I am pretty sure this is one of the longest book titles i have every come across outside of the textbook genre.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
I devoured this book in one sitting. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I love the writing style and layout of the book. It is completely engaging and impossible to put down. A brilliant coming-of-age tale full of moments from a teenage life, from a teenage perspective. Long drives, adventures, learning to swim and drive, kissing girls, the first beer, kissing boys, coming to understand yourself and what you stand for. I loved it from the outset. Both Aristotle and Dante are wonderful characters. I wish I had a childhood friendship even half as good as theirs. I love that Ari lives in his head so much. I love that he is angry and sad and lonely, and has trouble deciphering his feelings – I feel that most teenage boys can thoroughly relate with that. The parents of both boys were wonderful in their own ways and the family dynamics were interesting. I would have liked to see a little of the sisters though. It was humorous and touching and sweet. Entirely enthralling
Dante 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.