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31+ teosta 9,198 jäsentä 467 arvostelua 4 Favorited

About the Author

Benjamin Alire Saenz was born in 1954 in his grandmother's house in Old Picacho, a small farming village in the outskirts of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was the fourth of seven children and was raised on a small farm near Mesilla Park. Later, when the family lost the farm, his father went back to näytä lisää his former occupation -- being a cement finisher. His mother worked as a cleaning woman and a factory worker. During his youth, he worked at various jobs -- painting apartments, roofing houses, picking onions, and cleaning for a janitorial service. He graduated from high school in 1972 and went on to college. He studied philosophy and theology in Europe for four years and spent a summer in Tanzania. He eventually became a writer and professor and moved back to the border -- the only place where he feels he truly belongs. näytä vähemmän
Image credit: Larry D. Moore


Tekijän teokset

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life (2017) 894 kappaletta
Last Night I Sang to the Monster (2009) 363 kappaletta
Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood (1600) 185 kappaletta
Carry Me Like Water (1995) 133 kappaletta
He Forgot to Say Goodbye (2008) 118 kappaletta
The House of Forgetting (1997) 65 kappaletta
In Perfect Light (2005) 62 kappaletta
Names on a Map (2008) 58 kappaletta

Associated Works

Merkitty avainsanalla




Girl kidnapped from Mexico and taken to the U.S., Name that Book (joulukuu 2012)


4.5 stars. This book made me laugh and cry, and it's been a while since a book has made me cry. I love Ari and Dante and their families are great. I liked seeing the contrast between Ari and Dante; Dante is very open and vulnerable and not afraid to be himself or say how he feels. Ari is emotionally closed off, which he gets from his parents, especially his dad. Ari has a hard time opening up to people and letting them in but Dante has a way of getting past his walls and barriers and I love seeing their friendship in this book. This is definitely a coming of age story and both Ari and Dante are learning about life and themselves. It was also interesting to see Dante's struggle with his identity as a Mexican American and not feeling like a "real" Mexican, though I wish we could have seen more of that internal struggle but we aren't reading from Dante's POV so I understand why we're limited. This book isn't very big on descriptions, so if you like a lot of descriptions than this is a downside, however I feel like the writing is very realistic and true to the voice of a 15 year old teenage guy (they're usually not big on descriptions). Overall I really enjoyed this one.… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
VanessaMarieBooks | 346 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 10, 2023 |
A follow-up to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, in which our two young men learn a lot more about themselves, life and love. It's a long book, and I thought after the first 100 pages or so that I wouldn't go on with it; I thought it was well done, and important, and probably would be marvelous for its target audience. But it wasn't meant for the 70-something straight white woman demographic, and it didn't seem to be moving the chicos along very far from where we left them in the first book, so even though I love the characters I almost let them carry on without me. But the pace picked up, and a lot more exploration---"mapping" is the recurring metaphor--of their place in the world started to happen. Events developed very quickly once Ari and Dante accepted that they were in love, and
began working through their quest for identity on several fronts.

This story is set in the late 1980s, when AIDS was devastating gay men, and families were doing their best to hide the true nature of their deaths. It seems to me that that aspect of the time is not given quite enough weight here. I know teenagers consider themselves bullet-proof, but the adults in their life were not worried enough. I remember that epidemic, and there was palpable fear everywhere, because nobody truly understood the disease or who was at risk.

If anything, this novel is a bit too affirmative, as friends and family of the protagonists are overwhelmingly accepting and supportive of their relationship. I know the author himself did not experience this sort of happy youth, and was not even able to acknowledge to himself that he was gay until mid-life, with the aid of a therapist. Perhaps he has written this story as an alternate narrative for himself...a dream of what might have been. Not that everything is sunshine and roses---there is insecurity, grief, angst, muddled-up emotion, but nobody is ever seriously floundering for very long before a friend or a parent buoys them up. There are stupid adults and typical teenagers too, but they get their comeuppance or see the light eventually. At one point near the end, Dante quotes Hemingway's Jake Barnes...and it's very apt. It would be pretty to think that this all could have happened.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
laytonwoman3rd | 20 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 8, 2023 |
Io e questo libro non siamo partiti con il piede giusto: lo stile di Benjamin Alire Sáenz mi ha messo a dura prova perché la sua prosa – soprattutto i dialoghi – mi suonava artefatta e piuttosto lontana dal rappresentare le voci di due adolescenti e dei loro rispettivi genitori. Come ho scritto anche di recente, per me la verosimiglianza in un romanzo è molto importante, quindi mi stavo già cospargendo il capo di cenere quando è successo qualcosa.

