Cover Image: Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World

Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World

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Member Reviews

DNF @ 20% 
If I have to read one more time about how something is ‘such an Ari thing to say’ or how much Ari loves Dante (and can’t stop thinking about him) or any other insecure (yet mushy at the same time) comment between these two boys I’m going to gag. 
I know there’s probably some big conflict that happens and will make me love the boys as I did in book 1. But at 600+ pages I have no patience to get there. 
I’m already tired by the self deprecating rhetoric the boys have for themselves as gay men. Their parents are only marginally better. I mean who decides to only love someone because they are your son and not love ALL of them. If you can’t love someone for who and what they are then please don’t pretend it’s acceptable to ignore it. This is the kind of thing my own parents did to my sister and I (both bisexual women) and I absolutely hate it. As though ignoring the elephant in the room is going to make it be okay or disappear? My answer is no. 

Sorry but I don’t need anymore queer literature that tries to set-up the premise that members of our community are trash before it builds us back up. 
The timeframe of the 80s AIDS epidemic really wasn’t doing it for me. Could be because I just watched the amazing show ‘Pose’… but I felt these two young boys couldn’t understand or even begin to grasp the magnitude of what was happening in their (new to them) community. 

I’d rather read a book about older gay men that can give some context and insight into the crisis. I don’t need to see it from a child’s perspective. 
Sorry, I know many will be mad about me for this review and for giving up on this book. I’ve just got so many books to get to and knew exactly how this would play out for another 400+ pages. So I say no thanks, and move on. Which is probably for the best because if I read 600+ pages of this type of writing from the first 20% I’d have a very mean and likely ranting review to post. So I’ll save you all that experience and leave it as is.
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While I was very excited for this sequel and think it did a good job living up to the first book, the subtle transphobia really threw me off.
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I genuinely don't have many words to describe this sequel other than that it was absolutely extraordinary. Despite so much time having passed since the first book, I was brought right back into Ari and Dante's relationship with the author's beautiful and heartwrenching prose. I think this series is one that absolutely everyone should read and I won't ever stop recommending it.
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The sequel that I didn't know I needed. It was so wholesome and I loved seeing my favorite characters Ari and Dante again.
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I was a huge fan of the first book, and while I was excited to see a sequel released, I wasn't sure that it was truly necessary. I felt that book 1 gave me a full story, and that Ari and Dante were left in a solid space, with no need for follow-up. And while Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World was a well-written book, it did not convince me that it was absolutely necessary.  Set against the AIDS crisis of the 80s, it was a reminder of how individuals often wear the stigma and misinformation of the society as a whole. And while Ari becomes a more fully-developed character, I really wanted more Dante. More Dante, less of Ari's internal dialogue.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a free eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I wasn't a huge fan of book 1 ,but this was a wonderful continuation to the story. I appreciated the character development we saw from Ari and Dante, and it was just generally great to jump back into this world!
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I mean it’s Ari and Dante how could I not absolutely love this! There is just something about these characters and this story that will forever stick with me. I just love it so much.
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TW: death, murder, homophobia, AIDs, loss and grief.

While the writing style always leaves me torn if I enjoy or despise it, I do think the insights it gives are worth recognization. This book is about a young LGBTQA+ Latinos journey in the 80s to opening his world as he loves Dante and goes through coming out to a safe group, watching the AIDS crisis become well known, meeting the brother. The latter has left a shadow on his family and lost a parent we had just got a real relationship with.

This book is longer than I would like.
I appreciate the things it tried to do, but I was left wanting more, and some things felt strange or unsettled to me. The sequel wasn't necessary but was also a nice continuation.
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If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would. What a perfect beginning to the rest of Dante's and Aristotle's story 🥰 Beautifully written sequel!
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For starters, I don't think that this sequel was necessary, and this is an opinion that I share with a lot of fans of the original Aristotle and Dante. Nevertheless, diving back into this world reminded me of just how beautifully Benjamin Alire Sáenz writes. This book is very Ari-centric, and it honestly had no choice to be because Dante was hardly in the book. For what it's worth, I think that Ari's development could have been done better but regardless, he learned, he grew, and his acceptance of himself was heartwarming to witness. I enjoyed the book but again, I felt that it's existence didn't really need to... exist. But it does and the writing is as stunning as ever, with its stunning moments in between.
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Aristotle, "Ari", and Dante are in love, but they must hide their love from the world. Being gay men in the United States, in the 1980s, during the height of the AIDs pandemic, makes them vulnerable to those who could want to hurt them. Homophobia runs rampant, but Aristotle and Dante are lucky to have parents who love them for who they are. They also have a tight knit group of friends who would protect them from the hate they receive.

