This month our dear friend, Melissa Giorgio, challenged River and I for SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! with a favourite contemporary novel of hers, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Well, October is almost over, so it’s time for River and I to reveal our thoughts,
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
River’s Thoughts: I really liked this book, but I’m not sure why. While I was reading it I kept getting kinda bored and then BAM something crazy would happen. It happened like three times. I guess it was just that there were sections where I’d get lulled into Ari’s life and then SLAM something big would jerk him (and me) out of it.
I really loved Dante though, I just wanted to hug him so many times.
The themes of friendship and family were both so well done in this took. The ending, when his parents basically push Ari into it… that was beautiful. Beautiful.
Sam’s Thoughts: Ever read a book and you love it though it’s difficult to describe? That is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe for me. The writing in this book is gorgeous, but when you think of the book on a whole, not a lot really happens.
There’s a lot of anger, aggression, finding yourself, seeking your identity, longing to matter, and all these themes are mish-mashed together. This book is emotional overload in a lot of ways, and yet for me it worked quite well. I loved the gradual relationship between Ari and Dante, I love that they both in many ways had something to prove to themselves, and I loved that self-discovery was a huge part of them coming to terms with themselves. Seriously, this book is beautiful, touching, and there’s a rawness in the simplicity of the story that works so well. I really enjoyed this book, but it did make me emotionally all over the place!