Esattamente non so che cosa, ma ho iniziato ad amare questo romanzo, quasi mio malgrado, e ne sono molto felice. In primis perché i due protagonisti, Aristotele e Dante, sono adorabili: viene proprio voglia di entrare nel libro a abbracciarli forte, forte, rassicurandoli del fatto che in futuro le cose andranno meglio per loro.

Poi Aristotele e Dante scoprono i segreti dell'universo è un bellissimo romanzo di formazione perché manca di estremismo giovanile. Infatti, in questo genere di romanzi è facile imbattersi in adolescenti che ricercano con una certa pervicacia i cosiddetti eccessi, mentre Aristotele e Dante cercano semplicemente di trovare la loro strada. Il che non vuol dire che non facciano le loro cavolate, ma si tratta più di sbagli connaturati al vivere che non di una ricerca deliberata di trasgressione.

La stessa esplorazione dell’orientamento sessuale e delle loro prime esperienze avviene in maniera molto tranquilla, sebbene niente affatto indolore, visto il carico di pregiudizi e violenza che una persona omosessuale doveva ancora affrontare negli anni Ottanta. Sáenz è il tipo di scrittore che non fa drammi, ma riesce comunque a scrivere scene che ti spellano viva e ti lasciano indifesa davanti al dolore, che a volte è parte inevitabile dell’esistenza, ma a volte viene dalla sola cattiveria altrui ed è difficile da mandare giù.

Non posso che concludere con un appello a ignorare la brutta copertina italiana della Loescher (che mi sono rifiutata di riportare qui, proprio per ingolosirvi con quella originale) e l’edizione scolastica ben poco invitante: è un bellissimo YA, di quelli che ci si gode anche da adulti e che merita tutta la vostra attenzione.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
lasiepedimore | 346 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 17, 2023 |
Actual rating: 4.5/5

This book had been on my TBR for a very long time, and it is a firm favourite in the bookish community. So, when it was made available on NetGalley again for a limited time ahead of the sequel coming out later this year, I jumped at the chance to finally read it. And I am so, so glad I did.

Aristotle and Dante is a beautiful, tender and heart-wrenching coming of age story. I sometimes struggle to get really drawn into contemporary YA nowadays, but I had no such problem with this book. I was glued to this book from the very first page, right up to the end.

Ari and Dante are, for different reasons, two very complex and compelling characters. Seeing all events unfold through Ari's eyes, hearing his inner struggles first hand, made it almost impossible not to sympathise with him. Was he always making the best choices or behaving blamelessly? Oh, no. But then, he shouldn't really have to, and I was glad to get to know a teenage boy who actually faces the full struggle of living his teenage years in very difficult circumstances. His emotions are all over the place, but I found myself really understanding his pain and his struggle to communicate this to those around him.

By contrast, I found it harder to get really attached to Dante, but that is probably because he is always filtered by Ari. Still, he was also beautifully drawn, revealing his complexity and his inner torments only a little at a time. Their friendship is one of the sweetest, most tender friendships I can remember reading about, and I was there for it!

I also really liked the parents and how involved they were in their children's lives. Their patience and willingness to question themselves, and even challenge themselves when they realised their children needed them to, was absolutely brilliant and flawlessly executed. I love positive parent-child relationships in YA particularly, and this was one of the best I have seen.

One thing that was a bit hit-and-miss for me in an otherwise brilliant reading experience was the writing style. I generally like a more poetic style, similar to the one the author adopted here, and I liked how he managed to still keep the text simple without being weighed down by lyricisms. However, most of the dialogues, especially the ones between Ari and Dante, came across as a bit too clunky and unrealistic, even for two exceptional boys such as them. This is obviously a personal preference, but I found it really distracting and it happened just too often to ignore.

Despite that, I still loved this book and the calm, quiet way it deals with significant, life-changing, scary and, sometimes, outright painful themes of identity, belonging, family, friendship, love and, ultimately finding your place in the world. I'm really looking forward to the sequel now!
I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
bookforthought | 346 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 7, 2023 |



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