I absolutely adored Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I was so excited for the sequel, only to be let down. There were a lot of wonderful moments and declarations in this novel, there was a beautiful love story, and strong friendships, but it was repetitive and some parts were problematic.

This book did little to right the wrongs of the first book in terms of transphobia. If anything, it makes it worse (SPOILER: Ari deciding he has the right to give a name to the woman his brother murdered for being transgender). As well, the change of Aristotle from a deeply coded bi character to being gay reeks of biphobia. Blatant racism is pushed aside because Ari and his friends challenging it is improper when they are only teenagers (gross!).

The book was long winded, bogged down by repetition, and had a bunch of grammatical, spelling, and character errors (the older sisters were renamed). Dante's character was not very sympathetic, whiny and entitled, jealous over nothing; such a change from the boy from the first novel. I was grateful to have switched partway through to the audiobook, where Lin Manuel Miranda was at least able to breathe a bit of life into the novel.

The book was quite disjointed and there was too much happening. Things were brought into the story with no context and little warning, so at times I was lost trying to place a character or a circumstance that Ari would find himself in. The book should have been more focused, shorter, more concise. 

After the first mention of Ari realizing his tremendous love for his mother and father it should have been enough to convey his deep feelings, but instead he continuously repeats this declaration or makes it several more times as though he had never mentioned it before. I became so sick of hearing certain turns of phrase, and the metaphor for cartography came up on several occasions from several different characters (as though they all lived within each others minds and had no individual thoughts).

I know it was hard to live up to the ground breaking first novel, as problematic as it is, but it seemed as though Aristotle's character development stalled or even stepped back, leaving him in a kind of no man's land for the whole novel. Just continuously realizing he loves his parents, dante, his friends, with no discernable plot. 

The last quarter of the book I felt started to turn the novel around. As Ari and Dante must confront their leaving each other for college, their differing lives, their love being tested by distance. I also loved Cassandra's speech about how the world must now be shaped by their generation and it must be their job to do better, to be better. Aristotle was also able to finally see for himself the love and support of those fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ2S+ community and others suffering from AIDs. I wish the whole novel could have been handled similar to Cassandra's speech and Ari's visit to France. What a let down.

Also, I disliked immensely the casual way in which Aristotle's mother outed him, and how he forced another student to out himself to friends. Both just assuming their loved ones and friends will be accepting, when this is the 1980s and many people were not (and let's be honest, still are not).
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I loved this book. I was so happy to learn that we were being graced with a sequel about Aristotle and Dante. We finally got to see them as a couple and seeing both of their emotional growth felt quite rewarding. I enjoyed watching Ari come into his own, and develop his relationships with other people besides Dante, as well as himself. This sequel was definitely worth the wait, and if you're an audiobook fan, I highly recommend it in that format. Lin Manuel Miranda is a great narrator.
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(Originally posted August 15, 2021)

Thank you to Netgalley for providing the e-arc!!! 

Usually when a sequel comes out I set myself up for disappointment, since book 2 can always be a hit or miss. Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World is an absolute hit! 

The charm of Ari and Dante from the first book shines in this, and I can really tell that Sáenz poured their heart and soul into this! Definitely worth the 9 year wait!
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Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Such a beautiful sequel to the first book. It was nice to dive back into this world and these characters.
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Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World had the same lyrical writing that the first book did. While it is not fair to compare the two books because they portray different times in the boys’ lives, I felt that the second book expanded on the relationships that the boys had and would stick with me longer. It was a beautiful story that made me reminisce about childhood friendships and wonderful teachers. It reminded me of the leap of fate that we make sometimes and also of the trials and tribulations of discovering ourselves in the midst of societal identity and constraints.

This book will always have a special place in my heart and I look forward to reading it again sometime in the future! Read my full review on my blog, Armed with A Book. I have also posted some art there!

I received a review copy from the publisher and since this is one of my favorite books, I also bought my own finished copy!
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I read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe right before reading the sequel and was blown away. I thought it was phenomenal. I knew there was hype around it and now I know that this book is so deserving of the hype. The sequel, Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World, is just as good. It continues the story right where the first book left off and continues to be true to the characters of Aristotle and Dante.

