Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – There aren’t enough stars! 22

Well this was a beautiful rosary of philosophy!

And I just want to hang a portrait of Benjamin in my living room!

There aren’t enough stars!

About the Book

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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.









I want to kiss Benjamin so badly. He is just a gift to this world! Benjamin’s books are the definition of poignant!

Benjamin writes the books I dreamed of! My dreams, my fears, almost all my experiences! He writes about lgbtq and Mexican immigrants, and even though I’m not lgbtq or Mexican, I often feel every word in his books he wrote it for me! 🙂

Seriously this is sooooo poetic, soooooo philosophical AND about things that are sooooo relevant, that I can’t even!

ALL the things that resonate with me are here! Immigrant tales, trying to find your identity and fit in when you and your family have been all over the world.

I just love Benjamin’s writing to crumbs. He paints everything that is relevant this world and being human in a watercolor of emotions with the stroke of beautiful prose.

It’s like a mixed-media composition with a soft watercolor background of beautiful family ties and values and friendship and love… And over it all kind of blunt aesthetic elements like sadness, loss, hardships artistically blended in a way you don’t know where the joyful things end and the sorrowful begin!

And isn’t that how life and the human soul are about ???? A mixed-media of so many things!

[Wow! Where did THAT come from! I’m definitely inspired by this book! LOL! 😀 ]

And this is written in YA first person which I usually find annoying but it was perfection!

Go and treat yourself with some book art! Read this book!

I hope you enjoy my Goodreads updates! Man, If I could quote the entire book I would!

Thank you for visiting!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

22 thoughts on “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – There aren’t enough stars!

        • Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

          Thank you for the link Cee!

          So, I just read THAT review (brooke’s) but I actually had to go to the ONE review she found to understand the issue (bear with me please, lol! and not the brightest of my pack 🙂 ).

          Here is the link

          So this is what Alyssa says in her review…

          “Something really problematic is the casual, unchallenged transmisogyny of the main characters. Often when reading, I wonder if the characters’ opinions are really the author’s opinions, or whether the author is intentionally making the teenage characters wrong about things, for the sake of realism. When I was in high school, I wasn’t perfect either. In this case, it really is impossible to tell. The 1980s setting may explain the use of the word “transvestite” or the description “actually a guy” about a murdered (presumably) trans woman, but that doesn’t make it any less upsetting to read in the characters’ voices.

          Going back to Brooke’s review “My heart lurched when I read this reveal and sunk when I realized they were used as tool for a lesson. But it cracked when I couldn’t find another reviewer who brought up this issue before me, hence the #unpopularopinion tag. If you saw this, if you wrote about it, I’m sorry. It was missed in multitude of reviews. Please let me know and/or link it, I’ll happily read it. It’d be nice to know I’m not alone in this. Update: I found ONE!”

          I still have difficulties understanding what Brooke found problematic in the book. If it was the language used by the characters to refer to the victim or the fact that not many reviewers noticed it. or both. [(I guess I should go and comment and ask! :)]

          Unfortunately even with the books I love I tend to skim some parts. Or zoom in and hyper-focus in the aspects that I relate more to [in this case the life of an immigrant). So, I don’t remember reading this dialogue where they call the victim “actually a guy”. What I got was that Ari’s brother got enraged beat a guy and kill him [for some reason I though it was a gay guy] , and was in jail for it. me? “Well deserved. You don’t kill people” Period. So that was the end of the story for me because I didn’t read anywhere that anyone thought what he did it was ok.

          So based on what Alisha says the characters said…

          I often wonder the same “often when reading, I wonder if the characters’ opinions are really the author’s opinions, or whether the author is intentionally making the teenage characters wrong about things, for the sake of realism” i tend to transfer the characters opinion to the author! Which makes me upset many times.

          So there is that.. maybe the intention was to make the character flaws BUT if that intention is not made evident in the plot then that’s why you think it’s really the author! Ad that’s problematic!

          I do have to wonder, like Brook, why not many more reviewers noticed! So thanks a lot for bring it to my attention!

