REVIEW: The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life - Benjamin Alire Sáenz


The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life - Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Published by Simon & Schuster on 30th November 2017.
My rating: 4/5
Book depository purchase link.

Please do not judge this book by the cover. The cover does not do it justice. It may be packaged in a paperback with a stereotypical starry backdrop and some questionable font, but the story inside is utterly enchanting.

Sal lives with his adopted father, who is Mexican and gay. He has a best friend called Sam who despises her mother and a friend called Fito whose mum is a drug addict. The story follows Sal as he and his friends go through a particularly tough year. Full of loss, bullying and change, they have to learn how to adapt and that fundamentally comes down to being confident in who they are. 

We live in Sal's mind and this coming-of-age story is unique in that Sal isn't just the guy who is sitting quietly in the corner like a wallflower, but he's the guy that throws punches. He's overwhelmed with emotion and questioning whether who he is comes down to his biological father. It's a question of nature vs nurture.

Written in the almost philosophical style of John Green, with quirky characters and deep meaning, The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life tackles some big issues. You can tell that much from the title. But it brings them to light in such a gentle way that I found it a smooth read. I was triggered in parts by the loss, but quickly reigned in by the thoughtfulness that surrounded these sections.

I loved the short chapters and found myself flying through this story even though it's over 400 pages long. Sal and Sam have a Word For The Day and many chapters begin or result in them picking a word that entirely sums up the events. It's clear that Benjamin Alire Sáenz feels passionately about the power of words. Not only did his characters discuss words as a topic, but it felt like each word of his novel was chosen with care.

I finished reading this book a week ago and it's still circling around my mind and that's why it's taken me so long to sit down and write this review. I've since bought Aristotle and Dante Uncover The Secrets Of The Universe as an audiobook because I need more. I completely see why people rave about Sáenz.

If you love John Green and Patrick Ness or if you want some slightly heavier YA, this one's for you.

Love, Jess

Thank you Simon & Schuster for my copy.

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