Hi Virtually readers! This book was one of my favourites of last month. Basically: READ IT, FOOLS.
Title: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz
Genre: YA Contemporary
Themes: Friendship, growing up, parents, family, gay-men-who-collect-17-year-old-children-in-the-best-way
Blurb (from Goodreads): Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.
Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?
I really liked Ari & Dante when I read it in 2014 (which reminds me to reread it). I read this one in a day and LOVED IT. Here’s a list of some of the things I liked (because if I wrote everything, I’d probably just paste a copy of the whole book. And apart from being illegal, that would be far too long for a blog post.)
Things I liked about The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
- The writing. I totally believe the author is also a lauded poet. I really liked the writing style and Sal’s voice ad the way he narrated what was happening in his life—death, family, confusion (but mainly confusion #relatable). I think in another book, I would have said that the writing style felt too distant, if that makes sense, but because this wasn’t exactly an action novel, it worked perfectly.
- The focus on family. Sal’s dad is one of the nicest fathers in YA literature that I’ve ever read. And Sal and his best friend Sam and their other friend Fito basically end up like siblings. Plus Sal has an amazing Mima (grandma) and extended family. Because Sal’s adopted, he has some quite interesting thoughts about how he feels Mexican because that’s what his family is even though he’s white. Building on that, there’s no romance so family is the central theme.
- Like Sal, Shar is my nickname because my full name is too long and hard to say. A book that finally got the problems with long names and didn’t just feature Bellas, Graces, and Dans.
- THE FOOD. I haven’t eaten that much Mexican food, but this book totally sold me on it. A lot of cooking goes down and it’s excellent and made me hungry.
- The characters. Sal and his confusion about everything, really, and his development through the book was really accurately portrayed, because aren’t most people constantly confused? Or is it just me? Anyone? I think most people would agree that your last year of high school is pretty confusing. Sam and the way she deals with grief was really well written and, I feel, accurate, as were the characters of Fito and Mima. Sal’s dad, Vicente, was amazing yet also imperfect. I haven’t read many other books featuring gay parents and this one really rang true for me. Basically, the characters were just excellent.
- The setting. It wasn’t a generic American town, but was in Texas right next to the Mexican border. I liked the inclusion of a lot of Mexican culture and got a good sense of the town in general.
- The fact that not much of the actual action happened at school? Like, the characters went to school but it wasn’t the most important thing to them.
- The theme of belonging. I guess the need to belong is a human trait that most people think about but because Sal is adopted, he spends a lot of time thinking about his birth parents, and especially if he takes after his birth father or adoptive one.
- The chapter titles and parts. I just really like these.
- Words for the day. it seems like a fun practice.
Overall, this was a well written, deep and beautiful book. It didn’t have much plot but that wasn’t the point.
Plot:– (like actually there wasn’t one)
Have you read this? How do you feel about books that are half poetry? Have you read many other books featuring gay parents? What’s one contemporary without romance that you’ve enjoyed?