Leta’s Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe


There are so many things that I can say about this book, and none of them live up to the story itself. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a fascinating story full of philosophical questions and artistic answers. Sometimes no answers at all.

The story is told from Aristotle’s point of view as his friendship with Dante develops over the summer. Though Aristotle is an angry teen and Dante is an annoying know-it-all, they find an unsteady solace in each other’s company when Dante offers to teach Ari how to swim. I found both of their characters to be some of the most realistic people I’ve ever read about. Aristotle’s mind was so full of concrete questions, while Dante was a beautiful foil with his abstract wonderings.

I stopped many times while reading this book, but not because anything threw me out of the story. I needed the time to ponder some things that were said by the characters. The insights of the characters were so incredibly applicable to real life, and I had to stop and take the time to absorb the depth that they carried.

I wish I had read this book earlier, around the age of sixteen. It still applied to my experiences growing up, but I believe it would have been even more impactful at that age. I hope that other young adults around fifteen or sixteen pick up this book (and its new sequel!). Ari and Dante are perfect guides towards finding the secrets of your own universe, even if they wouldn’t agree. They ask just the right questions and leave the answers blank so that you can fill them in with your own truth.

As I mentioned above, there is a new sequel to Ari and Dante’s journey. Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World is a breath-taking continuation of the first book. Though I believe the first book works very well as a stand-alone, the second book adds an incredible amount of depth to Ari, Dante, and the world around them. If you fell in love with the first book in the decade since its publication, I promise that the second book will feel like coming home. Though I only read them a few days apart and both for the first time, I can tell that Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe has lived in the dearest places of peoples’ hearts for a long time.

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy reading about Ari and Dante!


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