Aristotle and Dante are Worth Another Dive

Aristotle and Dante are back in a heartwarming sequel to Saenz’s bestselling 2021 novel


Simon & Schuster

Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World; “I bet you could sometimes find the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.”

Makenzie Carpenter-Sais, Copy Editor

Benjamin Alire Sáenz multiple award-winning Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe strikes back with an unexpected long-awaited sequel Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World. Sáenz continues Ari and Dante’s love story novel in Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World. This is a great read but I recommend reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets then follow with Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World. The novel is filled with secrets, betrayal, loss, death, forgiveness, redemption, with love shining through

Fans of the original book will be satisfied, Benjamin is lyrical and serene by nature. The two characters aren’t huge dynamic characters, Ari and Dante’s journey is very quiet, which creates more of a curiosity and mystery for Ari to gradually embody opinions and confusion about trans-issues, causing Ari to constantly push his feelings away and struggle to accept himself. Saenz remains to present beautifully written novel sequels and still stay true to all of the characters. 

If you missed reading the first book, best friends Ari and Dante, two boys in the late 1980s of El Paso, Texas fall in love and must navigate their new romantic relationship into young adulthood. The beautiful tale of two different Mexican American teenagers who form a deep, unexplainable connection. The two meet at a swimming pool and have nothing in common. But once they start spending time together they discover a special friendship. Not any typical friendship; Ari and Dante learn important truths about themselves and learn what kind of path they would like to follow—a change that lasts a lifetime. 

The sequel picks up from the first novel— Ari and Dante, now in love, must learn how to build a healthy loving relationship while staying in love as the world around them changes and creates challenges. Ari finds himself falling in love with Dante as well as reaching out to old friends and chooses to make his voice heard to others. The two are determined to build a relationship in a world that others don’t understand. Ari discovers the challenge and has to fight so much further to create a happy, enjoyable life. 

The novel leads to many emotions, thoughts, and wonder to all readers. Similar to the first novel, the plot has many beautifully written themes, love, grief, friendship, self-discovery, and identity. “Everywhere I turned, Everywhere I went, everybody had something to say about love. Mothers, fathers, teachers, singers, musicians, poets, writers, friends. It was like the air. It was like the ocean. It was like the sun. It was like the leaves on a tree in summer. It was like the rain that broke the drought. It was the soft sound of the crashing waves against the shore in a storm. Love was why we fought all our battles. Love was what we lived and died for. Love was what we dreamed of as we slept. Love was the air we wanted to breathe in when we woke to greet the day. Love was a torch you carried to lead you out of darkness. Love took you out of exile and carried you to a country called Belonging.”

The novel is written very well, a very strong opening and a very intriguing closing. Almost as if you can envision each scene and background as you continue to read. The wording is placed into the novel very well. The novel is super detailed, as well as being narrated by Aristotle, it would be nice to get a point of view of Dante as well. The way the book is sectioned is really nice, it feels very clean and understandable as a reader. It was super engaging and very interesting to read as I kept wondering what would happen next. The words and phrases are very clear to the reader’s mind. 

Overall, I definitely recommend reading this novel to most audiences. The story shows how LGBTQ can affect a person in today’s world and I find it super interesting and important. I loved the beginning to the end, I was really interested and wondered what was going to happen next. The novel brought me emotion and wonder the more I was into the book. However, be in mind of LGBTQ and explicit language that will take place as well as some inappropriate content. The novel is super readable, especially if you are into romance, drama novels. I would recommend this novel to anyone that wants to explore Aristotle and Dante’s journey. To get a full experience check out the first novel, then follow it with Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World