Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, is a young adult coming-of-age novel and the first book in the Aristotle and Dante duology.
Aristotle and Dante are different. Aristotle is angry and closed-off. Dante is open-minded and gentle. When they meet, it seems as if they are too different to get along but, soon, it's apparent that they share a special kind of friendship, the type to last a lifetime. Together, Aristotle and Dante unlock what they call "the Secrets of the Universe" and discover more about themselves and type of people that they want to be.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a compelling book. The characters are relatable and realistic while staying unique and the story is well written. In my opinion, there are very few drawbacks regarding this book. The book can come across as too serious, rather than the usual wittiness of young adult novels and the characters may feel stagnant or flat to readers who prefer characters who are colorful and already know who they are, rather than Aristotle and Dante, who are just learning themselves. However, the protagonists of the novel are memorable and the story is told gently. I appreciated the fact that Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was written in a unique style and provides new content to the coming-of-age genre.