Aristotle and Dante discovers the Secrets of the Universe

aristotle-and-danteDante 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. 

A story which is narrated in Aristotle’s point of view. It is basically a coming-of-age story of an American-Mexican boy. As you read the synopsis, you’ll have the idea that Ari and Dante are so different with each other but those differences made their friendship grew stronger.

They met at a swimming pool when Dante offers to teach Ari how to swim. From then on, they started to hang out and know each other better. They tried to discover things around them and Ari continuously discovers some mysteries of life.

Here are ideas that I liked from the book:

  • I had a rule that it was better to be bored by yourself than to be bored with someone else. 
  • Laughter was another one of life’s mysteries.
  • The world is a dark place.
  • 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. 
  • Being smart isn’t everything. People just make fun of you.
  • Birds exist to teach us things about the sky.
  • Maybe a part of you died when you were sick. 
  • I thought it might be a great thing to be the air. I could be something and nothing at the same time. I could be necessary and also invisible. Everyone would need me and no one would be able to see me.
  • I don’t always have to understand the people I love.
  • Words could be like food – they felt like something in your mouth. They tasted like something.
  • Words were living inside me, and they were leaking out of me. Words were not things you could control. Not always. 
  • I bet you could sometimes find all of the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.
  • Talking doesn’t help everybody.
  • Smiles come and go.
  • Words were different if they lived inside you.
  • When something gets broken, it can be fixed.
  • Well, not all relationships are based on like. 
  • Sometimes, all you have to do is tell people the truth. They won’t believe you. After that, they’ll leave you alone. 
  • Life was complicated.
  • The problem with trying hard not to thing about something was that you thought about it even more. 
  • Maybe we’re like tires with too much air in them. The air has to leak out. that’s what dreams are.
  • Parents are rule-givers.
  • You can’t expect to go both ways when you’re driving in a one-way street.
  • I had been born knowing how to hide what I felt. 
  • Love was always something heavy for me. Something I had to carry.
  • Maybe everyone loved differently. Maybe that’s all that matters.
  • Sometimes pain was like a storm that come out of nowhere. The clearest summer morning could end in a downpour. Could end in lightning and thunder.
  • Feeling things is normal.
  • Life isn’t logical.
  • Sometimes,  when you were older, you become someone younger.
  • Everybody needs a friend.
  • There are worse things in the world than a boy who likes to kiss other boys. 
  • Sometimes, you do things and you do them not because you’re thinking but because you’re feeling. 
  • The worst part about going crazy is that when you’re not crazy anymore, you just don’t know what to think of yourself. 
  • Things just don’t go away because we want them to.
  • SCARS. A sign that you had been hurt. A sign that you had healed.
  • Pain wasn’t so bad.

This story is well-written. It is a story of exploration of identity and sexuality. It is a story about life and living.

It does not only talk about friendship and love but I believe that this story is also about family – that communication, acceptance and forgiveness are very important.

“One of the secrets of the universe was that our instincts were sometimes stronger than our minds…”


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