A story about two Mexican-American boys developing a beautifully, messy friendship and learning to love themselves was my first experience with audiobooks. I had never been one to be interested in audiobooks. I was always a physical reader. I liked to feel the weight of the book in my hands, the turn of the pages against my skin, but I became curious about audiobooks (thank you booktube). Wouldn’t it be nice to listen to a book I was interested while I did everyday activities, the dishes, laundry, or whatever else I needed to get done? That was the plan anyway. The plan was to pick a book I had been interested in for a while, rent it from the library, and slowly make my way through it over the 14 days I had it. Let’s just say that my plan failed miserably.
Day one. I searched and searched. Eventually I found a BookRiot article about great LGBT Young Adult books to read. So I looked to see if my library had any on audiobook. I found one. One book. It was called Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I had heard of it (thanks Booktube) and had heard all kinds of rave reviews. So I read over the summary. It sounded good. Then I saw that Lin-Manuel Miranda narrated it. Now I was really hooked. Who knew he narrated books?! So I rented it. I listened to about 30 minutes while doing the dishes that night and I really enjoyed it.
Day two. I had really liked the book the day before so when I was cleaning up I figured I would listen to some more. I listened to about 30 more minutes of it and I was hooked. I knew it was the beginning of the end for me.
Day three. In between doing school work I listened to the entire audiobook. A whole 6.5ish hours. In one day. That’s how hooked I was. I finished the whole book that day. I couldn’t pull myself away. It was trying not to squeal or scream at the characters. The act of listening to the audiobook was as enjoyable as the story itself.
This book. This book. Let me tell you, it gave me all the feels. I was enthralled! The character of Aristotle, Ari for short, was so beautiful. He was a sad and lonely teenage boy. He didn’t have many friends and was happy to be alone. He was comfortable in his loneliness. Yet, we learned so much about him and he so openly accepted Dante into his life as his friend.
“It was as if I had a compass somewhere inside me. One of the secrets of the universe was that our instincts were sometimes stronger than our minds.” – Aristotle
They had their ups and downs as their friendship grew and changed. Ari had his own family drama and complications to deal with. In all that their friendship was so beautiful. Dante was a fabulous character as well. He was confident and funny, but still afraid, the way many 15 year-old’s are. The story of their friendship, families, and lives was relatable and so interesting. They grew so much. When I got to the ending I was rooting for them and wanting to yell at them all at the same time. It was the kind of mixed feeling that I love in books, that makes me think about my own life. All in all. I loved it. I would recommend it.
As for audiobooks, I am still interested. I want to listen to more, but I know that I will be heavily interested by who is narrating the book. I feel I will have to search hard to find narrators that I will enjoy, but this introduction has definitely opened my eyes to the exciting world of audio books. I was lucky that my first one was so enticing and interesting. It really solidified my resolve to explore the medium more going forward.
Goodreads Rating: 5/5 stars