April 12, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz • March 7, 2017 • Clarion Books (HMH Books)
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The first day of senior year: Everything is about to change.

Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?


I received this book for free from Clarion Books for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “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.”


I can only describe The Inexplicable Logic of My Life as being full of love. The kind of love that is so pure and that you’d want to keep that feeling with you forever and forever. That is this book for me. Everybody is brimming with love for each other, and I love that. It makes my heart soar.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is a slice of life into the beauty family that Salvador Silva has and makes for himself.


  • This book is quiet.

I would call The Inexplicable Logic of My Life quiet. It doesn’t have much of a plot; it’s more of an introspective look into Sal, his family, and friends—a slice of life. These characters are just living their lives. Readers will get to see the confusion, anger, aggression, love that Salvador experiences. They will see these characters have text message conversations about the WFTD (aka Word for the Day), make tamales with Mima, or hold onto each other tightly after various tragedies. This book just is.

  • These characters have each other.

Even if these characters have nothing, they have each other. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life has a diverse group of characters that you can’t help but fall in love with them.

Here is Salvador Silva, a white boy who had been adopted by a gay Mexican-American man, when he was very young. Since the start of his Senior year in high school, he can’t stop throwing his fist around, especially when he hears people call his family and friends derogatory names like faggot. This kid is fiercely protective of his family and friends. His love for them is so strong, and it’s engrained into everything he does.

Salvador has two best friend: Sam(antha) Diaz, who is very pushy and wants to know everything and gravitates towards bad boys, and Fito, who is gay and juggles two jobs and is semi-homeless and frequently imparts sage advices. For these two, they come from dysfunctional families, so to have someone like Salvador and his dad is a blessing in their lives. (For reasons you have to read about in the book.)

  • This book explores different kinds of love.

All you need is love, and these characters are brimming with it for each other.

Readers see all types of love—Salvador and his father, Salvador and his two best friends, Salvador’s father and Sam and Fito, Mima and Salvador, and so on. Love isn’t limited. It’s overflowing to the point where readers will feel securely wrapped in the love these characters have for each other. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life shows readers how powerful love can be, even when you’re not blood related.

If you’re expecting romance, this book is not it. It’s all about familial and platonic love. Nothing is happening between Salvador and Sam, which I loved and deeply appreciated. Love can be platonic, especially between a boy and a girl.

  • Lots of death occurs here.

Prepare yourself. The deaths take a toll on your emotions because this book won’t let you up. It forces these characters to reevaluate their lives and how they see their family and their love. These characters show their fear and grief of losing the ones they love, and their regret of how they treated them prior to their deaths. It’s so many emotions that everybody has experienced in the world.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book is what happens to

the mother figures in this book.
It will takes an emotional toll on you—not entirely sure if it’s a good or bad thing—because it happens too many times that made me go “this just feels cheap and exhausting, and is it really possible for it to happen consecutively?” 

  • It has one of the best parental figures I have ever read.

For me, good parental figures in Young Adult are rare. None of the adults I have read have really stuck out to me.

But Sal’s dad? Vincente Silva? I’m gonna remember him for a very long time. This dad is just…can I have him as my dad? Like a second dad. He’s just frickin’ amazing. He’s wise and generous. He has expectations, and you’d never want to disappoint him. He really connects with Salvador and his friends without becoming one of those parents who try hard to be “cool” or become their kid’s friend. He’s just authentic. This is a dad who welcomes anybody into his family with opened arms.

  • The prose is lovely.

It’s almost lyrical, which is a staple of Benjamin Alire Saenz’s writing. The text flows so easily that it feels like you’re reading a poem. Each chapter are quite short, but you’ll be swept away by the beauty of the words.

Should you read The Inexplicable Logic of My Life ? Yes! Once you read The Inexplicable Logic of My Life, it’ll be hard not to want to become part of Salvador Silva’s family. These characters love each other so much! It’s incredibly beautiful to read. This book does a beautiful job of showing that family isn’t limited to your blood. A lot does happen, so it does become lost in itself and some aspects of the book I wished were well thought out, but the character development is worth it.

If you want family + platonic love that peeks into a family’s every day life, this book is it!


2 Responses to “REVIEW • Love Is Infinite (The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz)”

  1. It is rare when there is a good parental figure in YA. It seems like they’re either have mental or drug problems, careers that take them away from home all the time, going through a divorce and are so far up their own butts they forget they have a kid, or are “so cool” that they treat their kids like their bff instead of taking on the role to help teach and direct their kid in the world. So, the fact that Vincente is an amazing father has me wanting to read this.

  2. This book sounds so amazing! I haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet but I am really eager after having really loved Ari and Dante! Thanks so much for this awesome review and great to hear you enjoyed it! <3

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