Benjamin Alire Saenz’s Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe


Hello, hello readers! It’s a Wednesday here at Destination: Reading. It’s Wednesday everywhere. We live on the same planet, I swear.

After an intense weekend of reading for the #24in48 Readathon, we’re back to our regular reading schedule. We’re currently hanging out in good ol’ Texas! 220px-aristotle_and_dante_discover_the_secrets_of_the_universe_coverAfter listening to a whole bunch of Texas themed songs a few weeks ago, I feel like we’re ready to dive into our newest pick. Written by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe follows two boys as they learn what it is to grow up.

I was really annoyed when I started reading this book. I wanted so much to like it, but the character’s voices seemed somehow off. These 15 year olds spoke like 20 year olds and it was a bit jarring, like the author had a disconnect with the people he was writing about. Fortunately, the boys grew into those big voices and I ended up really liking the book. It was more serious and angsty than I expected, but this is puberty we’re talking about so I suppose it’s to be expected.

There were lines that made me groan with how bad they were. Seriously, some lines are just cheap and forced and completely unnecessary. But then, there are beautiful lines. Lines that broke my heart and squeezed tears from my eyeballs. EYEBALLS DRIPPING ALL OVER THE PLACE. Anyway, there was more good than bad, I think. And for me the bad was more about logistics and technicalities than it was about the story.

The story itself, was interesting. They’re discovering their sexuality, discovering what it is to smoke pot for the first time, drink for the first time. But it’s also about that uncomfortable feeling of growing and growing up. Feeling like things are changing, like they will never be the same again. Feeling slightly alienated by the changes and wondering if everyone feels the same way or if you’re the only one. The end was kind of predictable, but it was a good ride while it lasted. A good ride indeed.


Next up is Oklahoma! Are you excited? I’m excited!

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