Discovering the universe might be as complicated as discovering yourself

One of the most important things you do during puberty is discovering yourself, mentally as well as physically. But everyone does it in their own way, and this is what Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe focuses on.

When I tell people I came out at the age of 25, most of them respond with” “Wow, that’s late!”. My own family responds to that mostly with: “The only person who didn’t realise was in that closet, was Linda herself.” It made me feel odd for a bit, like it wasn’t real if you didn’t struggle with the concept for many years or when you had some huge outing in your teenage years. I decided quite quickly that I wouldn’t listen to these reactions, that my life is my life and my journey is my journey. But still… And then I read Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe. And I finally felt like I had a story I could connect to.

Let’s start with the fact that both Artistotle as Dante have very little to do with the philosophers we know their names from. However, that does not make Artistotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe a non-philosophical book. Philosophy and spirituality often touch upon each other when discussing subjects that encompass either the one or the other, and when talking about a personal journey to discover yourself it is easy to slip into both subjects. And that is exactly what happens in this book: it is a slow-winding tale of self discovery set in a just as easy going environment.

When I describe it like that it almost sounds as if nothing happens. As if you’ll read a boring book, and for a minute I almost fell for that trap of a thought. Not much happens in Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe, and exactly that is its strength. Nothing happens and yet everything does. Because life happens. In a normal, average, and mostly relatable way. This book shows that everyone has their own journey, their own struggles, and that while you can help each other with them you cannot compare two people with each other. This book is like a hug: easygoing, loving, warm, and embracing. Nothing heavy, nothing confrontational, just life. .

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 they meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the two loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special kind of friendship–the kind of friendship that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through their friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves–and about the kind of people they want to be.

Benjamin Alire Saenz. Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe / Simon&Schuster / 9781442408937 

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