEEEEEEEE. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since!!!! THE FAMILY THE FAKILY THE FAMILY!!! It honestly broke me. REALLY???! Tho if they don’t do it well I’ll cry. The sequel hasn’t had Andy NEW news in ages so I’m praying it comes out before I die. Aw thank you, I WANT TO READ IT NOW AFTER YOUR COMMENT


  4. Ahhhh, Lu, I’m soooo happy you enjoyed this one so much! Ari & Dante is my favorite book of all times and it means a lot to me. It was the first book I could completely see myself in; and not even because of the Mexican elements, but because Ari’s thoughts were so relatable. Like that line when he says: “being 15 was the worst tragedy of all”. Growing up, that’s just how I’ve always felt. Somewhat inadequate, never really knowing how to express my feelings or be honest with myself. Needless to say, this book broke my heart and put me back together. I’ve recently re-read it, and it was so special!
    I completely agree that Dante is the best; he’s the complete opposite, always being honest with his own feelings. He’s beautiful and inspiring, and I can not wait for the second book so we can see how these characters are doing. Lovely review! I definitely could feel how much you enjoyed it! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LITERALLY SAME!!!!!! I saw myself in this bc ARI is so relatable with EVERYTHING. This book TOTALLY encompasses what it means and how it feels to grow UP. I’m going to haveto reread it. Thank you so much 💗💗 THE SEQUEL!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ari and dante have my entire HEART. i read this book years ago and it still brings me the same emotion just thinking about them. ugh my heart. and the sequel is gonna break me. or mend me. or both.

    Liked by 1 person

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