Hiya! I hope your day is going well. Today I’m going to be reviewing Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World (Ari and Dante #2). I absolutely adored the first book, however I do have some conflicted feelings about the second installment in the series. And yes, I’m aware this book came out in Septmber. In my head, I had already posted this review. Sorry about that! Without further ado, here is my review!
PS: Thank you Simon and Schuster and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
(Synopsis from goodreads)
Ari has spent all of high school burying who he really is, staying silent and invisible. He expected his senior year to be the same. But something in him cracked open when he fell in love with Dante, and he can’t go back. Suddenly he finds himself reaching out to new friends, standing up to bullies of all kinds, and making his voice heard. And, always, there is Dante, dreamy, witty Dante, who can get on Ari’s nerves and fill him with desire all at once. The boys are determined to forge a path for themselves in a world that doesn’t understand them. But when Ari is faced with a shocking loss, he’ll have to fight like never before to create a life that is truthfully, joyfully his own.
This book will fill your heart with joy and warmth, but will also break it into tiny little pieces.
Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World is a story about everyday life, the transition from boyhood to adulthood, and of course, discovering the secrets of the universe. While there wasn’t a particular plot, there is an abundance of character development. Moreover, character growth can lead to broken and mended relationships. This novel is a prime example of that.
Let’s talk about the infamous main characters of the book; Aristotle and Dante. Throughout the story, the two go through many changes. (No, not puberty.) They discover what it means to live, grow, and love. In this novel, Ari does all the things he was too scared to do in the previous book. He uses his senior year to reconnect with old friends and family. His journey to rediscovering the world around him is so incredibly beautiful and heart-wrenching. You can definitely see the difference between how he handled situations in the first book, versus in the second one. It’s truly refreshing to see how much he’s changed. Of course, some things will always stick — like Ari’s quiet nature, and his love for running. Furthermore, because of their growth and development, Aristotle and Dante’s relationship begins to shift. Without spoiling too much, many of their falling outs seemed out of place and sudden. It simply didn’t make sense to me.
In addition, the side characters were a delight. Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World has by far the most well-crafted side characters I’ve ever seen in literature. They are incredibly unique, and even go through development themselves. I also love that the side characters don’t interfere much with Aristotle and Dante. They each go through their own personal journeys, which I found to be quite endearing.
The dialogue in Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World is absolutely remarkable. Almost every sentence in the book is quotable. However, some lines in the beginning of the story were a bit too cheesy for my liking. Nevertheless, the author gives us readers a huge stack of writing to ponder on.
Furthermore, the writing was done incredibly well. In comparison to Aristotle and Dante (#1) the writing felt more mature, which definitely added to Ari’s development throughout the story. It’s also quite engaging, which I absolutely loved considering the length of the novel.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book! It’s snarky, emotional, and was an unpredictable finale to the series. While I disliked the ending, I still recommend Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World to all Benjamin Alire Sáenz fans!
Age Rating: 15 and up
TW: OCD, Depression, Anxiety, some us of alcohol
Final Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars, or 9/10
Have you read this duology? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have a wonderful day, and thank you for reading!