My 2 cents:
Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe is like its title – large. Benjamin Alire Saenz's new YA novel covers a large amount of territory between its end flaps. It's a coming-of-age story, for sure, about two high-school boys, Dante and Ari, who experience a lot of “firsts.” First car, first job, first kiss, first great poem, first fight, first serious accident, and first time smoking pot.
Some parents will not want their teens reading this book, because <spoiler alert> not all the first kisses are between a boy and a girl. Some parents will not want their kids reading this book, because a few of the characters try marijuana and alcohol. I would say this to those parents: read the book for yourself before you decide. Saenz addresses a number of sensitive topics in Secrets of the Universe with a tender, insightful touch.
Length: 359 pages
Worth Your Time? Yes, for high-schoolers and up.