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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by [Benjamin Alire Sáenz]
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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 5,367 ratings

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Review

* "A tender, honest exploration of identity and sexuality, and a passionate reminder that love—whether romantic or familial—should be open, free, and without shame." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Authentic teen and Latino dialogue should make it a popular choice." -- School Library Journal, starred review

* "Meticulous pacing and finely nuanced characters underpin the author's gift for affecting prose that illuminates the struggles within relationships." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Sáenz writes toward the end of the novel that “to be careful with people and words was a rare and beautiful thing.” And that’s exactly what Sáenz does—he treats his characters carefully, giving them space and time to find their place in the world, and to find each other...those struggling with their own sexuality may find it to be a thought-provoking read." -- Booklist

"Sáenz has written the greater love story, for his is the story of loving one’s self, of love between parents and children, and of the love that builds communities, in addition to the deepening love between two friends." -- VOYA

"Ari’s first-person narrative—poetic, philosophical, honest—skillfully develops the relationship between the two boys from friendship to romance." -- The Horn Book

"Primarily a character- and relationship-driven novel, written with patient and lyrical prose that explores the boys’ emotional lives with butterfly-wing delicacy."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Sáenz is a master at capturing the conversation of teens with each other and with the adults in their lives." -- Library Media Connection, Recommended

"This book took my breath away. What gorgeous writing, and what a story! I loved both these boys. And their parents! Don't we all wish we had parents like theirs? The ending - and the way it unfolded - was so satisfying. I could go on and on...suffice it to say I will be highly recommending it to one and all. I'm sure I'll reread it myself at some point. I hated having it end." -- James Howe, Author of Addie on the Inside

“Benjamin Alire Saenz is a writer with a sidewinder punch. Spare sentences connect resonant moments, and then he knocks you down with emotional truth. The story of Ari and Dante’s friendship widens and twists like a river, revealing truths about how hard love is, how family supports us, and how painfully deep you have to go to uncover an authentic self.” -- Judy Blundell, National Book Award-winning author of What I Saw and How I Lied --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

One

ONE SUMMER NIGHT I FELL ASLEEP, HOPING THE WORLD would be different when I woke. In the morning, when I opened my eyes, the world was the same. I threw off the sheets and lay there as the heat poured in through my open window.

My hand reached for the dial on the radio. “Alone” was playing. Crap, “Alone,” a song by a group called Heart. Not my favorite song. Not my favorite group. Not my favorite topic. “You don’t know how long . . .”

I was fifteen.

I was bored.

I was miserable.

As far as I was concerned, the sun could have melted the blue right off the sky. Then the sky could be as miserable as I was.

The DJ was saying annoying, obvious things like, “It’s summer! It’s hot out there!” And then he put on that retro Lone Ranger tune, something he liked to play every morning because he thought it was a hip way to wake up the world. “Hi-yo, Silver!” Who hired this guy? He was killing me. I think that as we listened to the William Tell Overture, we were supposed to be imagining the Lone Ranger and Tonto riding their horses through the desert. Maybe someone should have told that guy that we all weren’t ten-year-olds anymore. “Hi-yo, Silver!” Crap. The DJ’s voice was on the airwaves again: “Wake up, El Paso! It’s Monday, June fifteenth, 1987! 1987! Can you believe it? And a big ‘Happy Birthday’ goes out to Waylon Jennings, who’s fifty years old today!” Waylon Jennings? This was a rock station, dammit! But then he said something that hinted at the fact that he might have a brain. He told the story about how Waylon Jennings had survived the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and Richie Valens. On that note, he put on the remake of “La Bamba” by Los Lobos.

“La Bamba.” I could cope with that.

I tapped my bare feet on the wood floor. As I nodded my head to the beat, I started wondering what had gone through Richie Valens’s head before the plane crashed into the unforgiving ground. Hey, Buddy! The music’s over.

For the music to be over so soon. For the music to be over when it had just begun. That was really sad.

© 2012 Benjamin Alire Sáenz --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0055OJC78
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (21 February 2012)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 7964 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 376 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 5,367 ratings

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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5,367 global ratings
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Top reviews from Australia

Reviewed in Australia on 29 November 2020
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Reviewed in Australia on 27 August 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Keiran Foord
5.0 out of 5 stars "I bet you could find all the mysteries of the universe in someone's hand."
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 February 2019
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18 people found this helpful
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Sanaya
5.0 out of 5 stars The best thing I have read in a long time.
Reviewed in India on 16 December 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best thing I have read in a long time.
Reviewed in India on 16 December 2017
I'm so happy that I was lucky enough to have had ordered it in paperback. This is such a beautiful book, so lucid and so mind gripping. Dante and Aristotle are characters you can relate to in different ways and in the end the message is surreal- we all are fighting private wars within ourselves. And sometimes it is time not to run and take the blows head on and be free.

Do give it a read, I never knew I'd start to look at a relationship between the same sex in a different way. I'm so glad I did it.

The front and back cover is so pretty and makws you wanna just start reading the book right away.
Couldnt really understand why the cover was like that- now I do.
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51 people found this helpful
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Chaitanya Srivastava
5.0 out of 5 stars PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND READ THIS!
Reviewed in India on 5 January 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND READ THIS!
Reviewed in India on 5 January 2021
I discovered Benjamin Alire Sáenz this year only and read Ari & Dante earlier sometime in July! In this book, Sáenz takes us on a one of a kind, rare and magical journey with Aristotle Mendoza and Dante Quintana, Mexican American kids in the 1980s. Following their lives over a period of a little more than 2 years, we see their relationship change and grow. Both these teenagers are absolutely different from one another yet they complement each other in more ways than you can imagine. Told completely from Ari’s point of view, the book is crafted in short, poem-like chapters. The story here is quiet and gentle, even simplistic but that is the very beauty of it.

Honestly, ever since I read this book, my life sort of changed. It touched upon me in a way I don’t think a lot many books have yk?

My favourite thing about this book is the realness of it all, the characters, the setting, the emotions, the dialogues and everything in between. This book made me smile, it made me cry (constantly). I found every line of this book beautiful - and worthy to quote and that is not an exaggeration. It made me also introspect what secrets the universe holds out for us and if I can discover them?

Have I discovered them? Yes. What is it? Where to look? Well, start with this book I would say.

Finally in the end all I would like to say that I did not just enjoy this book but I am so grateful for it. No review or anything I say can ever write would do justice to what a sheer masterpiece it is.
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17 people found this helpful
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lilistar
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 December 2016
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4 people found this helpful
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Rita
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful coming of age!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 June 2021
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