          Other things I found interesting in Alisha’s review… [I hope is not a spoiler!]

          “Related to this is the fact that Ari could be read as asexual very easily, but either doesn’t have the language to describe himself that way, or Sáenz doesn’t care to explore Ari’s feelings about sex to a fuller extent. Again, this book is very much centered on the cis gay experience, and while I recommend it for what it is, if that is not what you are interested in reading, I would avoid it. However, if you are going to read one book about cis gay boys this year, this would be a great choice.”

          I often wondered too iif Ari was asexual until his sexual identity is finally confirmed! BUT I don’t agree with Alisha’s two options only… 1) “Ari could be read as asexual very easily, but either doesn’t have the language to describe himself that way” or 2) “Sáenz doesn’t care to explore Ari’s feelings about sex to a fuller extent”

          to me there is at least a 3) Ari simply DOES NOT know YET what he is, which is different from not having the language or the author simply not caring enough to explore. A very low sexual drive can be often disguised as asexual!

          I think Benjamin nailed the uncertainty that many kids of that age may feel about sexual orientation and/or identity.

          thank you again for your great comment and for sharing this link!

          I enjoyed these two reviews A LOT. and plan to visit these bloggers often!

          Hopefully one day you’ll feel compel to the book yourself and let me know what you thought. 🙂

          • Cee Arr

            I fully intended to review this when I read it – but unfortunately I have a huuuuuge review back-log! (Guess I haven’t got used to not writing a blogpost a day yet, like I did last year.)

            Ari’s brother picked up a female sex-worker one night, and killed her when he found out she was trans. Like I said in my first comment, the transphobia is brief, but the convo where Ari tells Dante about what happened is dismissive of her, and almost blames her for what happened. It was pretty uncomfortable.

            And yes, I totally agree that there’s an author/character split – but if authors are going to have their characters act like that (espec. in YA, and espec. in 1st person POV) then I think there should be an author’s note (why don’t authors use author’s notes more often?! Like, they’ll use one to explain they’ve changed the details of a model of car or whatever, but not to explain they don’t condone certain ideas/behaviours?! Like, wtf?!)

            As for Ari’s sexuality – this is an #ownvoices gay book. I try not to undermine people’s experiences (and it’s not like I can ask Ari!) and I’m not overly hung-up on labels; Ari identifies as gay, therefore he is gay. Whether his version of gay is different to someone else’s, whether he changes his mind later in life, or whether he’s homoromantic asexual (or any a-spec variants) but prefers to use gay (it’s an umbrella term, after all – I call myself gay sometimes,) that’s entirely up to him.

            If ace people want to explore the possibility that he’s a-spec though, then I have absolutely no problem with that either. Things are a lot more complex and a lot messier than a lot of people will allow. shrugs

            (I hope any of that made sense!)

          • Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

            I agree that convo sounds problematic [I’m definitely rereading the book now!] so the author should either address it in the plot [confront the character somehow] or other ways [author notes sound Good!].

            I have lotsa difficultly with labels. Even though I’m sure I’m guilty of using them too, since it’s easier on your brain to label people and situations than taking the extra effort to navigate the turbulent waters we human beings are.

            Sexuality is a BIG example. As you so well said it [man I HAD to google homoromantic though, just to make sure! lol] I think it can very well change throughout your life so it should not define you as individual. But since anything that has to do with gender and sexuality has SO many presumptions attached, is so easily used as label. Once you have labeled the individual is so easy to “define” other things [boys are strong, girls are shy, etc etc] thank god we are NOT this flat as individuals 🙂

            I hope people don’t read this spoilers LOL!SPOILER ALERT PEOPLE!
            Because I read A LOT I could see the that “plot twist” or Ari’s sexuality coming from miles away but again just because of the direction the plot was taking. Nothing in Ari’s thoughts or behavior actually tells you. Unless again you think a very lovely strong friendship cannot exist between to males without tany sexual implications.

