Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

I recently took this book out from my school’s library, and I managed to finish it in record time!!! Usually with my busy week (school, work, blogging, etc) I have barley any time to read, but after reading Throne of Glass fairly quickly, I was on a roll. I decided to keep my streak going and start a new book, one that I basically finished in one day – it was absolutely brilliant. So, here is a review!!

Like always, I’ll start with the good stuff.

First off, Aristotle is quite a unique character from a different ethnicity than most protagonists, which I loved! I really enjoyed the way this book was diverse because it introduced other backgrounds instead of the very typical ones. Ari had a decent life, but there was a lot he didn’t know about himself and about his family. I loved how his thoughts and everything he felt really made me feel connected to him – he thought exactly like a teenager. For example, one chapter discussed how for no reason he hated everyone – Dante, his dad, his mom – for no apparent reason. He just felt annoyed with them and wanted to be alone – something that many teens do face. It’s at the teen age when kids begin to mature and want to spend more time alone and become more independent; and having no personal space or privacy can really upset someone at times, especially if you value alone time to relax, and just think.

Also, I loved the chemistry between Ari and Dante – they seemed so at ease with each other, and they seemed like they really trusted one another. They didn’t have to share everything to each other because they felt like they had to, they honestly showed their feelings without lying to one another, and I really enjoyed that!

As well, I loved waiting until the end to find out about Bernardo, because I really wanted to know what happened. In a way, books have a way of being so close to reality that it seemed like I was just waiting to hear the latest gossip and news!! I was so engaged, and many times when I read and I find out a huge plot twist or the real truth I feel like I just found the biggest gossip – and then I realize that all of it, in fact, is fictional!

Now, onto the bad stuff, which there isn’t a lot of. I tend to try and highlight the good parts of the book because I don’t want to convince someone not to read something – the best thing about reading is that everyone has different taste, so someone else could enjoy something I didn’t!!

So, one of the things I didn’t love about the novel was that in a way, the characters were kind of cliche. Of course, their ethnic backgrounds and some characteristics were very unique, but it is the typical scenario where you have one character that is troubled and very self-conscious, and another character that is wise, smart, and social. Not to mention, they are always very deep and insightful with meaningful metaphors. I am a sucker for these kinds of characters, but in a way it makes the novel too predictable – I find that so many novels these days are very similar to one another because there is always that balance of one character who is anxious and is troubled, and another character who is confident and very insightful.

As well, I also somewhat didn’t know if the relationship between Ari and his parents and Dante and his parents was accurate. Of course, there are families that are open to each other like Dante’s, and all families love one another in both cases. But, seeing as Ari and Dante are teens, I would expect them to be a bit more moody and have more tension between them and their parents. Many parents would classify a little anger from a teen or annoyance as being moody when in fact, maybe their child is trying to prove a point when having a conversation about a topic they feel strongly about. Teens are at that time where they start to act less childish and begin to question things, and they begin to think and have their own opinions – which could create different conversations and arguments because they have different views than their parents. I just thought that Ari’s and Dante’s relationships with their parents was a bit too laid back, and kind of perfect. Of course, Ari had the whole mystery with his brother and his dad’s past, but aside from that his relationship with his parent’s was very chill – he seemed to not have a curfew etc. The same goes for Dante. Both of them never really argued with their parents, never really showed their frustration, because the didn’t have any. In a way, that seemed a little too unrealistic for kids their age.

The pros definitely outweighed the cons for me; I loved the story line, I loved how engaged I was, and I really enjoyed reading this book!! And the ending just blew me away – it was a bit unexpected but it was so touching – it really gave me the feels!!!

Anyhow, I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves contemporary fiction from a more unique perspective, and to anyone who loves an engaging book!!


Happy Reading, and stay tuned for Saturday!!!



Author: Just Bookish Things

Book enthusiast, and professional tea drinker. My blog is devoted to everything Bookish; treats, DIY'S, reviews, writing tips - you name it!

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