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The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  21,399 ratings  ·  3,910 reviews
A warmly humane look at universal questions of belonging, infused with humour, from the bestselling author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

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 everythin
Hardcover, 452 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Clarion Books
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Rick Activity? like eating dinner? going to school? living life like normal people?
Andrea No, no, no. This is book is not the sequel. There will be a sequel, but this one is a completely different book, with nothing to do with Aristotle and…moreNo, no, no. This is book is not the sequel. There will be a sequel, but this one is a completely different book, with nothing to do with Aristotle and Dante, sorry ._. But, don't worry, Sáenz said that he is currently writing the sequel, so I'm sure that we won't have to wait that much.(less)

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  21,399 ratings  ·  3,910 reviews

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Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
I have such a hard time reviewing Benjamin Alire Sáenz's books because they really are beautiful stories it's just something about them doesn't click with me. I did prefer this story to Aristotle and Dante but I did still have a lot of the same issues. Starting off with the good, he writes amazing, realistic characters that you can't help but love. Furthermore, the relationships between these characters are downright amazing. While Aristotle and Dante was a romantic relationship, this one was mo ...more
May 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, queer
"Life had its seasons, and the season of letting go would always come, but there was something very beautiful in that, in letting go. Leaves were always graceful as they floated away from the tree."

Rating: 3,5/5 stars

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life was good. It was a typical Sáenz novel. It was an average Sáenz novel. One with beautiful words and beautiful thoughts, but overall it was very...mild.

I'm going to make two lists, to get my thoughts in order. List No. 1 is about the good things, lis
Larry H
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
The minute I received an email from NetGalley promoting Benjamin Alire Sáenz's new book, I jumped on it and submitted a request for an advance copy. I absolutely loved Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (see my review), so I figured even if this one wasn't that good, I still had to read it. Needless to say, I was so pleased to get approved right away, and I began the book the second I finished my previous one.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is a different book tha
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i have a complicated, but consistent, relationship with saenzs stories. they tend to be slow creepers – meaning that, whilst reading them, they dont feel as impactful. the emotional hit comes randomly after ive read the book, set it aside, and walked away. and then, out of nowhere, i think, ‘holy crap. this book.’

due to the fact this is an entirely character driven story, with no plotline of events to even speak of, 450 pages does seem a bit excessive, if not tedious. and the characters arent ex
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a beautiful coming of age story of a young man, his best friends and father. It had so many feels. 🥰 It covers so many important topics and these are just really good kids. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but will forewarn that there is a focus on dealing with the loss of loved ones due to cancer, accidents and drug overdose. It was just a very insightful and heart warming read. The one thing that irked me was the overuse of the term ‘no bueno’. 😬 But this is told from the persp ...more
Always Pouting
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's senior year and Sal doesn't know how to deal with the changes staring him down. College is eminent and his best friend Samantha's self destructive behavior worries him. Recently he has started feeling angrier and much more volatile, getting into fights. Sal also can't help but wonder about his birth father and questions who he actually is. Facing up to adulthood and the sad realities of life, Sal figures out a way to still be at peace with what he has. I enjoyed the writing and I love Saman ...more
C.G. Drews
Well this was downright BEAUTIFUL. I love beautiful books omg. Look at that cover. And now just imagine the inside words being full of beautiful people who you kind of want to kidnap and force to be your BFF forever -- BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THIS BOOK IS. I absolutely adored Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and while I don't feel like The Inexplicable Logic of My Life lived up to it entirely??? It still did a fine job. A FINE JOB, SIR.

Okay first thing to shout about: IT HAS
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Check out my spoiler free review!: ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
3.75 stars

“We are what we remember.”

Benjamin Alire Saenz has once again blown me away, and I couldn’t be happier. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is about a high school senior named Sal and his father and his family and his friends and all the hard things that come with approaching life after high school. Everything and nothing happened in this book and in typical Benjamin Alire Saenz fashion, I was left in awe.

If you liked Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, you’ll l
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*2.5 stars*

I liked it... I think? Or maybe it was just okay... I really don't know what I think after reading this one, so I'll just blurt out a bunch of thoughts as they pop into my head.

I, unlike the majority of my friends, haven't read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. While I gather that Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe had a romance element, this book really doesn't. It is truly a book about family and the evolution of families. It is all ab
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Thomas by: Aaron
3.5 stars

I feel heartbroken that I did not like this one more. Anyone who knows me knows that I love Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe with every fiber of my being. In some ways, Benjamin Alire Saenz captures a similar magic in The Inexplicable Logic of My Life. The story follows Sal, a white boy raised by a gay Mexican-American man, and Sam, Sal's best friend. Saenz, as always, hits on heavy topics - Sam and Sal experience love, death, grief, and a host of other emoti
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I actually finished this days ago, but I was in denial. I loved this book so much as soon as I finished, I closed the book and started crying. I didn't think it could live up to Ari and Dante, but this one resonated with me so deeply. I basically cried through most of it.

