Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

By: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Rating: 5/5 stars

Aristotle is a Mexican boy with no friends, until he meets Dante during the summer at the pool. They soon become best friends and Ari saves Dante’s life. Little did they know that Dante would have to spend time away in Chicago. While in Chicago Dante realizes that he likes boys instead of girls. This made Aristotle question things about the universe and about himself even more.

When Dante came back Aristotle was at first determined that he was not in love with his best friend. Of course things changed when Dante got beaten up and Aristotle beat up Julian. Aristotle’s parents questioned his actions because they were worried he was going to end up like his older brother Bernardo. That is until he told his parents about Dante. His parents were supportive of him, and even helped point what the feeling he had toward Dante was.

The book ends with the two boys laying down in the back of Aristotle’s pick up truck and Aristotle telling Dante that he feels the same.

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Words were different when they lived inside you.”
  • “I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.”
  • “We all fight our own private wars.”
  • “I had a rule that it was better to be bored by yourself than to be bored with someone else. I pretty much lived by that rule. Maybe that’s why I didn’t have any friends.”
  • “Sometimes, you do things and you do them not because you’re thinking but because you’re feeling. Because you’re feeling too much. And you can’t always control the things you do when you’re feeling too much.”
  •  “And it seemed to me that Dante’s face was a map of the world. A world without any darkness.
    Wow, a world without darkness. How beautiful was that?”
  • “I hated being volunteered. The problem with my life was that it was someone else’s idea.”
  • “Maybe we just lived between hurting and healing.”
  • “Another secret of the universe: Sometimes pain was like a storm that came out of nowhere. The clearest summer could end in a downpour. Could end in lightning and thunder.”
  • “I got to thinking that poems were like people. Some people you got right off the bat. Some people you just didn’t get–and never would get.”
  • “How could I have ever been ashamed of loving Dante Quintana?”