Monday, August 17, 2015

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe // Benjamin Alire Sàenz

Hello! And welcome to Open Books Blogs. If you are new to the site Welcome! If your a returning reader Thank You! I am so glad to have you back. So today on the blog I will be talking all about Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe in all it's glory and perfection. What did I like what didn't I like my ratings. So without further ado, lets jump in to the review.

Click Here to Check out the Book on Amazon
First of all, could there be a longer title for the book? Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe... that is really long. And one thing that I have noticed is that people don't abbreviated it too much. For example, A Court of Thorns and Roses is ACOTAR but Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is rarely ever abbreviated to Aristotle and Dante or to ASDDSOTU. Which is equally long.

Despite the long title, I enjoyed this book. It took me awhile to read it but I was really in a reading slump, and still am. I guess I've just been pretty burnt out with everything that's been happening and well... we got Netflix so I have been trying to decide if I like Season 7 of the Gilmore Girls or not. (Where my Gilly's at?)

To get back on topic, I really did like this book and it was full of some very lovely prose. So why don't we touch on a few quotes from this book. These are just a few of my favorites.
The problem with my life is that it was someone else's idea. 
I was the son of a man who had Vietnam living inside of him.
Poems are like people.
There's a whole world out there waiting for you.
Life is a series of phases. // I just didn't belong.
I wasn't very good at asking for help.
I don't always have to understand the people I love.
I am always looking for you.  

I picked up this book because of all the hype surrounding it and I wasn't disappointed. This book has gotten rave reviews all over the internet and the booksphere. And has won multiple awards including the Printz Honor Book. 
The number one thing I loved about this book was the writing. Which I think is pretty evident from the amount of quotes. This was a borrowed copy from the Library but if I had owned it, the book would have been full of a million highlighted lines. I wanted to mark every other sentence.  It was absolutely wonderful.
I also loved a lot of the  character traits and their development. I think Ari developed into himself really well and I think that his dad made a lot of progress through the entirety of the story. Dante, while gets a bit bolder, he essentially stays himself through all that happens to him. But Dante was more comfortable in his own skin.
Another thing that I enjoy about the book is that it takes place in the 1980's. I'm a sucker for the 80's. 80's music, 80's movies, stories that take place in the 80's hold a special place in my heart.

All that said... I did have some problems. The ending didn't really do anything for me. I felt it was a little unrealistic. Everything turns out fine and everyone lives happily ever after? It just didn't feel right for me.
Have you ever seen the movie Stranger Than Fiction? If you haven't you should drop everything you are doing and go check it out. Will Ferrell stars (and his best roles are when he is not trying to be funny in my opinion, Elf, Stranger Than Fiction, etc., etc.) as an average guy whose life is suddenly being narrated. At first he is freaking out, then everything is going good, and he finally finds this author who is narrating his life, she basically tells him she is "Nicholas Sparksing" him (killing him for the greater good). And he agrees. In the end though, ****SPOILER ALERT****** she doesn't do it. And the critics say that her book would have been phenomenal and meaningful if she had, instead it is just a good book.
This is how I feel about this book, that there wasn't enough strife. It was a good book, a great book. But the fairytale came true a little too easily.
It's a hard, thin line to walk because I am finicky, I want there too be enough strife for it to  be real but if there is too much conflict, I get agitated about lack of realism all over again *cough* Game of Thrones *Cough*

I also found the plot to drag at times, things moved a little slow and I also think that everything was somewhat predictable. From the time that Aristotle and Dante meet at the pool I knew that they were into each other. I did get a little bit of a surprise when Dante moved to Chicago, but he was brought back just a little to easily.

Overall though it's hard to say too many negative things, because I did enjoy the story and the message is very profound and the prose is wonderful, but not every book is meant for everybody to love. I know because people write scathing reviews about my favorite books all the time.
I really enjoyed the story and the prose, and I thought that the character development was really great. I am going to give this 6/10 Stars.
That's all I have for today folks, stay tuned tomorrow for Top Ten Tuesday, where I am going to talk about the top ten sequels (or prequels) that I can't wait to see (or would just like to see).
Oh and one last thing... here's a picture of Chapter 19 that I took as part of a #Chapter19 Challenge.
  What a gorgeous book!