domingo, 24 de mayo de 2015

Aristotle and Dante Discovers the Secrets of the Universe


Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books
Year: 2012
Ranking: 4,7/ 5
  

Synopsis


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.

The Author


Benjamin Alire Sáenz (born 16 August 1954) is an award-winning American poet, novelist and writer of children's books. He was born at Old Picacho, New Mexico, the fourth of seven children, and was raised on a small farm near Mesilla, New Mexico.

He studied Theology at the University of Louvain in Leuven, Belgium from 1977 to 1981. He was a priest for a few years in El Paso, Texas before leaving the order. In 1985, he returned to school, and studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Texas at El Paso where he earned an M.A. degree in Creative Writing. He then spent a year at the University of Iowa as a PhD student in American Literature. A year later, he was awarded a Wallace E. Stegner fellowship. While at Stanford University under the guidance of Denise Levertov, he completed his first book of poems, Calendar of Dust, which won an American Book Award in 1992. He entered the Ph.D. program at Stanford and continued his studies for two more years. Before completing his Ph.D., he moved back to the border and began teaching at the University of Texas at El Paso in the bilingual MFA program.

His first novel, “Carry Me Like Water” was a saga that brought together the Victorian novel and the Latin American tradition of magic realism and received much critical attention.

Personal Experience with This Book


Had heard beautiful things in this book, everyone seemed to love it so I decided to read it to see why it was that everyone liked it. And boy, I was not disappointed. This has been one of the best books I've read so far this year.

Ari and Dante’s story is quite simple. They are two fifteen year old boys who are in the summer before his senior year of high school and by coincidence they met one day in the pool. Dante offers to teach Ari to swim and he, oddly, accepted.

The relationship between these two guys is incredible. Their friendship goes beyond what I have read on YA. These two guys understand each other very well. They have something makes the reader falls for them. Dante with his spontaneity and his way of expressing his feelings and, Ari with his way of seeing life gives one that magical feeling and makes you remember that time of teenagers in which the most important was "what to do tomorrow so I'm not bored on my summer vacation". I do not know how to describe the story without giving much spoiler so I will just say that YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK.

Dante was definitely what I really like about this book. This guy is THE CHARACTER. I really loved the way he was. He is a sensitive, kind and charming guy. He is a guy who speaks his mind and is not afraid to express his emotions. He's a smart guy who always has a valid opinion. Who loves his parents, or as he says "I'm crazy about my mom and dad." He is a sincere guy and here I could go on and on saying all the qualities that Dante has nonstop.

Ari is a guy who, unlike Dante, is very introverted. Ari keeps his feelings because he feels it is better not to say them. When Dante and his family expressed their feelings to him he feels uncomfortable. This is because there is not so much demonstration of love in his family (not that they don’t feel it) and they have a sort of pact of silence about certain things. I think Ari has an incredible personal growth in the book. And it is much more impressive because this is a standalone book. I disliked Ari at the beginning of the story because it seemed like this guy really all he did was complain to life but, knowing and seeing how he progresses and becomes aware of his feelings and everything he does for Dante makes you fall in love deeply with him .

Both Ari and Dante, have no friends when they meet. Ari, because he wants to be alone and Dante, because he has not found someone with whom he feels good as a friend. And this encounter changes the life of both. We see how they grow and trust each other. As their friendship goes through things, bad, good, and how their families end up interacting as well.

Ari and Dante’s families were amazing too. I think his parents deserve an award. They are so different, and at times they are so similar. I say, what these gentlemen want the most is that their children are happy. Although the show it in different ways. With their moms, I bow to them both. I loved these families.

The narrative of the book is beautiful. You can see that the writer is a poet. It has many worthwhile quote phrases and also it is written in short chapters so the story is read very fast.

Now, if I'm raving about the book why did I put 4.7 and not 5? Ari ... Ari is a good reason. There were times when I wanted to kill him. I think he had many internal conflicts with because it seemed at times that he pored over bad things instead of seeing how nice his life was being. It's like, "I have a best friend who loves me very much but my brother is in jail so my life sucks". I do not say I do not understand him, but such things upset me about him.


This book was wonderful. I feel It came at the right time for me because the day I finished reading it I was feeling very sad and that evening I decided to finish reading this book. When finished it I had a smile on his face and it gave me a book hangover you cannot imagine. I think it's a wonderful book that everyone should read at some point in their lives.
 
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