Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is an expeditionary read

Saenz’s novel is well written coming-of-age story.


First published in 2012, Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s book has won numerous awards.

The novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz was a great read. This novel’s main theme was regarding two Mexican-American teenage boys who build a relationship.

Throughout the novel, the friendship between the teenage boys, Aristotle, Ari, and Dante is narrated in a descriptive form. This book not only describes the relationship between them but also their struggles such as sexuality, race, ethnicity, identity, and family. The novel does have intriguing struggles which are well explained and relatable. 

Dante and Ari had met at a swimming pool and instantly connected. Both had very few friends, in fact, Ari had none. They begin to spend time together and develop a pulchritudinous friendship. Within this friendship, they learn about themselves and grow. They both gain a better understanding of themselves and their universe. 

This book was very touching and deep. The story makes you fall in love with the characters and makes you truly admire them. The story is almost like a diary told from Ari’s perspective. Ari starts the tone of the book almost sad and lost. Seeing how he grows to accept himself and have a better understanding was so beautiful. 

This was a slow burn book, and usually, I don’t enjoy books like the one mentioned, but the author did an excellent job of keeping the book interesting and engaging. The slow burn in this sense was fitting for the story and very well written. This book also had quick chapters and was an easy read. 

I highly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it. Overall I give this book a 10/10.