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The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by…

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life (2017)

by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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4751334,798 (4.05)3
"A story set on the American border with Mexico, about family and friendship, life and death, and one teen struggling to understand what his adoption does and doesn't mean about who he is"--



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I did not, unfortunately, love this like I loved [b:Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe|12000020|Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)|Benjamin Alire Sáenz|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1328320260s/12000020.jpg|16964419]. There are things I did love: it is beautifully compassionate, and its protagonist is an introspective, sensitive young man wrestling with his masculinity in a way that is unusual in YA. The book has almost no romance, and none among the young characters; the focus is entirely on family, blood and adopted and chosen.

Unfortunately I found it boring. Major Events punctuated chapter after chapter of Salvador's repetitive musing, much of which I felt could have been edited. It's too old for my students, but I'll be curious what high school readers will think. ( )
  SamMusher | Sep 7, 2019 |
Best friends since Kindergarten, Sal and Sam are opposites. Sal (Salvador) is quiet and kind, raised by a loving, adoptive Dad. Sam (Samantha) is loud and outspoken, her single Mom a distant addict. Now in their senior year, Sal is overwhelmed by change: his beloved grandmother is dying; a letter from his Mom, who died when he was three, that he’s afraid to open; and he and Sam are astounded to find him speaking out with his fists.

So much wisdom, kindness, humor, and beautiful writing. I want to read it again and underline favorite passages. I couldn't stop long enough on the first reading as I was so caught up in the lives of the characters, their heartaches and joys. I wanted to meet Sal’s grandmother, Mima, and hear her stories “… as real as anything, as real as the leaves on her mulberry tree.” I also wanted to meet Fito, the poor, Mexican-American kid from a dysfunctional family who defied stereotypes in holding down two jobs, doing well in school, and being a nice guy. The best book on teen and family relationships that I've ever read. ( )
  bookwren | Jul 22, 2019 |
nothing particularly special? This book had very Ari and Dante vibes with nice flowing words, and young characters that start to understand the world and life but at the same time it was kind of just meh?

There were a lot of good things in this book though. Sal's father is honestly the kindest and most caring individual I have ever encountered, fictional or not, and he gives up so much for the people that he loves. Honestly, god bless this lack of abusive father figures, he was amazing. The focus on the importance of family, and the relationships of Sal with even his more extended family members were so thoroughly developed.

A to a strong platonic relationship between a guy and a girl, without even a thought of them ever becoming anything more
A to the little family formed of Sal, Vincente, Sam, and Maggie

All these elements could've led to a pretty great story except they didn't. As much as I liked the presentation of various relationships, there was somehow so so little plot. Sal kind of has an existentialist crisis for the majority of the book and most of the words are just repetitions of the same thoughts, just phrased in various ways. Even some of the revelations that he comes to at the end of his crisis were a little too superficial and cheesy for someone who spent 400 pages going on about his life. The only reason I managed to get through this book relatively quickly was because I listened to the audio book version and I had a lot of time this week where I couldn't read a physical book. Also I couldn't fully understand Sal? I mean, I understood his hurt and anger and I get that it was supposed to be out of the blue for the kind of guy he is but the way it was written seemed too unexplainable.

Also!! The poor kids suffered so so much!! It was just one horrible event after the other to the point where instead of being sad my reaction was just kind of "???? again???? why????"

Overall: really good if you're not feeling the whole romance thing and want really good familial relationships or if you're a particular fan of Sáenz, otherwise just stick with Ari and Dante
( )
  caffeinatedreads | Jun 18, 2018 |

I have this dear friend who has a terrible habit of recommending the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful books.

Every time, I think I know what I’m getting into.

Every time, I end up a sobbing pile of tears on the floor.

This one, I should have seen coming. It is the latest book from Benjamin Alire Saenz (of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe fame) so I knew I would need tissues even without the aforementioned friend’s stamp of emotional approval.

That blessed man understands how to write people better than almost anyone I’ve come across.

In this particular story, there was no center around the protagonist’s romance but he seemed locked in the middle of everyone else’s. That was sort of a beautiful thing, to see love budding around in various forms but not have the entire story centered around love and lust.

In its simplest form, Saenz tells the story of a little boy living and coming of age with his single, gay dad. It is so much deeper and bigger than that, though. for the bulk of the story, that little boy, now 17-year-old Sal, is on a warpath to simultaneously figure out who he is and pay absolutely no attention to who he is.

The entire piece is an ode to the beauty and complications of family, in all of its myriad forms. The family we are born with, the family we stumble upon, and of course, the family we choose. There is also a good deal of discussion about identity and ethnicity as Sal is the only non-Mexican wrapped up in his family and friend group. That portion of the story is wound so seamlessly into the body of the book that is at once always present and yet, quietly lingering in a sort of invisible way.

Overall, this is such a breathtakingly beautiful book and I highly recommend it. Of course, you will need at least one big box of tissues. There. Now you’ve been warned. ( )
  iwriteinbooks | May 31, 2018 |
Raw but lovely, this is a story of family being what you make it, more than family being blood ties. Adopted kids, lost and orphaned kids, and kids who lose their parent make up our main cast.

There was a liiitle sugarcoating of things, I think, but it was subtle enough to be passable. A few too many coincedences and a few too much skating past the law. But it was, overall, a fantastic book and I highly recommend it! ( )
  m_mozeleski | May 13, 2018 |
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For my younger sister, Gloria, whom I loved as a boy. And love even more as a man. And in memory of my older sister, Linda, who lived her life with grace in the face of suffering.
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Prologue: I have a memory that is almost like a dream: the yellow leaves from Mima's mulberry tree are floating down from the sky like giant snowflakes.
Life Begins: Dark clouds were gathering in the sky, and there was a hint of rain in the morning air.
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