Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

This book was so adorable. And the audiobook was narrated by Lin Manuel Miranda! He was so great!!

Aristotle and Dante have always been outsiders in their respective worlds. When they meet one summer and Dante offers to teach Ari to swim, they seem to have nothing in common, but they quickly become inseparable. This coming of age story set in the 1980s shows the story of an unbelievable friendship that changes and lasts a lifetime.

Aristotle is demisexual and you cannot change my mind. He totally is. His attraction to other people almost never mentioned. He constantly talks about how he doesn’t even like for heavens sake, but yet there’s Dante. There’s a giant paragraph of a quote in the quotes section and I think it backs up this claim pretty perfectly.

Ari and Dante each had their own issues. Ari struggles with depression and anger, while Dante is almost the opposite with anxiety and something like ADHD. I’m sure the vocabulary for what these guys were facing was not really around back then. There’s gay relationships in this book yet the word gay nor homosexual is ever mentioned. That’s how the world was about sexuality and mental health.

But man I loved the relationship between Ari and Dante. Their intense friendship was just everything. And each of them had to come out in their own way. There were so many emotions in this story and ugh I am crushed and uplifted by it.

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