Aristotle and Dante review

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the secrets of the Universe is a novel written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

  • Goodreads blurb

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

  • Thoughts

I recently went on a LGBT-YA reading marathon and finished it off with A&D with high expectations. This is one of the books that many book bloggers raved about lthoving. For the most part we get to follow Ari (Aristotle) as he struggles with being a very shy person and not having a close relationship with his parents. They both keep a lot of secrets from each other, which makes the family’s dynamic, less than average. This, however is the complete opposite for Dante’s family. They show affection. Tell each other everything; If there were to be a spectrum of how families should be, on one end would be Aristotle’s family. On the other end would be Dante’s family. We, the readers, get to follow them as they foster a relationship: stemming from events I wont spoil. I walked into this book expecting to fall in love.  (I had just finished reading

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MORE HAPPY THAN NOT so I was still on the high of that great book) Sadly, my expectations from the high of the community was met. This book was extremely slow. It has a really great beginning and an amazing ending but the author lost me many times in the middle. To many of the moments that happened after Dante left felt like filler placed in with no true value or additive to the novel. Just forcing the reader wait for what we already know is going to happen. Nothing made this book standout to me the way others raved about. From the cliche moments, to the plot lines that didn’t seem legit. The way the history of Ari’s brother unravels is kind of cool though.

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The complexity of Aristotle and Dante’s characters lacked, big time. They felt like nothing more than quirky teenagers who read poetry and make weird quotes.  Almost like a Manic-pixie novel. They seemed to be 3-dimensional for the most part, coming to life with their own conflicts (both internally, and externally). The writing of this novel is easy to follow, but like I said earlier it’s slow. Which I’m not sure if its slow because I was expecting things to happen or because nothing was generally happening. While this might not be one of the favorite novels I understand the importance of this novel, and how it is playing a role bigger than it expects

Ultimately, I have to give this book a two out of five stars. At face value it was a good book, but it lacked the depth needed for me personally to really enjoy the characters and story line.

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