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Why do we smile? Why do we laugh? Why do we feel alone? Why are we sad and confused? Why do we read poetry? Why do we cry when we see a painting? Why is there a riot in the heart when we love? Why do we feel shame? What is that thing in the pit of your stomach called desire?

Ari and Dante are polar opposites. While Dante openly loves everyone and everything, Ari keeps his emotions locked away, not even acknowledging them to himself. Dante is happy. Ari is mad at everyone, including his parents, his brother in prison, and himself. When Dante notices Ari struggling at the pool and offers to teach him to swim, Ari doesn’t think they’ll have much in common. He certainly doesn’t expect that they’ll become best friends.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is the best kind of book – one I would have loved as a teenager, and one I still love now. So often, I read young adult novels and think, “Hey, I probably would have liked this ten years ago, but now it doesn’t really do it for me.” Not so with this one. I think teenagers, twenty-somethings like myself, and adults can all enjoy this story.

I can’t do this book justice in a review, so I’ll keep it short. If you’re considering reading this book, just do it. It’s a beautiful story. You won’t regret it.

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