Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1561
Touching and tender
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s newest novel is an endearing story about the different types of families and what it means to belong and to be loved. The inexplicable Logic of My Life is a beautiful and touching novel that made me question everything I had ever thought about my own family and the relationships I have with those closest to me.

The novel follows Salvador Silva in his senior year of high school and how the familiar and ordered world he has always known is slowly changing. Sal’s adoptive gay father is starting to date once more, his loving Mexican-American grandmother is in the final stages of a dire illness, and his best friend Samantha is struggling with her flighty and irresponsible mother. The stress is getting to Sal and suddenly he is throwing punches, questioning everything, and feels as though he is becoming more and more like the birth father he never met. This is the year Sal discovers who he really is and where he fits into the family he has created for himself.

I adored Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Sáenz’s most popular novel, and when I found out that Sáenz had written another YA book, I knew it would be just as tender and sweet as Ari and Dante’s story. Sáenz has this way of getting into a teenager’s head and looking at life – the anxiety of change, the questions of belonging – through their eyes. There is something just so emphatically real about Sáenz’s writing, how his words and the images he paints expresses such intense feelings within the reader. Maybe this is why it is so easy to read his work and devour a 464 page novel in a matter of days. His writing is like a stream of consciousness; it flows and transforms and pierces the reader’s heart.

Sal is perhaps one of the most compassionate and benevolent protagonists I have read in YA fiction. I connected with him almost immediately and really felt for him. His relationship with his father was the driving force of the novel, at least for me. I can count on one hand the amount of novels I have read which feature a positive and loving relationship between fathers and sons, and The Inexplicable Logic is by far the best of them. Sal and Vicente’s relationship is so beautiful and affectionate, it brought tears to my eyes many times. Think Gilmore Girls but with men (minus the constant stream of pop culture references and banter). Sal and Vicente are father and son, but friends, too. It is so heartening to see this type of relationship celebrated in YA fiction, especially in a world where men are told to withhold their emotions.

I also admired the friendship between Sal and Sam. It is not often one reads a book with such intense platonic love between men and women, and I am very thankful to Sáenz for going in this direction. As rare as a sweet relationship between father and son is, platonic friendship between a girl and a boy is even rarer, primarily in YA fiction where there is so much pressure on authors to develop a romance. Sal and Sam are always there for one another and talk about such personal issues with no judgement or mockery. A wonderful depiction of a healthy and stable friendship.

As with all Benjamin Alire Sáenz novels, the characters are the strongest element of the book and the plot is rather simple. That does not take away from my enjoyment of the text; if anything, it enhances it. The straightforward storyline gave way to outstanding and highly developed characterisation. The plot essentially follows Sal through one year of his life and all the anxiety that comes with senior year and one’s life irrevocably changing. Sal struggles with issues of belonging, bullying, as well as the all-pervading threat of cancer. It is just Sal’s life, and, paired with Sáenz’s beautiful writing, somehow the story develops from the dictation of the life of a simple boy, to an intense, emotion-filled book about love, family and change.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life tore my heart out. It is such an easy novel to read, and yet it feels heavy when you are reading it. I loved every moment of this book, even the parts where I cried. Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s novels always touch me in some way, but The Inexplicable Logic did something irreversible to my emotions.
Good Points
Read my other reviews: thebookcorps.wordpress.com
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Life Below
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo, a...
Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets (Mr Penguin #2)
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Mr. Penguin―Adventurer (And Penguin!) When Mr. Penguin...
Famous by Default
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jax Buried, By my family's fame. Dying to escape...
Sword and Pen (Great Library Book, #5)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
With the future of the Great Library in doubt,...
Butterfly Yellow
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and...
Jonny Lambert's Construction Site
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A beautifully illustrated book for babies featuring lots of noisy...
Pop-Up Peekaboo! Baby Animals
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Take your toddler on a rain forest adventure and find...
Seven Deadly Shadows
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Kira Fujikawa has never had it easy. She’s...
Pet
Pet
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The highly-anticipated, genre-defying new novel by award-winning author Akwaeke...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The long anticipated finale to the Wings Trilogy. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"I was the weak link in the chain, and the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Finally presented to the Allinan public, Maray’s life at court...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The blood that holds the power to change the fate...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Her fate lies just one world away… ...
Forward March
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Love, loss, and the surprising aphrodisiacs of the band...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Immerse yourself in a strange and beautiful world as you...

Latest Member Reviews

Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets (Mr Penguin #2)
 
4.5
"Mr. Penguins and his friends Colin the spider and Edith are trying to keep a rock safe from dastardly types..."
Pop-Up Peekaboo! Baby Animals
 
5.0
"POP-UP PEEKABOO! BABY ANIMALS is a charming lift-the-flap and pop-up picture book. Each spread features a parent animal who is..."
On These Magic Shores
 
5.0
"Twelve-year-old Minerva "Minnie" Soledad Miranda has big goals. She wants to be the first Latina president of the United States..."
Ghost Boys
 
5.0
"I always struggle to review these types of novels--these black lives matter, civil rights-esque novels. I often go into them..."
Soldier Dogs #5: Battle of the Bulge
 
4.5
"Juliette's father is a baker in Belgium in 1944, and has been threatened by the occupying Nazis into giving them..."
Dog Days in the City
 
4.0
"In The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City, Josie and her large family adopted Hamlet, a pig. When..."
Daniel Coldstar #2: The Betrayer
 
4.0
"Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central After the evens in The Relic War, Daniel, Jasper the..."
The Dragon Egg Princess
 
5.0
"Change is coming to Kidahara, a magical forest in the Joson, a kingdom in a diverse realm where there is..."
Efrén Divided
 
5.0
"Efrén and his family work very hard, but still struggle to make ends meet. His father works several jobs, and..."
Worse Than Weird
 
4.0
"Mac lives with her parents, Hank and Coral, in a small house in Portland. Small, as in she sleeps in..."
Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen
 
4.0
"Darleen comes from a long line of entertainers; her father and his siblings are all part of Matchless Studios, a..."
In the Red
 
4.0
"Michael Prasad and his family live on a colony on Mars, under a dome that controls the environment. His father,..."
Pippin No Lickin'
 
5.0
"As a family with 2 busy boys, 14 and 12, we appreciate Layne’s contribution to helping children understand the importance..."
Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party
 
5.0
"'Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party' by Kimberly & James Dean is a cute story about friendship and..."
The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly)
 
4.0
"Agatha loves the work of Detective Hercule Poirot. He's actually her imaginary friend and she uses his work to influence..."
Starfell: Willow Moss & the Lost Day (Starfell, #1)
 
4.0
"STARFELL is a charming and magic-filled middle grade fantasy that sweeps young readers away into another world. Willow Moss seemed..."
Journey of the Pale Bear
 
5.0
"What an adventure I just had! From the moment, I opened the book, I was transported to the 13th century..."
Hey Grandude!
 
4.5
"'Hey Grandude!' by Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst, is a fun, colorful, and exciting adventure. The illustrations enhance the..."
The Peacock Detectives
 
4.0
"THE PEACOCK DETECTIVES is a story told by a young narrator, who is in Grade 6 but reads at a..."
Big Nate: Back to Back Hits: On a Roll and Goes for Broke
 
5.0
"This is a combination of two Big Nate novels; Big Nate on a Roll and Big Nate Goes For Broke...."