Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book Review: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life, by Benjamin Alire Saenz @BenjaminAlireSa

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz book cover and review
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is about the characters.  It is a "coming-of-age" story.  And it's a good one.  I don't tend to enjoy these books as much, but when done well, I can appreciate it.

Sal is our narrator. He's the adopted white son of a single Mexican father who is gay.  His father knew his biological mother and was there when Sal was born.  His grandmother has been very close to Sal, kind of substituting for his mother.

Sal's best friend is a neighbor girl, Samantha.  She has grown up with a single mother who hasn't always been there for her. Fito is another friend who is trying to be successful even though his mother is a drug addict.

These three kids are trying to navigate their way through their senior year of high school.  Sal isn't sure he wants to go to college yet, and his father is pressuring him to get that application essay finished.  All three of the teens will suffer tragedy in their lives. They lean on each other and mostly on Sal's dad, who is a gem.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life takes a profound look at the family.  Sal is exceptionally lucky, especially in contrast to his friends, to have his dad and his extended family.  Even though he wonders about his mom and his biological father, he learns to appreciate what he has. He isn't perfect, though.  Lately, it seems like his fists have a mind of their own, and Sal is having a hard time dealing with his anger appropriately.  He learns that sometimes he's not the only one dealing with difficult issues, his dad needs Sal's support too.

The friendships are genuine.  Fito isn't a teen that would normally be in this circle, but Sal recognizes something special in him and brings him in. Don't expect a romance.  Samantha and Sal's relationship is based on nothing more that true friendship, and neither of them ever consider each other as a romantic interest.  Kind of refreshing.

It is a moving story.  It kept me interested. although at times I felt it was a bit drawn out. Teens who may be feeling the pressures of life (and most of them are) will find something valuable in The Inexplicable Logic of My Life.

Published by Clarion, March 7, 2017
eARC obtained from NetGalley
464 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. I'm really looking forward to this one especially after I fell in love with Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, but sadly there were no arcs left when I contacted the publisher. I'm glad that this one focuses on family and friendships without a forced romance, which seems rare in YA nowadays.

  2. This sounds like a good one. It seems to have many dimensions

  3. Sounds lovely. Been hearing about this book. Especially glad about the lack of romance, cause that gets really old in teen books.

  4. Seems like this is a great book about family relationships. I'm excited to read it!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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