Anyone who has ever heard me talk is well aware that my all-time favorite book is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. As many book lovers, I’ve shouted at the winds about my incredible fascination over the story following two Mexican American boys on their coming of age journeys. I’ve read this novel three times, and each time, I’ve found new things to love. And if you haven’t already, pick up this book and see what I’m rambling about. But if you’ve read it, and you’ve been hooked on this book like a kid at a candy store, then let’s discuss the wonderful news of the sequel in progress.
Since last year, Saenz has been talking on his Twitter about writing the same book from Dante’s perspective. That, in itself, was more than I could ever ask for. (Not that I mind re-reading Ari & Dante once again, but new material straight from the main source is never unwanted). Recently, though, Saenz has been tweeting more about the sequel, which according to him, will pick up where the last book left off, from Ari’s POV. He stated the title would be: There Will Be Other Summers. Saenz continually talks about his progress, and it only ignites more buzz for this highly anticipated sequel.
Regularly, I don’t find sequels, or series for that matter, necessary. (Not unless it’s Harry Potter). However, I’m not against a sequel for this particular story. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was wrapped up neatly in the end, after so much hurting and healing. It was all brought to a satisfying close, and it appeared as though the characters lived happily ever after.
Wrong. There were many unfinished issues in the story. Not to mention that Ari is only sixteen. He has his entire life ahead of him. He has a brother in prison who would not accept him for who he is. He has to face the world anew. He has to finish high school, face his friends after everything that happened. Ari’s life is just beginning. Sure, at the end of the book, he found out the mysteries he wondered about at the start of the book, but those are not the only mysteries he will ever face.
And then there’s Dante. We need to see his sibling, whether it’s a boy or a girl. A closer insight into his cultural issues wouldn’t be bad exploring either. I would love to get to know more of Dante’s family. I want to know more about Dante’s school, too. What else does Dante wonder about? Does he finally feel like the world belongs to him?
I’m beyond excited for the continuation of my favorite book, and it’s good to see I’m not the only one. I am sort of wary, though. Having read the majority of Saenz writing–which is lovely, by the way–I have noticed a trend in his stories. They’re mostly tragic. Although, the love he has for these characters is noticeable, so I’m not too worried. I believe their story is in great hands.
I’m really hoping we get to see more of Aristotle and Dante as a couple in the sequel. Another secret of the universe: are they actually a couple? We will have to wait and find out. (Fingers crossed they’re super gross with each other).
In the meantime, I would really recommend reading any other of Saenz’s novels, as well as his short stories, and poetry. He is a beautiful, talented author–my favorite, too. Below is a list of his published works, excluding his children’s books, which are also amazing. Saenz has another fiction novel in the works entitled The Inexplicable Logic of My Life, and you can bet I’ll be pre-ordering it as soon as it becomes available.
Last Night I Sang to the Monster
Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood
He Forgot to Say Goodbye
Carry Me Like Water
In Perfect Light
Names on a Map
The House of Forgetting
Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club
Flowers for the Broken
The Book of What Remains
Dreaming the End of War
Elegies in Blue
Calendar of Dust
Dark and Perfect Angels