The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz | Book Review

I received this book for free from Library, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz | Book ReviewThe Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on March 7th 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Family, Adoption, People & Places, United States, Hispanic & Latino, LGBT, Diversity & Multicultural, Social Themes, Death & Dying, Alternative Family, Literary, Coming of Age, Boys & Men
Pages: 464
Format: Hardcover, eARC
Source: Library, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780544583528

“Friendships, family, grief, joy, rage, faith, doubt, poetry, and love—this complex and sensitive book has room for every aspect of growing up!”—Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor–Winning author of The Surrender Tree      Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?        This humor-infused, warmly humane look at universal questions of belonging is a triumph.

The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz is one of those books that I just HAD to read. I mean you would feel the same way if you’ve read Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe. My only real hesitation was if this book would be quite as good as my expectations lead me to hope. For once, I was not lead wrong by hopes. I straight up LOVED this book.

The first thing you should probably know about The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life is that it is a very long book, at nearly 500 pages. It is not the kind of book you pick up if all you want is to tear through books as quickly as possible. The second thing you should know is to not be scared of all those pages. Trust me, this book is worth all of your time and energy.

Benjamin Alire Saenz’s book is about a senior boy named Sal. Sal lives with his gay adoptive father, Vicente. His mother died a long time ago, when he was a baby pretty much. His father is unknown to him. Sal is white and his adoptive family is Mexican-American. Sal has a very close relationship with his grandmother. Unfortunately, her cancer has returned and she is dying. Furthermore, Sal finds himself very angry lately and is using his fists to solve issues as opposed to logic. He also is trying to figure out his college applications and essays, plus where he wants to go. Still, Sal leads a good life and is close with his best friends Samantha, a neighbor girl, and Fito, a boy who has a whole lot of struggles.

Even though Sal has been letting his fists do the talking, I found him so absolutely endearing. I felt like his dynamics were interesting – the fact that he is white and adopted into a family of a different ethnicity. We learn that it isn’t blood that makes you family, not one bit. It’s love. I also really enjoyed reading Sal’s coming of age, even though it is difficult. But, let’s be real, growing up is not exactly easy. Either, way it is fascinating seeing Sal change, also seeing him decide when it is the right time to read this letter from his mother.

Just as important to the story as main character Sal are Samantha and his dad Vicente and Fito. I basically loved and cared about and was invested in these people. Samantha has a penchant for dating bad boys and it does often lead to her pain. She also has a terrible relationship with her mother, the two fight so often. This is important to the story. Then there’s Fito. He probably has the worst situation. His mom is a drug addict. His brothers are all drug dealers. Fito works a job and has been saving his money so that he can go to college and escape his circumstances. Sam does not like Fito, FYI. Anyways, Fito does not entirely get along with his mom either. He’s mad smart though.

Finally, there’s Vicente, who kind of serves as a father figure for both Sam and Fito. He’s a painter and is absolutely wonderful. If you’re looking for excellent well rounded parent characters, you’ll love Vicente. I basically want to be as good of a parent as he is. He was a highlight of this book for me.

I do not want to give too much away about The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life. I do believe your mileage may vary. For me, I loved the characterization and the writing style. This felt like more mature, older YA. I like that it seems pretty literary. Plus, I just fell for the characters and was so invested in the plot and Sal’s development.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I agree with your review wholeheartedly! This has been one of my favorite books this year.

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