Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe: The Book That Changed Everything

Updated on October 22, 2017
Tellmylegacy profile image

Daniela is a current student who aspires to make a change with her words by writing about the world around her and everything in between.

"This book didn't save my life. This book gave me my life."

Around five years ago, I remember roaming the endless aisles of unique stories, my fingers tracing the spine of all the books surrounding me. I remember very clearly just how difficult it was for me to convince my parents to make a quick stop at the bookstore, and I especially remember just how giddy I felt while wandering around this infinite paradise of narratives I have yet to read.

My parents gave me thirty minutes (or was it an hour?) to look for the books I want to take home, and I immediately set off into a new quest with a single goal in mind- find a book.

The quest was actually very easy to complete, certainly easier than the 12 Labors of Heracles, but just as complicated. I needed to find a book, but not just any book. I needed to find a story that just took my breath away. A story that made me dream with my eyes on those pages. A story that showed me I wasn't alone.

The answer came in the form of a paperback in the YA Contemporaries section, a dark blue cover that wasn't noticeable against all the other bright hues. The smooth spine, I noticed, had a full moon at the very top, along with stars and the fading sky. The title of the book was written in a unique font.

Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe

If someone were to ask me now why I decided that day to pick up that specific book on that day, I would not have an answer. I think I would just smile, and tell them to read the book. And once they come back, familiar with the world of Ari and Dante, they would just understand why I chose it.

This story, written by the talented Benjamin Alire Sáenz, is the journey of two boys who stand at complete opposite sides of the universe, and yet, help each other discover their true selves. Aristotle doesn't believe in himself, and Dante believes too much. Dante lives in a world of poetry, and Aristotle in a world of shadows. But they learn that they can discover the secrets of the universe, together.

Aristotle and Dante are two characters (though in reality, they are so much more than just characters to me) that helped me begin my own journey to discover and become my true self. I remember opening the book for the very first time, on the line of the bookstore to pay, and reading the first chapter. I was immediately intrigued, and the book never left my hands that day. I don't remember at what time I finished reading the book, I just know that the sky outside was barely lit by dim stars, and that my eyes were slightly burning. My body was tired, but my heart was alive like never before.

"What do you want, Ari? And then I answered myself: 'A life." This book is filled with many questions, observations, secrets that just make me realize what a mysterious world we live in. When Ari answered to himself that what he wants is a life, I realized at that moment that I also want that. I want a life. A life where every day is a new secret to discover.

When people ask me what my favorite book is, I always stall and make them clarify- did they mean my favorite book from my favorite series? Or my favorite fantasy book? Or my favorite mystery? I never told them that my favorite book was Aristotle and Dante, partly because I was slightly ashamed of loving a not very known book, but mainly because I just felt scared of telling someone something that was the very definition of my life.

And to this day, I sometimes still ask myself- why is this book different than all the others? The answer always lies within the worn pages of the book, within the acceptance of Ari and the love of Dante. This book is different because it is true, and painful, and honest, and real. This book has taught me that it is okay to feel alone, and to be broken, and to be fixed with the help of others. This book taught me to accept love and myself, to not be ashamed of who I am or what I love.

This book didn't save my life. This book gave me my life.

In the last pages of the book, Ari finally realizes the truth. "This was what was wrong with me. All this time I had been trying to figure out the secrets of the universe, the secrets of my own body, of my own heart. All of those answers had always been so close and yet I had always fought them without even knowing it." Never before had a paragraph from a book completely and utterly left me breathless at just how true this is. Never before had all of my thoughts been captured so clearly.

To this day, I sometimes still pick up my battered copy, and just read the story again from the beginning. Other times I simply read the paragraphs that give me the strength that I need to keep on searching for the secrets of this universe. But the fact remains that I always keep coming back to Aristotle and Dante, no matter what. And the fact remains that they are always there too, to help me stand up after I've fallen.

Aristotle and Dante gave me the life I never knew I wanted.

And this makes me realize-

How could I have ever been ashamed of loving Aristotle and Dante?

Will You Give Ari and Dante a Chance?

See results

© 2017 Daniela E


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Tellmylegacy profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniela E 

      2 years ago from Texas, USA

      Thank you for reading!!

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      2 years ago from Wisconsin

      Very interesting. I'll have to check this book out.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)