The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

Book - 2017
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"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"--
Publisher: Boston ; New York : Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780544586505
Branch Call Number: YA SAENZ
Characteristics: 445 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Sal faces a very challenging and emotional senior year, luckily he has his two best friends and his adoptive family for support.

From the critics

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JCLBeckyC May 06, 2019

Salvador Silva, a modern-day, male Scout Finch, comes of age in the desert between the home he shares with his adoptive father Vicente (summoning Atticus Finch,) his platonic girlfriend Sam, his platonic boyfriend Fito, and his beloved grandmother Mima, who is slowly passing away in the midst of family celebrations with their big, loving, Mexican-American family. This slowly-paced novel takes its sweet time to ponder big questions about family and identity, bigotry and culture, and what it means to live in a family full of people who believe that love is thicker than blood.

Feb 26, 2019

This is such a beautiful book! There are parts that are a bit contrived, but I forgive any negative aspects of the book because of the vivid characters. It’s refreshing to see a YA book that is more about friendships than romance. Sal’s dad has to be the best father in any YA book ever, but he was still realistic.

Feb 25, 2018

I am a very latecomer to Young Adult books, which weren't really recognized in my day, I outgrew the Children's Section, had my good mother check out "real" library books until I could finally get my adult card at age 12, and pored over the card catalogue--many of you will remember those treasure chests. In short, I am too old for this book but fully endorse it and wish it had been available years ago. It tells a story both unique and universal about three highschoolers trying to find their way in a sometimes-hostile world, and it can give us all hope. Please do not be put off by the number of pages as they have lots of white space, and many will find the book a quick read and a meaningful one. Mil gracias Sr. Saenz!

Jan 17, 2018

This book is perfect. I have no criticisms. It made me laugh and cry and squeal and lose sleep, and that's all I can say. 10/5!

Jan 04, 2018

If I could give this book 5 1/2 stars I would. The book showed beautiful, unique, amazingly portrayed characters and I would re-read this book 1000 times. I recommend it to everyone.

LPL_ColtonS Nov 06, 2017

In this story, Sáenz is able to write characters who are able to make you feel their emotions along with them. Beautifully written, this novel introduces topics like death, anger, abuse, homosexuality, parenting, adoption, cancer, and racism with a heartfelt, warm approach that should be applauded. A very emotionally driven book that kept me hooked and begging for more.

JCLChrisK May 04, 2017

A third of the way into this book I was liking the story well enough, but I was feeling the characters were just a bit too nice. Their ease with each other and their problems, their lack of negative reactions and mistakes, their ability to love and take care of each other, while good, didn't seem to provide enough conflict and drama for a moving story. I was underwhelmed.

Another third of the way through and I realized my feelings had changed. I became aware that every time I read a portion of the book my mood improved. I felt more general happiness, more easily accepted hardship, and thought more often of my loved ones. I felt more love.

Don't think that means the book is free of conflict, hardship, anger, and fear, or that the characters don't suffer and hurt each other. They are believably real people dealing with more than their share of tragedy. It's just that those characters also know how to take care of each other. They are extraordinary in their ability to be vulnerable and to love, particularly protagonist Salvador. And that makes this book particularly affecting by example.

This is an introspective story with a more leisurely pace than many. It's not necessarily one I would call "clean" or devoid of rough content, but it's definitely one I would call positive. Without any saccharine elements or forced optimism or anything didactic, this story gently demonstrates how to become a better, more wholehearted person.

PimaLib_MaryG May 01, 2017

A beautifully written story of a teen working his way through the difficulties life throws his way.
The deaths of loved ones and others not-so-loved, friends' pain, and all the while knowing he needs to finish the essay for his college application. Many trips back and forth between El Paso and Las Cruces. Sal doesn't always respond the way we want him to; more importantly, he doesn't always respond the way he wants himself to. This book grabbed me on the first page and held me all the way through. Benjamin Alire Sáenz is one of my favorite writers and he came through once again.

Apr 28, 2017


KateHillier Apr 22, 2017

I'm a huge fan of the author's previous book and while this book is quite different in most ways it hits you in similar emotional spots and it is fantastic. We're in the present day here and we follow the story of Sal. It's his final year of high school and things are changing. He's quicker to throw a punch then he used to be, he worries about his best friend Sam's taste for bad boys, he worries about his friend Fito's family life, he worries about the health of his beloved grandmother.

Sal has a fantastic relationship with his gay father, really his adopted father, Vincente. He has no idea who his real father is and his mother died when he was a toddler. Vincente is a fantastic man in so many ways and everyone needs a Vincente in their life. This last year of high school has a series of terrible and hard things happen to Sal and his friends but the love they have for each other and the strength of that love is what sees everyone through. It was incredibly satisfying to read even through the hard parts.

It was fantastic and I loved it to bits.

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JCLChrisK May 04, 2017

I’ll always remember that look on your face. You saw me. You’ve always seen me. And I think that’s all that anyone wants. That’s why Fito loves coming over here. He’s been invisible all his life. And all of a sudden he’s visible. Seeing someone. Really seeing someone. That’s love.

JCLChrisK May 04, 2017

Before I nodded off, I thought about what my dad had said—​that life wasn’t all nice and neat like a book, and life didn’t have a plot filled with characters who said intelligent and beautiful things. But he wasn’t right about that. See, my dad said intelligent and beautiful things. And he was real. He was the most real thing in the entire world. So why couldn’t I be like him?

JCLChrisK May 04, 2017

Words exist only in theory. And then one ordinary day you run into a word that exists only in theory. And you meet it face to face. And then that word becomes someone you know. That word becomes someone you hate. And you take that word with you wherever you go. And you can't pretend it isn't there.

JCLChrisK May 04, 2017

If there’s no heaven, I don’t really care. Maybe people are heaven, Dad. Some people, anyway. You and Sam and Fito. Maybe you’re all heaven. Maybe everyone’s heaven, and we just don’t know it.

JCLChrisK May 04, 2017

“Anger is an emotion. But there’s always something behind anger. Something stronger. You know what that is?”

“Is that a trick question?”

“It comes from fear, son. That’s where it comes from. All you have to do is figure out what you’re afraid of.”

Oh, I thought. Is that all?


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