Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World
A #1 New York Times bestseller
Four starred reviews!
“Messily human and sincerely insightful.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The highly anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed, multiple award-winning novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is an “emotional roller coaster” (School Library Journal, starred review) sure to captivate fans of Adam Silvera and Mary H.K. Choi.
In Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, two boys in a border town fell in love. Now, they must discover what it means to stay in love and build a relationship in a world that seems to challenge their very existence.
Ari has spent all of high school burying who he really is, staying silent and invisible. He expected his senior year to be the same. But something in him cracked open when he fell in love with Dante, and he can’t go back. Suddenly he finds himself reaching out to new friends, standing up to bullies of all kinds, and making his voice heard. And, always, there is Dante, dreamy, witty Dante, who can get on Ari’s nerves and fill him with desire all at once.
The boys are determined to forge a path for themselves in a world that doesn’t understand them. But when Ari is faced with a shocking loss, he’ll have to fight like never before to create a life that is truthfully, joyfully his own.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The long-awaited follow-up to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a powerful, poignant story of love between two young men on the cusp of adulthood. It’s the late 1980s in El Paso, Texas, and Aristotle Mendoza and Dante Quintana are two Mexican Americans teens about to begin their last year of high school. They’re also deeply in love, and despite having caring and supportive families and friends, the culture they live in never lets them forget they’re outsiders—especially in light of the AIDS crisis. Benjamin Alire Sáenz is refreshingly bold and matter-of-fact about the physical and emotional attraction between Aristotle and Dante, but it’s the way he describes the sweet, agonizing intensity of first love that makes this story truly universal. His insights into family, friendship, racism, loss, and growing up feel fresh and new. This honest and heartfelt book is bound to become a queer YA classic.
This follow-up to 2012's Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, narrated once again by the cerebral Aristotle "Ari" Mendoza, resumes directly after the first book's end. Much to his surprise, Ari finds himself in love with charming romantic Dante Quintana. It's 1986; AIDS is raging, and being gay seems to Ari like a recipe for unhappiness. Instead, love proves life-changing. Over the course of his senior year at Austin High School, Ari grows closer to his postal worker father, another introvert with much on his mind; makes close friends; and through a journal in the form of letters to Dante discovers the power of words. In S enz's careful, poetic hands and Ari's stubborn, searching voice, the narrative follows the Mexican American couple as they "map out a new world" together, navigating desire ("A body thing. A heart thing. The body and the heart"), homophobia, racism, sexism, how to be a man without succumbing to toxic masculinity, how to cope with loss without giving in to grief, what it means to have and be a good teacher, and, fundamentally, how to love and be loved. Ages 14 up. Agent: Patricia Moosbrugger, Patricia Moosbrugger Literary.
Another Provoking Read
The thing I enjoy most about Saenz work is the thoughtfulness of its characters. Neither Dante nor Aristotle are stereotypical. They each have their faults and quirks and can appreciate those traits in others too.
There is a deep appreciation for the complexity of gay love, especially young and from an era that was only beginning to be accepting. The other female roles were refreshing as well. Strong Hispanic voices, either as mothers or friends.
I don’t think the author knows a. How real people talk or b. How to differentiate between one person or the next with dialogue. All the characters have the same “way with words”… they all sound the same. They only way you know that one character is saying something is because the sentence starts with “so and so” said something. And Lordy, how many gay tropes from the 1980s can you fit into one book? Not all gays are tragic AIDS victims.
thank you aristotle and dante
this book, shows the pureness of young adults, and love in all forms. this book makes me want to become a different person. as somebody similar to the former ari, i think i’ve finally found some courage to become someone better, and to finally grow.