Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, is a realistic fiction novel about Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza. Aristotle is a lonely, angry teenager. He wants to learn more about his brother, who is in prison. And his father, who has become quiet and closed off after returning from war. Once he meets his best friend, Dante, he starts questioning more things than he ever had before.
It’s a really sweet ending, a perfect lead-in to the second book I can’t wait to read. I absolutely love the way this book is written. It’s emotional and relatable to a lot of young adults. From Dante’s struggles with everyday life and school, family problems and expectations, to his struggles with his identity, and his sexuality that a lot of young queer people can especially relate to. It explores the challenges of everyday life while still putting in plenty of scenes that will keep you in anticipation throughout the book. This story is meaningful and beautiful, it is absolutely 5 stars and I would love to reread it.