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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Paperback – 1 April 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 4,731 ratings

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Product description


* "A tender, honest exploration of identity and sexuality, and a passionate reminder that love—whether romantic or familial—should be open, free, and without shame." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Authentic teen and Latino dialogue should make it a popular choice." -- School Library Journal, starred review

* "Meticulous pacing and finely nuanced characters underpin the author's gift for affecting prose that illuminates the struggles within relationships." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Sáenez writes toward the end of the novel that “to be careful with people and words was a rare and beautiful thing.” And that’s exactly what Sáenez does—he treats his characters carefully, giving them space and time to find their place in the world, and to find each other...those struggling with their own sexuality may find it to be a thought-provoking read." -- Booklist

"Sáenz has written the greater love story, for his is the story of loving one’s self, of love between parents and children, and of the love that builds communities, in addition to the deepening love between two friends." -- VOYA

"Ari’s first-person narrative—poetic, philosophical, honest—skillfully develops the relationship between the two boys from friendship to romance." -- The Horn Book

"Primarily a character- and relationship-driven novel, written with patient and lyrical prose that explores the boys’ emotional lives with butterfly-wing delicacy."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Sáenz is a master at capturing the conversation of teens with each other and with the adults in their lives." -- Library Media Connection, Recommended

"This book took my breath away. What gorgeous writing, and what a story! I loved both these boys. And their parents! Don't we all wish we had parents like theirs? The ending - and the way it unfolded - was so satisfying. I could go on and on...suffice it to say I will be highly recommending it to one and all. I'm sure I'll reread it myself at some point. I hated having it end." -- James Howe, Author of Addie on the Inside

"I’m absolutely blown away. This is Saenz's best work by far...It’s a beautiful story, so beautifully told and so psychologically acute! Both Ari and Dante are simply great characters who will live on in my memory. Everything about the book is absolutely pitch perfect...It’s already my favorite book of the year!" -- Michael Cart, Booklist columnist and YALSA past president

“Benjamin Alire Saenz is a writer with a sidewinder punch. Spare sentences connect resonant moments, and then he knocks you down with emotional truth. The story of Ari and Dante’s friendship widens and twists like a river, revealing truths about how hard love is, how family supports us, and how painfully deep you have to go to uncover an authentic self.” -- Judy Blundell, National Book Award-winning author of What I Saw and How I Lied

About the Author

Benjamin Alire Sáenz is an author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. He is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the American Book Award for his books for adults. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award winner, the Pura Belpre Award winner, the Lambda Literary Award winner, and a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. His first novel for teens, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His second book for teens, He Forgot to Say Goodbye, won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, the Southwest Book Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso.

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Product details

  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (1 April 2014)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1442408936
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1442408937
  • Reading age : 12 years and up
  • Item Weight : 281 g
  • Dimensions : 13.97 x 2.54 x 20.96 cm
  • Generic Name : BOOK
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 4,731 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
4,731 global ratings
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Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 16 December 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best thing I have read in a long time.
By Sanaya on 16 December 2017
I'm so happy that I was lucky enough to have had ordered it in paperback. This is such a beautiful book, so lucid and so mind gripping. Dante and Aristotle are characters you can relate to in different ways and in the end the message is surreal- we all are fighting private wars within ourselves. And sometimes it is time not to run and take the blows head on and be free.

Do give it a read, I never knew I'd start to look at a relationship between the same sex in a different way. I'm so glad I did it.

The front and back cover is so pretty and makws you wanna just start reading the book right away.
Couldnt really understand why the cover was like that- now I do.
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39 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 21 June 2018
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20 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 5 January 2021
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By Chaitanya Srivastava on 5 January 2021
I discovered Benjamin Alire Sáenz this year only and read Ari & Dante earlier sometime in July! In this book, Sáenz takes us on a one of a kind, rare and magical journey with Aristotle Mendoza and Dante Quintana, Mexican American kids in the 1980s. Following their lives over a period of a little more than 2 years, we see their relationship change and grow. Both these teenagers are absolutely different from one another yet they complement each other in more ways than you can imagine. Told completely from Ari’s point of view, the book is crafted in short, poem-like chapters. The story here is quiet and gentle, even simplistic but that is the very beauty of it.

Honestly, ever since I read this book, my life sort of changed. It touched upon me in a way I don’t think a lot many books have yk?

My favourite thing about this book is the realness of it all, the characters, the setting, the emotions, the dialogues and everything in between. This book made me smile, it made me cry (constantly). I found every line of this book beautiful - and worthy to quote and that is not an exaggeration. It made me also introspect what secrets the universe holds out for us and if I can discover them?

Have I discovered them? Yes. What is it? Where to look? Well, start with this book I would say.

Finally in the end all I would like to say that I did not just enjoy this book but I am so grateful for it. No review or anything I say can ever write would do justice to what a sheer masterpiece it is.
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6 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 9 February 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book for every age
By Harshita on 9 February 2018
What a stunningly beautiful book! Ari and Dante's friendship and love will tug on your heartstrings, and is a story I think everybody should read. It's got oodles of representation, a heartwarming story, and most importantly, a wonderful cast of characters who lend the story so much of its warmth and brilliance. Sáenz's prose is clear, lucid and yet profound, which I think makes it something everybody can (and should!) read. Additionally, Sáenz's treatment of adolescence, and coming to grips with one's own identity is done so delicately and sensitively it is commendable. Truly a book everyone should read, not just those interested in YA.
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17 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Keiran Foord
5.0 out of 5 stars "I bet you could find all the mysteries of the universe in someone's hand."
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 February 2019
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14 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 December 2016
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4 people found this helpful
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Umut Rados
4.0 out of 5 stars And I loved it! First of all
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 December 2017
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6 people found this helpful
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4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 October 2016
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One person found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ummm can you tell I like this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 February 2017
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One person found this helpful
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