Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Book Review

“How could I have ever been ashamed of loving Dante Quintana?” -Aristotle

This is the last line in the book Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and it was such an impactful line to summarize the story that has now become one of my favorite books.

The story follows a boy named Aristotle as he comes to terms with accepting that he has fallen for another boy: the kind hearted Dante Quintana.

That last line was really healing for me in my own journey towards accepting being gay. It’s the moment when Ari realizes love is nothing to ever be ashamed of; especially when it’s for a boy like Dante. Ya’ll just have to read it!

I consider it an instant classic to queer literature and it would be a great book to be analyzed in schools, it can be really healing.

This book was even more special for me because it’s the first queer Mexican American novel I’ve found and seeing this representation meant so much to me. I was able to resonate with this book ethnically by seeing someone like me represented being both Queer and Mexican.

Not only is it a gay romance but it also addresses fatherhood and showcases what each of the boy’s fathers are like showing a parallel with one father being compassionate and the other closed off. Essentially, It brings awareness to different family dynamics.

Overall, it’s a fun summer read which will have you giggling one moment and then at the edge of your seat wondering how it ends.

Ari and Dante holds a special place in my heart because it taught me that there’s more than one way to be a man and it’s what I make of it.

Arty Feliz
Arty Feliz

Arty Feliz is a portrait photographer and writer based in the Inland Empire, CA. Arthur reviews pop culture topics such as books, films, and cosmetics while also being an advocate sharing his experience with Congenital Heart Disease and other chronic illnesses. He's also the Editor in Chief of the indie print publication Fairest Magazine distributed by Magcloud.

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