Sunday, January 24, 2016

6:120 Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

It's summer between Aristotle's junior and senior year and he can't figure out what to do with himself.  He's bored so decides to head to the swimming pool even though he can't swim.  There he meets Dante who volunteers to teach him to swim. Dante who seems to be the complete opposite of himself. Dante who is self-assured, calm, has a great relationship with his parents, saves animals, hates shoes, thinks deep thoughts, draws, and reads poetry. Aristotle does none of these things being withdrawn, taciturn, and thinking mostly of his imprisoned brother whom nobody talks about except to tell him not to end up like that.

Then Dante happens and Aristotle finds himself with a best friend without ever really knowing how it happened.  When Dante leaves for the school year with his parents, Aristotle is left trying to figure out his life without Dante and realizing it doesn't really add up.  He finds his voice in some respects but it isn't until Dante comes back that he truly learns some of the secrets of the universe.

A lovely tale of growing up and discovery.  Simple written but more powerful for that as we are in the mind of an angry and disillusioned teenager struggling to know himself and his place in the universe.

Page count: 359p/2,267p ytd/252,562p lifetime

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