Saenz's Complex Teen Read Encompasses Identity, Tough Topics
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
""Something happened inside me as I looked out into the vast universe. Through that telescope, the world was closer and larger than I'd ever imagined. And it was all so beautiful and overwhelming and I--I don't know___it made me aware that there was something inside of me that mattered."
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is an award-winning young adult novel... and deservedly so. This book is rich with depth, meaning, and realism. It deals with so many heavy issues in a way that feels genuine and not forced. From PTSD to sexuality to identity, this book is a great one for teens and adults alike because it reminds us to be who we really are and go after our dreams.
Dante and Ari's friendship throughout the novel reveals so many layers to each of the characters. The author does a good job at capturing the feel of teenage relationships in a way that feels natural. I enjoyed the dialogue between the two as well as their quirky families. The characters are memorable in a John Green kind of way. They each have their own personalities and quirks that make them stand out in a world of young adult literature.
The continual symbolism of the the universe and stars was beautiful. The title fits perfectly, and I love it when a book makes you say: "Oh! I get why the title is what it is."
This book is an inspiring read for anyone searching for their identity and trying to mold their own personality in spite of family challenges. This is one of those books you could read multiple times due to the layers of meaning and the symbolism in so many of the lines.
A deep teen read that stands out thanks to its complexity and realism... I definitely recommend it.
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