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


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe


Benjamin Alire Sáenz


360 pages

Publishing Details:

2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers


Realistic Fiction



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)


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.


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.


“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.”



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! 😀


Ember by Jessica Sorensen


Ember ( Death Collectors #1)

Jessica Sorensen.

Kobo eBook.

What if you knew when someone was going to die? For seventeen-year-old Ember, life is death. With a simple touch, she knows when someone will die. It’s her curse and the reason she secludes herself from the world. The only person who knows her secret is her best friend Raven. Then she meets Asher Morgan. He’s gorgeous, mysterious, and is the only person Ember can’t sense death from. So when he pushes into her life, she doesn’t mind. But when unexplained deaths start to haunt her town, Ember starts questioning why she can’t sense Asher’s death and what he may be hiding.

My review:
Total blah. I don’t know why, but I didn’t like this book at all.
The characters didn’t connect. The story was way too unreal. Not counting the fact that it was paranormal/fantasy.
Best friends didn’t seem like best friends. Family didn’t seem like family. Okay, they had issues. Still.
The protagonist wasn’t worried that her friggin car was in the bottom of the lake. Instead she was preoccupied by day dreaming about the new hot guy in her life.
She didn’t seem to care about anything and instead was worried about which of the two guys she liked.
Then there’s this, hey I just met you. Let’s kiss and fall in love.
I did like the summary and the cover. I thought there will be more to the whole Grim Reaper thing. It wasn’t as interesting as it could have been.
I did love the few poems and quotes in the book. Not sure if I’ll continue the series.


“Once a blooming red rose, full of streaming life in its veins
Now a wilting black petal rupturing with death and pain.”

“Blinded by the opaque veil of mortality, her eyes are always sealed, like a tomb
She wants to know—wants to feel that fire, the brightness of the moon
So she searches for light, only to realize it’s in her, like an Ember equipped to ignite.”

“Like a feather in a dust storm, with no direction.”

“The ember dies slowly in a mound of ash. Darkness and mourning, it longs to burn fire. But the smoke and sorrow let it die. The need for a spark asserts fiercely. But a spark won’t surrender. So the ember continues to smother. Into ash, into dust, into nothing. And that’s how it will be, forever.”

“In the midst of a foggy field, the answers are hidden
But the impossible journey deems them forbidden.”

Goodreads rating: 3.8/5 stars.
My rating: 1