book review // “aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe” by benjamin alire sáenz



“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.”


aridantetitle: aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe
author: benjamin alire sáenz
genre: young adult
type: paperback
pages: 359
start: 06.01.2018
finish: 07.01.2018
rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


aristotle is a teenager who doesn’t know where he belongs. he thinks he doesn’t have a place in the world and is only living for other people. one day he meets dante, a boy who shows him what friendship is all about. they start to live together and slowly grow up into the men they want to be.


i had a really good reading year in 2017. but in the end everything felt out of place. i read good books but i was stressed out and it was hard to pick up a book. and then the new year came and then came “aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe”. i picked this book up right before i went to bed. i went through the first 60 pages and the next day i finished it before the day really started. this book sucked me in completely and i missed the feeling, that a book could do that to me. i didn’t want to do anything else. there was just this book and me.

i love coming of age stories. they are my favorite. when a person is growing up. making their discoveries and memories and experiences. i just love reading about that. so this book was the perfect fit for me. first of all i want to mention the writing. benjamin alire sáenz has a wonderful writing style, that kept me glued to the pages. i enjoyed every page and the most wonderful thing were all those beautiful quotes. i am a sucker for great quotes. i can’t get enough. this combined with great characters and a beautiful story made the perfect book for me.

the characters in this book touched me so much. it’s hard for me to think about my 15 year old self and if i was also that lost in the world. i really don’t remember. but i know, that i had moments in my life, where i didn’t know what to do or where to go. so i could relate to ari a lot. right from the start he was this vulnerable character that wormed his way into my heart. i wanted to protect him and his life really touched me. not just his personality, but also his relationships to his parents, which are also great characters. the family story is so important and it fits the book so well. i am so glad, how it all comes together in the end. this family is amazing and i love ari’s parents for what they did. i can totally understand why ari is the way he is. why everything goes the way it goes. it makes so much sense, especially in this age. but the journey he’s taking is amazing and i am so happy, that i could be a part of it.

dante is also a character, that i adore so much. he’s this guy, i wish i knew. who pushes you, who shows you things you didn’t know you needed or loved. i am so happy how dante’s and ari’s friendship develops throughout the book and how dante just becomes and stays the person he is supposed to be. he is very strong and i love his personality. his relationship to his parents is also amazing. all in all, every parent in this book is special.

one thing i also love about this book, is the timing. it’s set in the late 80s and i love it, because i usually read books set in the current time, with all the technology and social media. but here, it’s back in the 80s and there are no cell phones, not tv. just books and letters and the beatles, heck yeah! 😀



not one thing! 😀


“aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe” is a wonderful coming of age story about friendship, love and finding out who you really are and where you belong to. it has an amazing cast of characters and the writing is gripping and beautiful and full of great quotes. if you like young adult coming of age stories you should definitely give this one a try. it’s worth it!



“aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe” on goodreads
benjamin alire sáenz on goodreads

16 thoughts on “book review // “aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe” by benjamin alire sáenz

  1. YEEEEEEEE YAYAYAYAYAAYAY so happy you enjoyed reading this! I’ve been meaning to get my hands on it but life seems to be happening to fast for me and can’t seem to read as often as I would like to anymore. But your review is really motivating me now!! BOO-YAHH!! 😀 :*

    Liked by 1 person

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