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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz | Monday Book Review

Title:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe


Author:

Benjamin Alire Sáenz


Pages:

360 pages


Publishing Details:

2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers


Genre:

Realistic Fiction


Format:

Paperback


Literary Awards:

Stonewall Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature (2013), Michael L. Printz Award Nominee (2013), Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult (2013), Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis Nominee for Jugendbuch (2015), Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award (ALAN/NCTE) Nominee (2013), Pura Belpré Award for Narrative (2013)


Summary:

Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.

But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.


Review:

Wow, this book was amazing. Firstly, it is not what people assume from the back.
This is a coming of age story about two boys who discover the secrets of things that are maybe not so vast as the universe, but they matter the most to any individual.
I was worried because the main characters are 15, and I didn’t want the book to be kiddish.

Although there were a few things that they hadn’t experienced before, it wasn’t irritating to read about. It was an entirely different perspective.

The writing was simply beautiful and simple.
I seriously recommend it to people who want to read LGBTQ books and contemporaries.
I connected to the characters a lot and felt that at some point, everyone goes through in their lives.

I wish I could have given it a full 5, I really wish I did. I almost gave it 4.5, but I wasn’t THAT into the story. If I love a book, I’d want to read it no matter where or whatever time it is. And I know this could be because I usually read after being exhausted, but ah well.


Quotes:

“Words were different when they lived inside of you.”

“I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.”

“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.”

“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.”

“We all fight our own private wars.”

“Summer was here again. Summer, summer, summer. I loved and hated summers. Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me. Summer was supposed to be about freedom and youth and no school and possibilities and adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope. That’s why I loved and hated summers. Because they made me want to believe.”


Rating:

4


I’ll be starting a shout out series to a bunch of awesome people I follow so that you guys can check their blogs too! 🙂

Today, I’ll be shouting out to Overflowing Bookshelves. Her reviews are always fun to read, and generally make me want to read the books mentioned! 😀

Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli | Book Review


Title:

Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda


Author:

Becky Albertalli


Publication Details:

April 7th 2015 by Penguin


Pages:

313 pages


Format:

Kobo


Genre:

YA / Contemporary / LGBTQ


Summary:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.


Review:

FOR THE LOVE OF OREOS, PICK THIS BOOK UP!

This book is just so cute and heart-warming, I completed the whole thing in one day.
Simon, is basically what every nerd wants to be best friends with.
He likes Harry Potter, Star Wars, and is gay.
Although he does not want to come out and make it a big deal, he’s blackmailed by a guy at school, who allegedly has screenshots of Simon’s email conversation with a sort of almost boyfriend, who calls himself Blue.

Simon and Blue get to know each other, without actually knowing who it is in real life. Life is a bitch, and through ups and downs with blackmail, friend-drama, coming out to the world and the suspense surrounding Blue’s real identity, Simon manages to keep up with so much happening all at once, with school work.

So I guessed Blue wrong, but trust me I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED with who it turned out to be at all. In fact, I felt really happy.

Becky built the characters so well, I almost wished Simon and Blue were real. Sigh.

It was fast paced, cute, funny and well written. Maybe that’s the reason it received such a high rating!


Quotes:

“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.”

“The way I feel about him is like a heartbeat — soft and persistent, underlying everything.”

“But I’m tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.”

“He talked about the ocean between people. And how the whole point of everything is to find a shore worth swimming to.”


Rating:

5