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


It had been a while since I devoured a book in one sitting, honestly. But once I started this contemporary I couldn’t put it down, I was instantly allured by the author’s beautiful writing and unique structure and by the end I was definitely a puddle of emotions and I was lamenting that this book wasn’t longer. I didn’t want it to end, but I couldn’t put it down. 


Again, it had been some time that a book had made me want to weep endlessly at every page, but I was getting so emotional throughout this book. 

Aristotle is our main character, and my heart instantly went out to him. He had so much inner conflict and anguish about his life and himself it was so painful to read about but it was so beautiful. The reader feels for Ari as he wonders constantly about his brother, who is in prison, and how far apart he feels from his elder twin sisters, and his father, who has changed dramatically after returning from the War. 

Then we and Ari meet Dante, a character who is essentially the ying to Ari’s yang. Dante first meets Ari when he offers to teach him how to swim and both characters go on such a magical journey together, I have read nothing of this book’s like before. 

This book honestly just made me feel so many feels and it just made me thinkhow meeting  one person can change so much in one’s life. It was amazing to experience this book as a reader but also through the eyes of Ari, who went through so much and tried to fight his feelings throughout this book. 

I fell in love with Dante and his family, who are so open and expressive in their love for one another. Dante though has a secret, and he was long afraid to tell his dad how he feels; but without being too spoilery, both Ari and Dante’s individual journey’s did weave together perfectly. 

There was a time throughout the book when both characters could only communicate by letters, I definitely found this to be a perfect and feely way of writing. Dante predominantly writes to Ari while he and his family are away, and it was amazing to learn Ari’s reactions; see as he reads these letters he’s coming to terms with his own inner demons, and he needs to deal with these thoughts before he thinks about replying to Dante’s letters and how will he react when Dante comes back? 

Read on to find out. 

This book definitely made me fall in love with the author’s writing, and I’m glad to see he’s written several books because I want to read them! His writing style is so pleasurable, the chapters are short but effective, they hit you in the emotions right away and the book has definitely become a favourite that I know I’ll read time and time again! The characters, the plot, the writing is so memorable and it’s definitely something I’ll never forget! Absolutely stunning and very real and relatable. 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn πŸ™‚ 

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