alice grass

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe- Review

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I was so excited when my book club pick Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe!  It is also perfect for this month when everyone is talking about diverse book #WeNeedDiverseBooks .  It is not only writtern by a Mexican-American but it is also a LGBT novel. I am hoping the discussions really take off this month in the book club.  I also read this book also with a blog read, I finished it the day the Read Along ended!


Here is the goodreads description of the book:

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.  

When I first heard about this book and saw people reviewing it I totally assumed it was a fantasy.  The cover artwork made me think this was going to be some sort of epic fantasy.  So I was really surprised when I discovered what the book was really about.  A couple of young boys growing up in El Paso, TX.  I actually couldn't put this book down.  I read it so fast.  Once the story took off I didn't want to lose the flow of the story telling.  I loved the two Mexican-American boys trying to find their way in the world. We read the whole book from Aristotle's perspective.  I totally related to him, even as an adult.  Questioning myself and my purpose.

I like that the characters start out as innocent boys.  Honestly the boys were supposed to be 15 but they seemed to act more like they were 12 to me. I loved that Dante was a boy who would cry, save birds, and just be gentle.  Then on the other hand we have Ari who is willing to fight anyone and keeps his emotions in check. I do think that the book didn't really have like a major plot.  We simply follow these boys through a year in their life.

The boy Aristotle discovers that he is a homosexual in the book.  The sad thing is he pretty much knew it but hid it from himself and the world because he was afraid of what others would think.   I don't know if you have ever heard the song Georgie by Rod Stewart but it is an amazing song.  It is about a homosexual man and what he goes through.  I remember my mom taking me out in the garage one night and we sat in the car and she had me listen to this song for the first time (we didn't have a CD player in the house yet.. old school!).  The end of this book reminded me of this song.  Go listen to it now.  

What I enjoyed most about this novel was the growth of the characters from beginning to the end.  Not just the boys but their parents and siblings. I do wish it would've had more of a plot line going but I suppose that was not the point of this book.   I really did like this book though I didn't love it.  This quote here though was amazing: The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.  
 
The crystal balls says: 




Fog is coming.....  in the middle of the road on this book!


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17 comments:

  1. I've been hearing so many good things about this one! I'm glad you liked it, though I don't think it is the right story for me. But I want to check out the author's other books because it sounds like the writing was fantastic!

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  2. I used to see this book everywhere when it came out. I'm still not sure if I should give it a try.

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  3. The writing is really good. But I will say that there was no plot really... just a nice story about 2 boys. I did enjoy it ... it's not that I disliked this book. But like you the story is not for me. I loved reading about the boys though and I even did cry! I don't like crying when I'm reading!!!

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  4. I saw this book everywhere too. I actually thought it was a fantasy. But turns out ... it's not! I love the cover of this book though.. that font is amazing!!

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  5. Aww this story sounds adorable! I regular enjoy characters finding esteem in themselves to appreciate and be flamboyant about themselves because they grew to be so confident of who they are. <3 Ooo NEW LAYOUT DESIGN!!~<33 IT LOOKS SO BEAUTIFUL YOU HAVE SUCH SKILLS, ANGELA!^^

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  6. Thank you Delaney. There will actually be ANOTHER design coming up in June. That one I will not create at all... I have someone coming in and helping me out. I am actually not that skillful. Though I try. :)

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  7. This is the first time I hear about this book, but I like the sound of it and Dante sounds adorable. Glad you like it Angela, great review! *Off to listen to that song*

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  8. I hope you enjoyed the song. Seriously that song has always haunted me. I think that it can really relate to all lives.

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  9. I am so glad you listened to the Georgie song. I have NEVER forgotten that song. Beautiful. Poor Georgie. I love when Rod Stewart says "Georgie was a friend of mine". What this means to me is who cares if Georgie is gay.. or straight. Black or white. What mattered is that Georgie was a friend and that is all.

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  10. I thought this was a fantasy book as well! The cover is definitely misleading.

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  11. Yaaayy! I'm literally so happy that you liked this. Ahahahah I totally thought that it was an epic fantasy at first as well! I mean like the cover is all sky and the title has "Discover the Secrets of the Universe" in it. I totally agree that the main characters acted a lot younger than they actually were. It's almost like they've lived under a rock their whole life. The 15 year old boys I know are a lot different but then I guess that's the point of the characters. The definition of a beautiful quote... "The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain."

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  12. I know!! But I still enjoyed the book. I never read the cover before reading so it was a total surprise!

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  13. I love that quote... I don't even normally like quotes from books. I see people even keep quote notebooks but I never do. This quote though pulled me in and spoke to me.



    I am glad I am not the only one who thought this was going to be a fantasy!! I just totally thought that by the look and title. I love love the font on the cover. I think it would be a neat font to use for a blog title even!! Thanks for hosting this event for everyone!

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  14. I'm late to it, but I bookmarked this review to read because I was so keen to hear your thoughts on this novel, which I'm planning to read in the next month or two. I'm so glad you enjoyed it and found it relatable, the story about the Rod Stewart song is so nice. I'm sorry it didn't end up being incredible, but I'm really happy you liked it.

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  15. I liked it.. it wasn't a bad book so I wouldn't tell anyone to not read it. It just isn't my style. I liked the Time Traveler's Wife too but there again it was more of just a story and not my style. I am not really a contemporary reader. I do think though it's a story we can all learn something from.

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  16. 3kids2cat1divorceMay 16, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    This sounds like a great book for both me and my almost 14 yo daughter. Thanks for the honest review --- I would've missed the book without you!

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  17. I am so glad more people get introduced to new books!!! I think it would be wonderful too if your 14 yr old read this. It is beautiful!

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