Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sánez

Even though summers were mostly made of sun and heat,
summers for me were about the storms that came and went.
And left me feeling alone.

Did all boys feel alone?

The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.

The novel follows 15 year old Aristotle Mendoza; Ari is lonely, pessimistic and curious. Ari meets the smart, lively, sweet Dante Quintana at the pools, where he offers to teach Ari to swim. Ari and Dante become closer friends and set out to discover the secrets of the universe together, whether it be working out their 'inscrutable' parents, kissing girls, growing up, working each other out and furthermore themselves. 

Sometimes you read a book that stays with you, that leaves in a pool of tears; this was that book for me. This was the most beautiful coming of age story I have ever read. 
I felt as if I was present with Ari and Dante, feeling the struggles that the teenage years brought right with them. It took me on an emotional roller coaster at every point, I don't think I have ever cried so much during a book. The emotion was raw and real and made me connect with the novel on an extremely personal level. It showed the value of love, life and what it means to grow up and accept yourself and all the darkness you once had. Not a single word was wasted, after every chapter I had to put the book down and digest every word. I loved that Sánez left you with something to think about after every chapter. This book was relatable, poetic and simply genius. I don't even know what else to say apart from this book left me speechless, and maybe just maybe this book helped me discover the secrets to my own universe. 

Rating:    ★ 

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