The greatness of this book is very subtle. By this, I mean that there is not an overly dramatic argument, a boring monologue of how one friend misses the other or a seriously damaged character being shoved down your throat. There are simply two boys, best friends, who meet just like any two other boys would, that make a huge impact on each others lives without even realising it.
The sincerity of their developing relationship is my favourite part of this entire book. Throughout the novel, their relationship is an extremely important constant, yet I never stopped for a moment to consider what was really happening between Aristotle and Dante and what it meant for them. I just lived their lives’ with them and learned of their feelings as they did.
I kind of lost it when Aristotle gave into his anger and fought the boys who had hurt the one he loved. Yes violence is not the answer, but it was an incredible scene that has left a lasting impression on me. After the fight, I feel like Aristotle’s love for Dante just started shining through his hard exterior, and I couldn’t wait for the end to see if the feelings were reciprocated (I didn’t think for a second that they wouldn’t be).
It took me longer to figure out how I felt about Dante. One of the first impressions I had was that he was very sure of himself and what he wants. I was right about that, and his passion, love and determination amazed me. The depths of this character alone should be enough to make you want to read this book.
Thank you, Aristotle and Dante, for sharing the secrets of the universe with me.
Author: Benjamin Alire
Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ, Romance, Coming of Age
Published: April 2014
Star Rating: ★★★★★