Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
This is a story of two Mexican teenage boys. Ari and Dante. The main protagonist is Ari and his personal struggles, in a way he is a philosopher just like his name sake, he is a loner who avoids his parents and sits in the desert staring at the stars and contemplating life. Dante is a poet who is open with his parents and his feelings. They are polar opposites but are also best friends.
This book has a lot of themes, LGBT, coming of age and finding yourself. The book doesn't really follow a plot per se its more a story of their friendship day to day and how they develop from boys into men. If you dont enjoy YA with LGBT themes this this book really wont be for you. The story was beautiful and the character development was wonderful. I really enjoyed the family aspect of this book, both boys have complex family lives in their own different ways. The best thing for me was getting a glimsp into Ari's head and his frame of mind surrounding certain situation.
Some parts of this book are difficult to read. The characters are real and the writing style is believable. Both boys parents played such a massive part of this story and i found that fascinating as it isnt very prominent in YA novels.Each parent had their own personality and i enjoyed all their characters and the relationships to their son. I enjoyed Ari's family as it reminded me of my own, it often feels like we live our lives without talking much. I enjoyed how Ari's parents had flaws and struggles and how they were human too but also how their flaws and struggles affected their son. Dante's parents were so cute and what an amazing family unit they were. This was all about the family for me and not so much about the romance.
Dante is openly gay, this aspect becomes apparent when Dante and his family move to Chicago for a year and the boys have to communicate via letters. Dante falls for Ari and never hides his feelings, the boys struggle to remain friends as Ari does not feel the same way and struggles knowing that his best friend is in love with him.Dante is true to himself, open and an overall positive character.
Ari was my favourite character as i related to him and his outlook on live. He is someone who is quite negative but is so much more realistic as a teenager. I dont want to give too much away so i will leave it there but i highly urge you to read this.
4 out of 5 stars from me, really wish this was a duology!