Monday, November 21, 2016

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

Teen reviewer and TAB star Anna shares a book she loves:

Ari is a lonely, angry boy. To him, Dante, who he thinks is peppy and unusual, is an enigma. But when they meet at the local pool in the summer of 1987, they have an instant friendship. Through their two summers together, they learn a lot about each other and themselves-- and the kinds of people they want to be.

The number one reason to read this book is the prose. While I am in love with everything about the book, the writing itself is beautiful and could bring anyone to tears. It's not extremely lyrical like I'll Give You the Sun (by Jandy Nelson, which I also highly recommend) or incredibly detailed like The Namesake (by Jhumpa Lahiri, another recommendation)-- it's actually spare. But that's exactly what makes it glorious: Benjamin Alire Saenz conveyed so much through his phrases.

The dynamics between Ari and Dante and their families were also incredible, they were all so raw and real. Not only were the character dynamics complex and intricate, the characters themselves-- especially Ari and Dante-- had personality traits and events in their lives that anyone could relate to. This relatability is what initially grabbed my attention-- and since then, I have read this book three times.

ALSO SIDE NOTE: The sequel is coming out within a year. I may die.

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