Mini Book Review | Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Aaaahh it was such a beautiful book! Aristotle and Dante belong to two different worlds. While Dante's world is filled with poetry, books, wild runs, hopes and a lot of optimism; Ari's world is filled with family secrets, a father traumatised by war, a brother in prison, and pessimism. For Ari, the world is in black and grey and white. With no friends and a bad temper, Ari sticks to himself and his thoughts. When Dante offers Ari to teach him how to swim, Ari is suddenly taken up on a whirlwind - that is, Dante's life. But Dante has his troubles too. For Dante, his parents have built a rainbow for him but deep down he struggles with his own secrets and fears.
I loved every bit of this book. I didn't care that it was slow, the ending just made everything perfect. As the story builds slowly, we get to see Dante and Ari's influence on each other. How Ari starts caring for things he otherwise wouldn't and how Dante realizes that the world can be black and white at times as well. Ari's struggling relationship with his family and Dante's already established amicable relationship with his family, and how their lives get entertwined with each other, is just so beautiful. All Ari wants is answers from the world, and his inability to understand his feelings for Dante and his parents, makes me wanna hug Ari. His visible frustrations at being kept in the dark - the secrets in his own family being too much for him to bear - and suddenly being faced with the fear of losing Dante, is all too real.
When Ari and Dante finally discover the secrets of their universe, you can't help but become teary-eyed. It's pure happiness you'll feel as a reader - by seeing two fictional boys finally be happy with their lives, for once.