Review: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life


The Inexplicable Logic of My LifeThe Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the multi-award-winning author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe comes a gorgeous new story about love, identity, and families lost and found.

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.


I think this book, out of all that I read, made me shed the most tears. I literally cried every 5 pages, so yes this isn’t sunshine and rainbows—it’s a sad book. But it’s also a beautiful one, I swear my heart was soaring the whole most of the time I was reading.

Let’s get this out, this book basically has no plot. But who honestly needs a plot when you have such amazing characters? I love reading character-driven books because they give a more emotional and memorable reading experience, and this book gave just that and more.

So we follow Salvador, or Sal for short, he just started senior year and finds himself thinking about his biological father, suddenly throwing punches, and questioning what he knows about himself. I love Sal—he’s a sweet, thoughtful and sensitive person. He’s just someone you’ll automatically connect and care for, and he’s somewhat relatable because let’s be honest, we were all consumed by teen angst at some point in our lives.

Sam, Sal’s bestfriend, was a lot harder to love but also an interesting character. I love how her relationship with Sal was completely platonic, they literally were born for each other but not in a romantic way. While Frito was a another cinnamon roll that I wanted to wrap in blanket and just take care, the way Sam and Sal did. At some point I was shipping him and Sal so hard but it never happened.

Sal & Sam & Frito are #squadgoals, I wanted to be part of them so bad. I wanted them to be real so bad. They all come from dysfunctional families, they’re the ones you expect to go bad but they are the most beautiful group of people ever. I love how they cared and had each others back all the time, they were there for the good and the bad.

And for my favorite character, Vicente Silva. He’s like the best Father in YA literature. He’s gentle, wise, kind, and all the beautiful things in between. He gives light and warmth in this dark and cold world. The best thing about him is that, he always try to be kind and he teaches the teens to be good people. This book basically teaches/reminds us to be a good person. His relationship with Sal is one of the best I’ve read.

This is a sad book, most of the events that happened brought tears and a lot of grief. This book seriously brought a lot of grief which made it less realistic and more movie-like. The plot is basically Sal finding and coming in terms with himself and whatever is happening in his life—no romance but it showed love in all its forms.

The story embodies the word poignant, it is the perfect example of a coming-of-age book. I wish to read more books like this, no romance, no ugly drama, no pretending to be something else—just authenticity and pure love and friendships and family and life.

I’m writing this review a few weeks after I finished reading it, hence I’ve already calmed down from all the feels that it gave me. In my initial-feels-filled review, I basically screamed to the world that this book was the BEST AND JUST WOW. Don’t get wrong this book is still WOW for me but it has its faults and I am going to acknowledged that.

Despite being a really diverse book, it didn’t played well in challenging stereotypes. The little phrases like—”she didn’t throw like a girl”, “that’s so gay”, “schizophrenic dork”, “emotional anorexic”—to name a few were so insensitive and unnecessary that the book would have been so much better without those. To be honest, I kind of brushed-off these phrases along with a spoiler-y scene that involves Sam because I was having such a nice reading experience but as these have the power to present certain ideas that are clearly need to be challenged in this age and time, I believe that it needs to be called out.

I love this author’s writing style, it’s simple yet lyrical—but I really wished that he was more careful on his words. With all that being said, I still can’t shy away from the fact that I connected with this book in an emotional level and I still think it’s beautiful.

I acknowledge its faults but I still love it.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is a beautiful and poignant book that would bring tears to your eyes and warmth to you heart and maybe some cravings for Mexican food because it’s filled with them. It’s messy, borderline frustrating but overall a must read!

A huge thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me an eARC of this book.

That’s all, thank you so much for reading. If you want to read more book reviews from this blog, just click here. And you could also find my reviews in Goodreads.

15 thoughts on “Review: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

  1. You perfectly summed up my feelings about this book. I’m glad to hear you loved it, and I agree with you that it wasn’t perfect, especially with all of the stereotypes. It still was a good read though, I especially enjoyed the characters and their friendship just as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved your review, and how you clearly pointed out what you liked and what bothered you. I also love the fact that you were still able to enjoy this book despite its faults, I feel like some people are afraid to be open about books that may have some problematic aspects but still enjoy them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ashley! I was actually kind of nervous posting this and admitting that I still enjoyed it despite being quite problematic. I agree, but I guess that you can still like something even though it’s problematic as long as you acknowledge that it is. 😄💕


      • I wish some people could be more understanding of that. One of my recent reads was problematic but I still enjoyed it. I’m actually surprised that I was able pick out the issues with the book.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that the book has essentially no plot but the characters more than make up for it! So strange how that happens – I think with any other author it might not have worked. But Saenz is a great writer (but I agree he has to be a bit more careful with his words) 😀
    Like you I loved Vicente! His relationship with Sal was so beautiful I wanted to cry. We need more representations in YA lit of loving father/son relationships like this one.
    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • YESSS TO ALL OF THIS! Definitely agree, I don’t think I would have finished a book with no plot if the writing skills weren’t as good as Saenz’s. Vicente made me cry the most, I wish all YA fathers were like him. Thank you so much! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just got this in the mail and I’m looking forward to it! I’m a little sad about the insensitive remarks you mentioned, but I think I’ll have to see them in context to get how they play in the story. :/

    I love Ari & Dante. Have you read his previous book? I’m curious, which cast of characters did you prefer more (if you’ve read both)?

    Liked by 1 person

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