Customer Reviews for

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Average Rating 5
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Best book ever

    I devoured the entire book in less than 24 hours. Ive never been so cptivated by a book that it changed my whole take on life. BEST BOOK YOU WILL EVER READ! SO READ IT!!!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    This book was truly beautiful. I was not concerned where it woul

    This book was truly beautiful. I was not concerned where it would end, because I just loved reading the words on the page in front of me.
    Even more, the dialogue made the whole piece flow, because it was not plagued with "he said." More importantly, I felt very comfortable reading this book because there were no glaring explicit events, yet in no way was it an easy or young read. For those who enjoy quality writing and have been bored with dystopian futures, please read. :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2013

    I had to give myself some space from this novel after I finished

    I had to give myself some space from this novel after I finished it because I was so floored. I’m still not sure I can capture exactly how it made me feel or how much I loved it.

    Aristotle, or Ari, is angsty and confused. He’s angry that his parents won’t talk to him about his brother, who’s in prison. He’s also a loner, never feeling like he quite fits in with other boys. Dante is a brilliant boy who tries to look on the brighter side of life. The two seem to have nothing in common, but learn a lot about themselves through their friendship. Ari and Dante are the kinds of characters that feel very real and jump off the page, but you would be hard-pressed to find real people like them. I loved the literary references, commentaries on different aspects of life, and their parents. It’s so easy to find YA books with parents who are either never around or are unsupportive. Ari and Dante have wonderful parents who love them, talk to them, and want them to be happy. I wish everyone could have parents like them. The writing was so beautiful that I immediately wanted to read everything Saenz has ever written. I liked that the LGBT elements weren’t of the in-your-face variety. It’s just genuine. I also loved their struggle with where they stand as Americans and Mexicans. It was so refreshing to read about these topics when they’re handled subtly and well. This book definitely deserves all of the acclaim and awards. The narration was good, but I had to let it grow on me. I wasn’t sure about his voice in the beginning. After listening to nearly the entire book in one sitting, his voices became the characters’ voices to me. I’m already re-reading this one in print to pick up on any quotes I might want to tag and I can still hear the narrator’s voices in my head.

    Go read this book now!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 14, 2014

    Loved it. Doesn't have needless sappy drama like other YA books.

    Loved it. Doesn't have needless sappy drama like other YA books. I finished it in 2 days because I simply could not stop my self from reading it. I bought this on a whim and it was the best decision, you will not regret reading this story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    This book has left me speechless. The author is truly amazing wi

    This book has left me speechless. The author is truly amazing with his words and the story is unforgettable. It's truly a book to read over and over again. I'm in love with this work and I can't believe I didn't read it sooner. I finished this book in 12 hours, crying all the while.
    The characters are real and funny, they're sarcastic and full of wit. They are so much more than I had ever expected from this book. 
    This book made my heart ache more than any other book I've ever read, and I've read The Fault in Our Stars and many other ones of the sort.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 9, 2013

    ¿Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

    ¿Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

    Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

    ¿Genre: fiction

    Review: 

    Okay, this novel wins the "longest-book-title" award hands down. What a mouthful to say--really, say it out loud now. Aristotle. And.
    Dante. Discover. The. Secrets. Of. The. Universe. Okay, I'm done talking about the book's title and am ready to actually talk about the
    contents itself.

    I found the main character, Aristotle (also known as Ari) to be intriguing. He's only fifteen years old yet he already feels like an old man.
    He's a loner, but he doesn't get bullied because he can fight good enough to defend himself, but that doesn't mean he has friends
    either. Ari feels that he has life basically figured out: it sucked. At least that's the way his summer his looking so far until he meets
    Dante at the community pool.

    Ari can't swim. Dante can. Dante's also friendly, brave, smart and quirky. Ari accepts Dante's offer to teach him how to swim and they
     quickly befriend each other. There really is not "climax" of the book (unless maybe if you count Ari getting severely injured to push Dante
     out of the way of an out of control truck...but that happens like 1/3 into the novel so I don't think that's the climax). I think the plot of
    Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is more of a slow burn type of plot. What I mean is that the novel is engaging
    enough so that it keeps you flipping the pages and then the tension increases some, and some more and some more until you HAVE
    to finish the book. (Fast burn plots are are-on-the-edge-of-your-seat pacing.)

    The writing was beautiful. Sure Ari is a somewhat troubled kid and may drop a few swears here and there...yet many of the chapters are
     very poetic. Does that even make sense? Poetic swearing? Another thing about this book--the chapters are short. Like short shorts
    short. But I think it suits the book perfectly because each chapter tells a story. The story may be as big as describing an important event
    , or as small as conveying an emotion to the reader.

