Book Review – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Hello Bookworms, today I will be reviewing one of my favourite books of all time. I read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe in 2017, and recently realized I hadn’t reviewed it yet(how rude of me😝). Considering its three years after I was introduced to this book, I think it’s clear how deep my love for it goes as I am still talking about it. Alsssoooo, I just found out some very exciting news that a sequel should be coming out! I am not sure on the exact date, but the name of the sequel will be There Will Be Other Summers, and it will follow right where this novel ended from Aristotle’s perspective.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Publisher: Published February 21st 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Length: Hardcover, 359 pages

Summary: Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.(Goodreads)

Recommendation:  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a coming of age story that deals with sexuality, and follows the boy’s inner journeys through their teenage years. I believe that an author’s writing style can make or break a book. I have DNF books dozens of times because an author’s style didn’t suit me, or their choice of words and sentence structure simply irritated me. So you could say, I am rather hard to impress. But Benjamin Alire Sáenz sure did impress me. Not only is his writing style amazing and detailed but the themes and messages that he managed to incorporate make this book unforgettable. This book perfectly combined everything I search for in a Contemporary novel. It had exceptional characters, beautiful romance, a faithful plot and made me cry(a crucial step!!) The relationship between Aristotle and Dante is another notable element of this book. Their connection is so natural, and raw, that it makes it so easy for the reader to fall in love with both of them.

This book is 100% not everyone’s cup of tea, as is every other book in the universe, but it somehow manages to combine adorable characters, with a gut-wrenching ending. I feel so blessed to have read this book, and I honestly couldn’t have asked for better. I would recommend this novel to the ages of 13-18 but is perfect for rereading at an older age as well!

A little about the author:  Benjamin Alire Sáenz (born 16 August 1954) is an award-winning American poet, novelist and writer of children’s books. (Goodreads)

Praise for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

“A tender, honest exploration of identity and sexuality, and a passionate reminder that love—whether romantic or familial—should be open, free, and without shame.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Sáenz has written the greater love story, for his is the story of loving one’s self, of love between parents and children, and of the love that builds communities, in addition to the deepening love between two friends.”

“Ari’s first-person narrative—poetic, philosophical, honest—skillfully develops the relationship between the two boys from friendship to romance.”
— The Horn Book

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6 responses to “Book Review – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz”

  1. […] to find is Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World…guys….this book is one of my ABSOLUTE favourites. I read this many many years ago and I was astonished by how beautiful it is. AND I GOT […]


  2. […] This BOOK! These CHARACTERS! I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! I wrote a review on this extraordinary book a year and a half ago and it can be found here. […]


  3. Gorgeous review!! I finally got round to reading this recently (I think it had sat on my shelf for nearly a year 😬) and LOVED IT!! I totally agree that Aristotle was so relatable (I’m also very excited about the sequel ahhh). Dante seemed a little too good to be true… although he was a total cinnamon roll. Here was my review of it:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the kind comment! So glad you got around to reading it, it’s SUCH an amazing novel.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I read this one as my first read of 2020 and ugh so glad I finally did, Because WOW so wonderful. I lowkey want to reread because I feel like I didn’t appreciate it enough and didn’t know what I was in for hehe


    Liked by 1 person

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