The Inexplicable Logic of My Life- Book Review
Title: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Wow. This book was really…beautiful.
I’m not going to lie. I got really frustrated reading this book. It was generally slow moving, and there was not really a plot- it was about life, Sal, Sal’s father, Sam, and Fito (majorly character driven).
First off, the writing of this book was beautiful. It wasn’t flowery or whimsical, but was written in a way that pulled at your heart. I read this book basically in one sitting, and that was due to the way this book was written, not the plot (or lack thereof).
This book is about Sal and his life, and how he is trying to deal with everything going on in his life. His adoptive father is gay (and wow he is an amazing character), his best friend Sam is a bit loco, and his other friend Fito has a seriously hard home life, with a drug addict mother.
The relationships between these characters, especially Sam and Sal, really got to me. Their friendship is so strong and unbreakable, it was beautiful. Their relationship with Vicente, Sal’s dad, was also heartbreakingly beautiful. They are all so precious.
One thing that I really liked about this book was its lack of romance. Not to say that there wasn’t any (go Vicente) but it wasn’t the point of this book. I also loved all the food in this book. I am now starving, and craving good Mexican food, which is impossible to find in Australia (So thanks for that).
This book was also great in its diversity. Although our MC is white, he has a gay Mexican father, with his whole extended family, and he was raised as Mexican. His best friends are also Mexican American.
I also really appreciated that technology was a thing in this book. I feel like a lot of YA authors glaze over the fact that our generation has phones, and that a large basis of our communication takes place through texting. I didn’t like the text short hand, though- mostly because I don’t know anyone who actually texts in short hand.
I honestly loved all of the characters. They were so beautifully flawed in their own way. All of the characters were dealing with issues relating to identity- who they are and who they want to be- and that really drove the story.
Sam was struggling to deal with her absent mother, her pore choices in terms of her love life, but she was still there for Sal and (later) Fito in all the ways that mattered. The moment that Sam called Vicente ‘Dad’ was so adorable and beautiful I almost cried (metaphorically). Sal was struggling with getting into fights. He had to figure out whether nature or nurture had a stronger hand in who he becomes. Fito was dealing with a drug addicted mother and brothers, while still trying to save up money and go to college to get out of his home. I loved Fito so much, I just wanted to wrap him up in a hug and give him hot chocolate and blankets and fix all his problems (this is normal, right?).
This was a great book, but it would have been better if there was a plot. I still loved it, but it was hard to get into without a plot driving me to find out what happens next. I thought that the letter from Sal’s mother would be a plot point, but it was kind of irrelevant until the end of the book.
Regardless of the lack of plot, it was still amazing, and the characters and relationships between the characters made up for that. Go read this book!