    This book is definitely a coming of age novel as the two boys struggle to discover themselves and find their place in the world. Here are
     some of my favorite quotes from the book:

    "That afternoon, I learned two new words. 'Inscrutable.' And 'friend.' Words are different when they lived inside of you."
    "I returned to the book of poems. I read a  line and tried to understand it: 'from what we cannot hold the stars are made.' It was a
    beautiful thing to say, but I didn't know what it meant."
    "If I switched the letter my name [Ari] was Air. I thought it might be a great thing to be the air. I could be something and nothing at the
     same time. I could be necessary and also invisible. Everyone would need me and no one would be able to see me."

    Likes:
    *touching story of friendship
    *many life lessons
    *interesting characters
    *unexpected twist at the end
    *friendship between Dante and Ari can be relatable (like when you share an inside joke with a friend and both burst out laughing when you see something that triggers it)

    Dislikes:
    *how the characters often repeated each others words

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    If I had to use one word to describe this book it would be beaut

    If I had to use one word to describe this book it would be beautiful. The story, the characters, everything. This is not my usual kind of book and it's the first time I've read anything dealing with this particular issue but I feel like Sáenz handled it flawlessly.

    The first thing I fell in love with was the writing. It's the kind of writing that I want to endlessly gush about it. Sáenz has a talent for conveying an overwhelming amount of emotion in very few words. His simple prose and utilization of short sentences and chapters is usually not the kind of writing that works for me, but his writing is so lyrical and evocative that I was instantly engaged and couldn't stop reading until I was done. His is the kind of writing that gives you the sense that every word was selected with great love and care.

    The second thing I fell in love with was Ari, and through his narration I fell in love with all the other characters as well, from Dante to the dog Legs. It was so easy for me to relate to Ari, despite the fact that we have nothing in common other than an overwhelming sense of loneliness. In a lot of ways he reminded me of Holden Caulfield of The Catcher in the Rye, who is one of my favorite narrator's ever. Ari's mind and narration is honest, thoughtful and of course beautiful. It is also brutally painful and caused me to have all sorts of aching emotions. Honestly, as I was reading I felt like I was growing up right alongside Ari.

    Dante and both sets of parents are also lovely. While the book is told exclusively from Ari's POV, it is so easy to feel as if you understand Dante and the parents just as well as you do Ari by the end of it. Sáenz developed all of his characters masterfully and there is not a one who is not a complexly layered fully developed individual. So often in first person narrations the secondary characters do not get the development they deserve but that never becomes an issue here.

    However it is the relationships that are hands down the best part of this book. Dante and Ari's friendship is completely organic and realistic. The love the parents have for their sons, their insight and understanding of these boys made my heart melt because they are the truest child/parent relationships I've ever read.

    This really was one of the most honest, thoughtful, and genuinely realistic books about the importance of family, love and finding yourself that I've ever had the pleasure of reading. This is the book that should be studied in every high school and I will be recommending it to everyone I know until they all read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2014

    Incredible

    I picked up the book and thought it would be something about philosophy. I was half wrong. It wasn't about the historical philosophers but I was pleasantly surprised. This book makes you think and has a new take on philosophy. I found myself able to relate to the main characters and I really liked how it was written. The main characters were beautiful developed and the story was incredible. I'm so happy I read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 19, 2014

    My favorite book in the universe. Really, so beautiful and tende

    My favorite book in the universe. Really, so beautiful and tender and I just love all the characters, even Legs and Fidel. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2014

    I want to start by saying this... If you are part of the LGBTQ,

    I want to start by saying this... If you are part of the LGBTQ, if you are an ally, if you are straight, if you are trapped in the "ecotone" of gender identity... I urge you, do yourself a favor and read it... It definitely won't be a waste of your time... This book deserved it all: the hype, the awards, all of it if not much more...

     Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a coming-of-age story that is told mostly from the point of Aristotle as he goes into a deep and thoughtful exploration of discovering his identity and coming to terms with his own sexuality. Along the journey he meets Dante, another boy who seems to be nothing like him. It was that fateful encounter that changed everything and we are then entertained with a story of discovery, friendship, family and love...

