Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author 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.

Hardcover, 359 pages

Published February 21st 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 

Two teen Mexican American  boys trying to answer deep questions about Identity, sexuality, friendship and  family.  

Ari, a brooding boy, but always open minded and patient. Especially when it comes to his relationship with his parents and his friendship with Dante. He doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve, pretty guarded emotionally. Ari is the youngest of the siblings and born years after the rest. So he resides alone with his parents. There is a mystery in his life regarding his older brother who is in prison. The lack of knowing what happened with his brother, and his parents not healed enough to talk about his brother causes a lot of awkward situations in his house. This becomes a major focus of Ari's story.

 Dante, always asking questions why and why not? He's a  fiercely dedicated friend and stands by his strong emotions. Wears his heart on his sleeve. Although he himself has a hard time relaying his emotions verbally he does a lot more of it than Ari.

Ari and Dante are at a time in their lives that they are experiencing the most in life. Questioning every feeling and emotion they have and over the year that this book takes place discover deep answers to their questions.

A friendship that was made in the spur of a moment, but become deeply rooted throughout this hectic and emotional year of their lives. This book will have you laughing and pondering questions of your own.

The audiobook is narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda who gives the perfect voice to the characters of Dante and Ari. The story is told all from Dante's perspective, but the narrator really brings out the emotional content in his reading of this story. 

I do not read a lot of contemporary novels. But every once in awhile I see a title that sparks my interest. This is one of those I am glad that I picked up, Great summer reading pick for your To -Be - Read stacks.

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