The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz
About: 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.
Ofilia’s Thoughts: This is definitely an “issues” book meaning so many things happen to these poor teens that it is a bit overwhelming. Saenz excels at creating interesting and genuine characters that go through true life situations. In this way, this novel is much like his previous book, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. But where that title was quiet almost stealthy in style, this book is more all-encompassing. The protagonist, Sal, is struggling to find answers to big questions. He is dealing with thoughts of his adoption, his ailing grandmother and his grieving best friend. He also befriends a teen who is essentially homeless thanks to his mother’s drug addiction. Oh and did I mention Sal’s adopted dad is gay? See what I mean about “issues.” Despite all of this, the pacing is slow, so while there are a lot of problems, there isn’t a lot of action. Still, it is a beautifully written book with lovely moments of connection and meaning. Sal is surrounded by loving adults, particularly his dad who reminds me a lot of Atticus Finch, which is refreshing. This book is all about the journey and trying to make sense of the world especially during hard times. I think people who like quieter more introspective fiction, would enjoy this one.