Summary: Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship- the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
My thoughts: There are stories so simple and to the point that it's startling. No dragons to slay. No princesses to rescue. Just your standard contemporary novel. Except that although it’s not a fantasy, maybe there is still something to defeat. And maybe there is still someone that needs to be rescued.
To say Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is about two best friends as they grow (sometimes apart, sometimes closer) into something more than boys, doesn't seem to do this story justice. This is about love and everything that that can mean. But that seems too vast of an explanation.
Like every single person in this book, love takes on a different form depending on who's expressing it. For every moment Dante wants to feel and acknowledge aloud, Aristotle wants to store away and ponder. To keep close and analyze. Ari's dad loves in silence. You can see the way Dante's mother feels just by a look. Ari's mother and Dante's dad through their words and in the way that they talk.
So out of all the secrets in the universe that need discovering, like what Ari's dreams mean, or why his parents won't talk about his older brother, the biggest secret of them all seems to be about self-discovery. Who am I? And what does that mean?
It's weird growing up and learning who you are. Whether you're becoming more of yourself or less. I'm not a teenager anymore, but I can remember how fragile you can feel when everything about you seems unclear, especially your feelings and who you feel them for. But when you see these characters grow and change and learn to accept, it's a reminder. Some secrets are meant to be shared. Some discoveries are meant to change you. And when they do, those who love you will still be there.