Books with really short chapters are wonderful; but they are even better when their chapters contain some of the most beautiful sentences ever written.
“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
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. (Taken from Goodreads)
From the first page to the last, this novel had me gripped. I literally couldn’t put this book down. Each character is incredibly realistic and relatable. Ari, our narrator, is a teenager growing up in New Mexico. He hasn’t got a lot of friends, and is struggling to find out whom he is. One day, when he visits the pool in his town, he meets Dante, a teenage boy who is very outgoing and seems to know exactly who he is. Ari finds his personality to be strange, but awfully interesting. Soon enough, the two hit it off, and their adventurous friendship begins.
I must say that Dante was one of my favorite characters. He is genuine, funny, and sympathetic. Like a true friend, he sticks with Ari even during the hard times. As for Ari, I think he is a great main character. He has interesting outlooks on life that I found myself pondering, and although he can be a little rough around the edges sometimes, his character truly shines through Dante and his family.
What also makes this book wonderful is that Ari and Dante have many differences, but their similarities rise above their conflicts.
This book is very philosophical, but not in a way that makes your head hurt after reading a paragraph. Ari is very blunt and mindful about the things that go on around him. Although he shares his thoughts with us, there is still an element of mystery to him, which is great.
This is a coming of age novel that anyone at any age can connect to. It’s about the great importance of family, friends, and finding yourself in a world of various types of people and consequences.
This one is definitely worth picking up off the shelf. It may even be one that you won’t want to put back.