Monday, February 25, 2013

The problem with my life was that it was someone else’s idea.

Over the weekend I read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
Saenz dedicates this book “to all the boys who’ve had to learn to play by different rules.”

I loved this book... and who wouldn't love a book that contains the passage:

Why do we smile? Why do we laugh? Why do we feel alone? Why are we sad and confused? Why do we read poetry? Why do we cry when we see a painting? Why is there a riot in the heart when we love? Why do we feel shame? What is that thing in the pit of your stomach called desire?

It's the story of two 15 year-old boys, Aristotle and Dante. It's beautifully narrated by Ari, a loner who likes to wallow in his loneliness and anger.

Favorite Quote:
I wanted to tell them that I’d never had a friend, not ever, not a real one. Until Dante. I wanted to tell them that I never knew that people like Dante existed in the world, people who looked at the stars, and knew the mysteries of water, and knew enough to know that birds belonged to the heavens and weren’t meant to be shot down from their graceful flights by mean and stupid boys. I wanted to tell them that he had changed my life and that I would never be the same, not ever. And that somehow it felt like it was Dante who had saved my life and not the other way around. I wanted to tell them that he was the first human being aside from my mother who had ever made me want to talk about the things that scared me. I wanted to tell them so many things and yet I didn’t have the words. So I just stupidly repeated myself. “Dante’s my friend.” 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is an intelligent coming of age story. It's a story that teens, LGBT, tom-girls, book nerds, loners...  essentially everyone who’s ever felt different, who’s ever felt like they weren’t sure of who they were, will love. I highly recommend it for all... 13+ year-olds.

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