            Supposedly Ari doesn’t know what his sexuality is and other people HAD to tell him. THAT BOTHERED ME A LOT! I don’t why I forgot to mention it here in my review! I was like… WHO THE HELL ARE YOU TO TELL HIM WHAT HE IS OR NOT!!! ???

            Because… He could be SO MANY “THINGS” sexually and emotionally speaking back then, now and after.. things that we haven’t even labeled yet! And yes! I thought about “homoromantic” even though I didn’t know that term existed [omg I’m so ignorant!] I was Ari may be straight but still in love with Dante! LOL so that kinda of bothered me.

            But then I reverted to my…. WHO CARES??? I was more into the other issues in the book. Funny you says this is an “#ownvoice gay book” when I to me is an #ownvoice Mexican-American book” where the MC characters happen to be gay. 🙂

            To me Benjamin’s takes on sexuality in his books are not remotely as important as his takes on cultural diversity in the US. Maybe that’s why I egotistically missed the problematic convo 😉

            Oh I wish I could post everyday! 🙂

            Good luck with that review back-log!

          • Cee Arr

            I can’t post every day any more – that’s why I have a backlog! 😉

            Yeah – it can be #ownvoices in more than one respect though shrugs

            And like I said, without meeting Ari, (who is fictional and therefore unavailable for comment!) and asking him, I tend to just go with the canon. Self-identification is v important, and it does annoy me when people are like, ‘oh, they can’t be x because y.’ I’m there like, ‘hello! I’m gay, straight, ace, and pretty much everything else at the same time! #DealWithIt.’ Lol! Ofc, that’s not an excuse for erasure, and people should def. be allowed to question characterisation, but maybe with less ‘things have to be this way b/c this!’ I’ve seen a lot of things marked as erasure where I just read fluidity, or something which defied definition, and moved along. I might’ve been wrong, but telling me I was definitely wrong when I had a point is annoying as hell!

            Sorry, that was more rant-y than I intended!

            Don’t worry about not knowing all orientations straight off – it’s a lot to take in sometimes! Espec. since people mainly focus on the LGBT identities and ignore the other letters and the all-important + sign. (To me, Q should always be in there, because it’s the umbrella we need – sorry, queer politics moment!)

            Basically – especially when dealing with non-fictional people – self-identification comes above everything.

            In a way I get what you mean about Ari being told, but then I also got frustrated @ The Bestie when her response to me coming out was ‘I kind of knew you weren’t straight.’ Like, thanks, COULD YOU NOT HAVE TOLD ME?! Lol. Might’ve saved me some time. 😉 But, y’know, her response was ‘it’s not really my place’ and basically I have the bestest Bestie! 🙂

            Man, this is another essay-size comment! Sorry!

          • Our Familiarium Post author

            No worries you are always welcome to rant on my blog 😊

            Glad to hear you wouldn’t have cared if your BFF broke the news to you 😊
            I guess I was a little annoyed how it was handled because I was hoping for a twist at the end. A different ending which the readers reading this for the romance would have hate I’m sure! 😊

            Romance is not my favorite genre so I’m usually rooting for a strong friendship over romance
            I’m gonna stop now!

            Because I went back and read all our comments and now I’m not sure you read the book yet! because you started by saying “I loooove this book” I thought you had! Lol 🙄
            I’m gonna stop spoiling for you by telling you more why people telling Ari how he felt bothered me 😜 I’ll let you read it and tell me what you think. 😊

  • Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    Confession time: Despite all the rave reviews, despite having never seen a bad review, despite my love for contemporary YA… I’ve still never felt led to pick this one up. I don’t even know why! Maybe I feel like it’s too “literary” or something? But I’m definitely experiencing FOMO now!

    • Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

      yup I hear you ! we bookworms tend to feel that way every time we have not read a book or author everyone else seemed to have read 🙂 but so many books right?? Like… I just saw you post a review for Strange the Dreamer!!!! WHY HAVEN’T I READ THAT ONE YET??? WHY?????