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Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Paperback)

Average Rating:out of 5 stars
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This critically acclaimed &quot;tender, honest exploration of identity&quot; (&quot;Publishers Weekly&quot;) distills lyrical truths about family and friendship. As two loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendshipNthe 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. This Printz Honor Book is a &quot;tender, honest exploration of identity&quot; ( <i>Publishers Weekly</i>) that distills lyrical truths about family and friendship. <p></p>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.

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This critically acclaimed "tender, honest exploration of identity" ("Publishers Weekly") distills lyrical truths about family and friendship. As two loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendshipNthe 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. This Printz Honor Book is a "tender, honest exploration of identity" ( Publishers Weekly) that distills lyrical truths about family and friendship.

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.• Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz • ISBN:9781442408937 • Format:Paperback • Publication Date:2014-04-01

Specifications

Age Range
13 - 17 Years
Language
English
Publisher
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
359
Author
Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Title
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
ISBN-13
9781442408937
Publication Date
April, 2014
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.24 x 5.75 x 0.94 Inches
ISBN-10
1442408936

Customer reviews & ratings

Average Rating:(4.3)out of 5 stars
100%Recommended(1 of 1)
5 stars
48
4 stars
28
3 stars
14
2 stars
2
1 star
1
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
PLEASE READ THIS BOOK!
Beautiful book! Dialogue heavy! Which I don't mind because I really like Dialouge in writing! It's fluffy and soft. Make my heart go uwu. Would highly recommend. Also the book is pretty in person. It came in good condition. Love this paperback.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
Ive got to be honest....
I've got to be honest. All I could think of is "Are they gay? Are they gay? Are they gay? Are they gay?" Then one turned out to be and it's like "Are they both gay? Are they both gay? Are they both gay? Are they both going to be gay?" And then they were. This is probably just me. I hope it is. I mean, look at its description: "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." That's word for word. A lack of tangible events is a sure sign that something's controversial is going down. It's pretty good, but not great. It has earmarks of "The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep", "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian". I have no problem with the homosexuality, but the "are they or aren't they" ambiguity hung like a cloud over me during reading. It distracted me. Like if you go on a date with a nice guy, but lose your ring in the middle of it.
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
PLEASE READ THIS BOOK!
Beautiful book! Dialogue heavy! Which I don't mind because I really like Dialouge in writing! It's fluffy and soft. Make my heart go uwu. Would highly recommend. Also the book is pretty in person. It came in good condition. Love this paperback.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
Ive got to be honest....
I've got to be honest. All I could think of is "Are they gay? Are they gay? Are they gay? Are they gay?" Then one turned out to be and it's like "Are they both gay? Are they both gay? Are they both gay? Are they both going to be gay?" And then they were. This is probably just me. I hope it is. I mean, look at its description: "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." That's word for word. A lack of tangible events is a sure sign that something's controversial is going down. It's pretty good, but not great. It has earmarks of "The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep", "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian". I have no problem with the homosexuality, but the "are they or aren't they" ambiguity hung like a cloud over me during reading. It distracted me. Like if you go on a date with a nice guy, but lose your ring in the middle of it.
Beautiful book! Dialogue heavy! Which I don't mind because I really like Dialouge in writing! It's fluffy and soft. Make my heart go uwu. Would highly recommend. Also the book is pretty in person. It came in good condition. Love this paperback.
I've got to be honest. All I could think of is "Are they gay? Are they gay? Are they gay? Are they gay?" Then one turned out to be and it's like "Are they both gay? Are they both gay? Are they both gay? Are they both going to be gay?" And then they were. This is probably just me. I hope it is. I mean, look at its description: "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." That's word for word. A lack of tangible events is a sure sign that something's controversial is going down. It's pretty good, but not great. It has earmarks of "The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep", "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian". I have no problem with the homosexuality, but the "are they or aren't they" ambiguity hung like a cloud over me during reading. It distracted me. Like if you go on a date with a nice guy, but lose your ring in the middle of it.

Frequent mentions

1-5 of 93 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

PLEASE READ THIS BOOK!

Verified purchase

Beautiful book! Dialogue heavy! Which I don't mind because I really like Dialouge in writing! It's fluffy and soft. Make my heart go uwu. Would highly recommend. Also the book is pretty in person. It came in good condition. Love this paperback.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Excellent read! I coul...

