I loved this book.
I don’t know that I’ve ever started a blog post with that. Maybe my writing style is transitioning to soft and sentimental. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, has both a movie script and a journal quality. The short paragraphs and dialogue between Dante and Aristotle move the story forward at a rapid pace, which is contradictory to the glacial pace of the fifteen year-old narrator’s depression. His morning lament, “As far as I was concerned, the sun could have melted the blue right off the sky. Then the sky could be as miserable as I was,” is a powerful arm tug—strong enough to yank someone out of bed.
Only this book isn’t about depression. It’s about love and shame and a type of uncertainty that is certainty. I piece through the story in my mind, trying to figure out what it is I want to say about the characters while avoiding divulging the plot or honing in on the popular “we need diverse characters” hash tag.
Three hundred and fifty-nine pages encapsulate over a year of Ari’s life with milestones that move him from that depressed fifteen year old to someone who truly does understand the secrets of his universe.
Which is more than I can say for me. I’m not even sure where avocados come from. The universe? I can tackle that in my next blog post.