Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date: February 2012
Pages: 368
Source: Library
For: Fun

Summary from goodreads:
"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."
Things I Liked:
I can completely see why this had a huge number of awards at the children's book awards.  It is wonderfully written, in spare prose, but with so much emotion and reality.  I really cared about Ari and Dante.  I wanted to help them face their challenges, put an arm around them, be friends with them.  I really liked how supportive and involved their parents were in their lives.  That's how my parents were and I hate absent parents in literature, even if they happen in real life a lot.  The story was dynamic and interesting and I was figuring things out right along with them.  Really, more of what I'd call an important story.

Things I Didn't Like:
The thing I struggled with, is that I just thought it was ok.  It wasn't the most amazing thing I'd read, which is kind of what I expected with all that hype.  I can understand why people think its important, what with the discovering oneself and accepting yourself.  But, I was not blown away.  Also, it kind of made me want a story about two guys who are just friends.  Not that this should have been that story, since it was exactly what it was meant to be, but I just found myself wanting to read about a strong male friendship, sans romance.  Are there books many books like that?  Raven Boys comes to mind, but has so many other complicated things going on, it's not the main point.  Anyway, good book, important message, not so much for me.  I can see how it will help some struggling gay teens, though.

I can't think of any...

s-factor: !@#
quite a few, with casual f-bombs here and there

mrg-factor: X
nothing actually happens, but teenage boys will talk

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ***

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

1 comment :

  1. I can agree with you! I liked the same things. It is so common to see the characters hating the parents and parents not being there for there kids, which is not the case in this book. They actually are involved, they understand or at least try to understand their kids. I does have a great message of family, friendship, loyalty, protect nature, and that the teenage years are full of drama and changes that are so normal.

    I do think this book deserves more than 3 stars. I think, as a member of the LGBT community that still thinks that love exists, that this book gives hope and this sweet emotion of butterflies and happiness. I confess that I could not stop smiling with this book. I made two different reviews of this book if you wish to check it out :)


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