Excellent read! I couldn't put it down. I've really been enjoying all the young adult books this year and this is no exception. This book manages to be deep, probing, and realistic, but not too heavy. Fifteen year old Aristotle, known as Ari, is a loner, all that changes however one summer he meets Dante at the pool and the two become inseparable. It's a complicated relationship, it starts to dawn on Ari that Dante likes him, like REALLY likes him. Ari tries to pretend that nothing is wrong but things but his inability to talk about problems muddles the situation. Ari is complicated young boy, he takes after his father who was in Vietnam and came back a changed and quiet man. He also can't help but wonder about his brother who has been in prison since he was four. Ari discovers that in order to discover the secrets of the universe he must discover, himself, his complicated family, and his relationship with Dante. A truly great read, the characters are multi-faceted and real. You care greatly about them and you want them to overcome their obstacles. I definitely plan on reading more from this author.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Sáenz has written a be...

Sáenz has written a beautiful novel about friendship, family, love, coming of age, and coming to terms with your identity as a teenager. Set in El Paso in the mid-1980s, the book is narrated by 15-year-old Mexican American boy Aristotle - or Ari - who has learned to repress his feelings from his parents. His father won't speak of the horrors of fighting in the Vietnam War and neither of his parents will talk about Ari's much older brother who is in prison.  The story begins when Ari meets and befriends Dante, another Mexican American boy his age, at the swimming pool. Dante and his family are more open in their feelings and he draws out Ari over a series of meaningful conversations.  The two boys deal with the typical trials of teenagers as well the specific problems related to understanding their identity as Mexican Americans and masculinity.  They suffer injuries when hit by a car, are separated when Dante's family goes to Chicago for a year, and explore their sexuality.  Without giving too much of the plot away, this is an absolutely beautiful book and one that I think a lot of young people (and formerly young people) can identify with.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Man, Im a Gina here.I...

Man, I'm a Gina here.It was definitely not love at first read. I hated the redundant, wiseass conversations which all seemed to go in a loop, and there were several little flaws that I spotted too (thumbs down to the proofreading department).At first I thought Dante's POV would make a much better book. Ari can be such a real downer, because he makes a depressing storyteller.But in the end, I get him.It all unfolded beautifully. The first few chapters were a struggle for me, but I'm glad I persevered. This book turned out to be one of the most beautifully written ones I know. I was sobbing real hard at the last few chapters.I don't know how but I felt the characters' pain acutely. Maybe because I do have friends who are in similar situations. And at first I didn't want to know what kind of thoughts Ari and Dante have- I wanted to shut them down because it felt too real, and it hurt.Still, I was more than grateful to have known their story. In the end I decided that I love them both after all. Maybe a little too much :)

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

I had to give myself s...

I had to give myself some space from this novel after I finished it because I was so floored. I'm still not sure I can capture exactly how it made me feel or how much I loved it. Aristotle, or Ari, is angsty and confused. He's angry that his parents won't talk to him about his brother, who's in prison. He's also a loner, never feeling like he quite fits in with other boys. Dante is a brilliant boy who tries to look on the brighter side of life. The two seem to have nothing in common, but learn a lot about themselves through their friendship. Ari and Dante are the kinds of characters that feel very real and jump off the page, but you would be hard-pressed to find real people like them. I loved the literary references, commentaries on different aspects of life, and their parents. It's so easy to find YA books with parents who are either never around or are unsupportive. Ari and Dante have wonderful parents who love them, talk to them, and want them to be happy. I wish everyone could have parents like them. The writing was so beautiful that I immediately wanted to read everything Saenz has ever written. I liked that the LGBT elements weren't of the in-your-face variety. It's just genuine. I also loved their struggle with where they stand as Americans and Mexicans. It was so refreshing to read about these topics when they're handled subtly and well. This book definitely deserves all of the acclaim and awards. The narration was good, but I had to let it grow on me. I wasn't sure about his voice in the beginning. After listening to nearly the entire book in one sitting, his voices became the characters' voices to me. I'm already re-reading this one in print to pick up on any quotes I might want to tag and I can still hear the narrator's voices in my head. Go read this book now!

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