Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

By Saumya –

Author – Benjamin Alire Sáenz

“The problem with my life was that it was someone else’s idea”
Stuck at home has made us all try different and new things. This book had been sitting on my shelf for quite a long time, so one beautiful evening I decided to pick it up and get lost in the amazing world of Aristotle and Dante. I will admit that at first, I didn’t want to read this book, it didn’t call me. But after reading the first few pages I was hooked. It is powerful, beautiful, and funny and breath taking all rolled into one.
The story is told by one of our protagonists, Aristotle. He is a shy young boy stuck in this big, scary and dreadful world. Fighting with his own demons and the demons around him he discovers himself and transforms into a beautiful person by the end of the story. This book is about self-discovery, about getting to know who you really are and what you really feel. Written beautifully by Benjamin, it is a heart- warming book which opens our eyes towards the lives of many teenagers who are still in the process of discovering themselves.
Aristotle is an average teenager surrounded by concrete walls, walls that keep him away from the world. He has a loving family, but not everything is perfect, he has a brother who is in jail (and dead to his parents), a mother who is in denial and a father who is still haunted by his time in the war. Ari has a hard time fitting in and is in constant self-doubt. Our other protagonist, Dante is the same age as Ari, has a loving family, but yet again, nothing in this world is perfect. Dante may seem like a boy who knows what he wants and is on his way to live a life in the real world but he has his inner demons too, everybody has them. Dante teaches us that it is okay to be confused, it is okay to feel things which aren’t “normal”, it is okay to feel.
Ari and Dante are a perfect depiction of the lives of teenagers. They tell us that not everybody is perfect, not everybody is who the world wants to be. They tell us that it’s okay to be different.
In my opinion, the author has done a brilliant job in writing the book. A good book keeps you engaged, it makes you want to turn the pages without stopping, and it makes you want to keep reading until your mind screams at you not to. This book, is a good one. It is very engaging and every page made me want to read more. The way the words were put together and the way Sáenz sewed this story is absolutely wonderful. The way the characters grew, the way the story was told makes me want to read the book over and over again.
This is a book that will touch your heart and stay with you forever. It is relatable, sweet, funny and extremely overwhelming. I would absolutely agree with James Howe when he said, “This book took my breath away”.
Ari and Dante teach us that the power of friendship can help us take over all the hurdles in our way and make us stronger than ever. Friendship can teach you the most important truths of life and help people define the way they want to be.
Self-love is the first step towards self-discovery. Don’t wait for someone else, learn to accept who YOU are.