I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Quick fire review:
This is a beautiful, well rounded book populated with delightful characters and stellar writing. The exploration of grief in the teen-aged characters is brilliantly executed and the importance of self is key to the main characters journey.
Recommend to all.
Also, that cover is stunning!
The first day of senior year:
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?
4 out of 5 stars
“Maybe that didn’t seem logical, but maybe the thing we called logic was overrated”.
I’ve seen quite a few reviews comparing this book with Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe and while I can’t personally decide which one I liked better I can tell you this, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is just as beautiful.
So in some ways, this book seems to weirdly have no real plot except following our main character Sal around as he tries to figure out who he is. It may not seem like enough and I can see why it may deter some people but for me, watching Sal navigate his own path was the best part of this story.
We are introduced to an array of interesting characters that Sal surrounds himself with and I really enjoyed his relationship with each and every one of them, particularly Sam. Sam is the cynical best friend whose love for Sal is unconditional no matter how out of character his actions may be at times. After a series of life changing events coupled with their Senior year sees them dealing with death, grief and underlying emotions, both teens take an enlightening journey of self discovery.
I just want to say that it is really refreshing to read a book with no love story. That’s right folks. No love triangles and no instalove. The only love in this story is that between a father, a son and a (platonic) best friend.
“…my father, the man who was in my room and had turned on the light, he’d raised me. He’d tamed me with all the love that lived inside him”
The real hero in this book is the dad. Benjamin Alire Sáenz is one of few authors who crafts wonderful parental figures. I first witnessed this when I was taken with Aristotle and Dante and he has bought the same magic into this. Mr V, Sals gay father, is a well rounded loving character who doesn’t let the harsh words of the world around him impact his life or his heart. His wisdom and patience is what makes him such a wonderful addition to this little world.
For me, the author also strings a poetic verse like no other. The brilliance of his stories is the lyrical imagery, and the tremendous grace he infuses into his characters is what draws me into his books time and time again.
Would recommend to any YA reader who loves great characters and going on a journey.
This book has so many quotable moments, so here are a few that I loved the most.
“…you just have to learn to walk away from wild people who like to growl”
“Not everyone who walks around on two legs is good and decent. Not everyone who walks on two legs knows how to use their intelligence”
“I had something in me that scared me”
“Words only exist in theory. And then one ordinary day you ran into a word that only existed in theory and met it face to face. And then that word became someone you knew”