    I really loved the way this book was written. Some chapters were really short (just a portion of the page with a few dialogues). Yet, I still felt it was very lush with just the right amount of details. The prose and dialogues, were so simple yet so good, I would go so far as to call it lyrical at most. I had to stop reading this book at times because it was just that good and it kept tugging hard at my emotions. It was very easy to get lost in this book. There were a lot of times while I was reading this book, that I had some "Eureka!" moments wherein I needed to stop a bit just to completed absorb all the profoundness that is hidden within  the very straightforward and honest way it was presented. 

    Personally, I don't know if I've connected and empathized more with any other characters other than Ari and Dante. Everything seems so real and the writing just seems to resonate with something I know I've struggled with in the past. I guess I should have expected much when I read the dedication: "To all the boys who've had to learn to play by different rules...". This book turned me into a blubbering mess and still, I loved it. Everything about this book was beautiful: the cover, the characters, the love,the story, and the writing style. This is definitely one of my best reads of the year... ♥♥♥

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014

    Very good, short, easy read.

    Very good book, great characters, was somewhat upset at abrupt ending. Would love a follow up book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014

    This book was completely amazing. I had heard of it before and r

    This book was completely amazing. I had heard of it before and randomly decided to purchase it, and I must say that I have absolutely no regrets. I'm so glad that I read it sooner rather than later. An excellent book that I highly recommend!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Possibly the best book I've ever read. I read it so quickly and

    Possibly the best book I've ever read. I read it so quickly and was in tears for the most part. GAHHHH it was just too good. Definitely recommend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    An Amazing Story

    This story is so lovely and just impossible NOT to love. Aristotle is a young man who is constantly searching for something to fill his angry voice. Then comes in comes Dante and shows him a path he'd never even dreamed of taking before.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    Detailed, entertaining, funny, and beautifully written. A great

    Detailed, entertaining, funny, and beautifully written. A great story for teenagers and parents. A must read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    One of the best books I've ever read!

    One of the best books I've ever read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    this book was awesome and unforgettable.  i loved reading about

    this book was awesome and unforgettable.  i loved reading about Ari's and Dante's developing and blossoming friendship and enjoyed staying with Ari as he grew up and discovered so many things about his life.  there were some great lines in this novel; some were funny while others were sobering.  i highly recommend this book to anyone- it is a great story about friendship, life, and growing up and discovering yourself.  bravo to Benjamin Alire Sáenz!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    AudioBook Review:  The award winning author Benjamin Alire S

    AudioBook Review: 




    The award winning author Benjamin Alire Sáenz, has crafted a thoughtful story, that starts a bit slowly, but each and every sentence is important, and brings a sense of the characters as they are introduced.  Patience is rewarded, the characters grown and change as they learn about each other and the reader learns about them. While not linear, the point of view narration does jump about as one thought leads in to another, that quiet interior contemplation that we all understand but never voice.








    Aristotle is a darker, more reserved kid: he’s thoughtful with a pessimistic outlook on the eventual outcome of situations.  Dante is far lighter, one who (in the author’s words) is not good at keeping all of his laughter inside.  Dante is truly the more intellectual of the two: sharing poetry and authors, ideas and concepts, all delivered in his perfectly constructed English.  Ari is far more insecure, holding secrets closely and often amazed at the honesty Dante displays, insists on in living his life. 




    As a coming of age story, set in the ‘new revised rules’ of summer this is a wonderful story that encompasses friendship and forgiveness, deals with issues of race identification, sexuality and even self-confidence as the two come to appreciate one another, and form true bonds.   




    The narration, provided by Lin-Manuel Miranda is wonderful, small distinctions in cadence delineate the characters and without great fuss, the characters of Ari and Dante are unique and instantly recognizable.  His clear enunciation and smooth delivery provide the listener the ability to listen to the words being spoken, incorporate their meaning and flow, rather than be distracted by overly exaggerated characterizations. 




    I thoroughly enjoyed this book – a winner for parents and teens alike.  And, while the main characters and issues are fairly specific, the story is not ‘just for boys’. There is something for everyone, and it is wrapped in a story that is very compelling, and suited to that time, when you are 15 and not really a “person” yet.   




    I received the audiobook version from the publisher via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review as part of the Heard Word.  I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    I got this from my school's library. Read it in two hours, not e

    I got this from my school's library. Read it in two hours, not even stopping to pee. Cried a little bit in the bathroom and read the first 50 pages again. Now I'm buying my own copy, and possibly one for my brother as well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    as an 18 year old girl, i swear this is my favorite book. to rea

    as an 18 year old girl, i swear this is my favorite book. to really learn about friendship, read this. you will fall in love with ari and dante

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2