Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Review

Paperback, 359 Pages
YA/ Contemporary/ LGBT
By: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Rating: 🌟🌟

“Maybe we just lived between hurting and healing.”

There is a series of YA LGBT books that I have always been curious about due to their huge success and this is one of them. I had a feeling it was not the book for me and despite that I found a paperback at the local store and couldn’t resist the urge to buy it. Now the secret of the universe that is baffling me is why is this such a successful book?I expected something unique, something fresh, something deep and all I think I got was a book that was trying too hard to do that. I am happy readers liked it more than I did but it is unfortunately not for me.

The name of the book implies that there will be philosophy involved and that’s why I was partially on the guard when it came to picking it up. The dialogue and writing style seemed too unrealistic for me, the characters are angsty 15 years old character and they speak philosophical and metaphorical things that I never ever heard someone speak in that way!

“The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.”

Ari and Dante were good friends and I think it should have been left at that. The romance did not work for me for so many reasons mainly the insta-love, the experimenting with the gay guy to awaken something inside you and other tropes that I am tired off. Even the way things were wrapped up did not make sense for me and I won’t go into details because it will be spoilers.

The plot is not very original too, I just think I have read enough of these books to give up reading them at this point because they usually have the same story line with the same element. There is always someone angry, some accident, a break up, the absent father…etc. I am pretty sure that I won’t continue book 2 for that reason.

“But love was always something heavy for me. Something I had to carry.”

Summary: I think part of me understand the hype this book has and I don’t judge anyone for liking a book so I am glad that it is mostly a loved book, but for me it will be one of the universe’s secret why they love it so much. The major problem for me is that I have read the story many times before, in addition to this being unrealistically sentimental and philosophical. I am not reading book 2 and I may stop YA books of this kind too.


  1. This has been on my TBR for ever – mostly because I liked the sound of the title.
    Too bad you didn’t enjoy it! I didn’t even know there was a second book – what is wrong with standalones nowadays?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s