This novel was a five-star read for me. It was new, fresh, and easy to emotionally invest in. I know so many people have said it before and I'll say it again: these books are worth it for almost every reader. I highly recommend picking these up, whether you read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe yesterday or years ago. The sequel will be worth it.
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Hey book lovers! I'm here with a book review for Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, which is the sequel to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets to the Universe. I received an arc from Netgalley and I'm very late posting my review. I have one more review to do for another arc, then I'll be caught up. I'll be reading just one arc a month in order to be able to read the books on my TBR and keep up with the reviews. That's the plan anyhow...and I'm pretty sure I said the same thing in January when making resolutions - hahaha!

Title: Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Publication Date: October 2021

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Suggested Reader Age: 14+

Genre: Coming of Age, Love, LGBT, Family Life, Mexican-Americans

› Told from Aristotle's perspective, this book is about two young adults learning to love each other, struggling to keep it hidden from the world. The story takes place in the 80s when being gay and AIDS were talked about hand in hand. Ari is "the poet" and his boyfriend, Dante, is "the philosopher". Ari is trying to build a relationship with his father and has to deal with an enormous loss. Ari and Dante are wading the waters, trying to figure out how to have a relationship, whether they should tell friends and family, and what will happen after they are finished high school.

› Characters: 6
I disliked pretty much all of the characters, which would have been okay if it were intended, but I don't think I was supposed to get to the end of the book not liking any of the characters. However, they are developed in regards to feeling distinct, with strengths and flaws.

› Atmosphere: 6
There are many intense scenes that should have made me feel something, but I didn't feel anything.

› Writing Style: 8
Quality writing, quick to read due to the amount of dialogue.

"It was true, adults were teachers. They taught you things by how they behaved. And just now, my mom and Mrs. Alvidrez taught me a word Cassandra had begun to teach me: "forgiveness." It was a word that needed to live inside me. I had a feeling that if that word didn't live inside me, the word "happiness" would never live inside me either."

› Plot: 4
This was very, very, very slow. I had a hard time sticking with it to the end.

› Intrigue: 3
I didn't want to keep reading, and only finished it because it was an arc.

› Logic: 4
Ari's mom talked about wanting his father to touch her and it just gave me the heebie-jeebies. His mother also outed him to his sisters without his permission and no one called her out on this! I'm a mom of two, and I would never in a million years out one of them to the other. Also, sexist comments like: "Wolfing down food like a guy" pulled me out of the story.

› Enjoyment: 5

Average 5.14

1.1-2.2 = ★
2.3-4.5 = ★★
4.6-6.9 = ★★★
7-8.9 = ★★★★
9-10 = ★★★★★

My Rating ★★★

› Final Thoughts
• After giving five stars to the first Aristotle and Dante book, I was extremely excited to receive an arc of this book. Sadly, I walked away feeling disappointed. This story would have been better left as a stand-alone. If you loved Ari and Dante and want to be back in the world, seeing their love and struggle, then you'll probably enjoy this.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.
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It took me awhile to put into words how I feel about this book but here I am with a review at last:
First of, thank you so much Netgalley for this arc.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is one of my favorite book of all time. i loved the relationships and i’ve never related to a character as much as i have to aristotle. It means so incredibly much to me which is why i was so excited about this sequel. 
Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by this book. 
I loved the first 40% but as the story continued, I felt like it was getting very repetitive. A lot of Aristotle’s monologues were saying the same thing without adding anything important to the story.
I was also disappointed about the lack of Dante. A part of what made the first book so special was his character and I think that the second book could have benefitted from his presence.
I wish this would have been at least 200 pages less.
On the positive side, I loved being able to see Ari’s character go through so much growth! 
Even though this sequel wasn’t what I anticipated, I’m really glad I got to read it, if only for the nostalgia and the love I hold for the first book.
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This book was so much. So happy to have a follow up because one book was not enough for these two.
Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an arc for an honest review.
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As their time in high school is coming to an end, Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World and navigate the world of high school and what comes after.  Their relationship matures and evolves, just like the world around them.  Aristotle learns the true meaning of friendship, finally forming close bonds with his classmates and family.  Haunted by his dreams, what will it take for Aristotle to come to terms with the memories he cherishes and the reality of who his brother has become?  At a time when AIDS disproportionately impacted the 2SLGBTQA+ community, those who have lost loved ones face unthinkable scrutiny.  Ari endures an unimaginable loss and struggles to lean on those who hold him close.  Through all of this, Ari and Dante begin to explore their interests as college looms in the future.  Is their relationship strong enough to face the journey ahead?  Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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