The writing style is just as beautiful. The characters are just as compelling. Most of all I loved the underlying theme that love is important whether it's between platonic friends, a couple, a grandmother and grandson, or moth
b. t.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: diverse-reads
This review is going to be kind of harsh and very biased - even more biased than a typical review. I started out with mixed feelings that leaned more toward the positive; I thought I'd end up giving it a 3- or 4-star rating. But then it crossed a line for me and I was so angry I couldn't get back into the story.

So let me start with my more "objective" thoughts, the things I would've been talking about if I'd been writing a 3-star review.


Salvador Silva has just started his senior year i
Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)


I want to thank Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review :)

I really liked it, like a lot!, I still like Ari and Dante a little bit more, but anyway the writing style of this book is just as wonderful


4.25 / 5 Stars

I'll leave you a little bit of the synopsis so you can know what the story is about and we just start talking about it.

Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
Love is a terrible curse. It causes you to hope. To dream. The last YA novel I read that was written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz I loved. That was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. While that novel had its cliches and manic dream pixie characters it had a magic to it. A charm. Something to help lift it from the everyday YA coming of age novel.

So I had hoped for similar with this book, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life, but sadly it wasn't to be. Overall it was fine...

But fi
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps the literary voice of the borderland, Benjamin Saenz's new novel wedges itself into your affections just like all of his other books do.

And the El Paso of Saenz is not totally the real one (that Trump has maligned). The story belongs in a star-crossed reality, that is violent, that is intimate and masculine. The voice is exclusively the novelists's. That his men are strong and frail, as apt to give a punch as to receive a caress, is all so imaginary and lovely. These characters don't exi
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You know that saying that goes, ‘home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling’? Well, this book felt like home. It felt like being simultaneously lost and found. It felt like a million firecrackers going off in my chest—bright and burning; it kind of hurts but it’s also kind of beautiful.

Salvador, Samantha, and Fito were all very intricate characters with many personal struggles and it evoked so much emotion from me to read about these friends who had each other’s backs through it all. My favourite charac
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book had a lot of great things about it. Really strong diverse characters that I tucked into my heart. Stunningly beautiful prose that surprised me out of nowhere. Moments that made me feel such deep sadness, beauty and hope; often at the same time. A really solid novel that I think a lot of people will enjoy when it releases next March.
prag ♻
Nov 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
DNF @17??

I hate DNFing books. Especially if they're:

a) ARCs
b) Written by someone who can come up with something as beautiful as Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (please go read that if you haven't already)

But I just can't continue with this book, even though it falls under both these categories. How Benjamin Alire Sáenz managed to write a book so boring I fell asleep in the third chapter, I don't know. Hats off to him.

• There is absolutely no plot - I haven't even reached
Avery (Book Deviant)
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Hi everyone. I was recently contacted over my review of this book, and I'd like you all to know what happened. I received an email on Wednesday (8/23/17), by Sáenz about this review. He said that I had attacked his character by accusing him of handling rape badly, and that I had no right to do so, and that it was unfair. He also mentioned how I had read the book wrong. This was so horribly wrong.

I was not the first person to mention the rape scene. I am 17 years old. The review has been out for
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish Benjamin Alire Sáenz could write my life.
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
Full review originally posted on my blog: Word Wonders

*I received an Arc of this book from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault – Successive Deaths.

Oh boy I’m mad. When I first started reading the book it felt like I was finding a new favorite, I knew that I was going to be giving it a 5 star rating, but as you can see that didn’t happen. The Inexplicable Logic of my life took all the wrong turns when they could’ve been avoi
Jennifer Kyle
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I just wanted to know that I really belonged. Which is stupid. Because I've always belonged."

A well done YA story which does lack romance but does gift the love of family.

Cat (cat-thecatlady)
I cannot describe this book with anything but one word: disappointment.

I'm so mad with how bad this was. it wasn't that the writing was necessarily bad, it had a few good moments. but the fact that this is so based in stereotypical assumptions kills me. things like "for a gay guy, my dad was pretty straight", "one thing about sam was that she didn't throw like a girl", "and fito's such a schizophrenic dork", "and Sam was supposed to be a real mexican" and many other things I had to suppress are

Initial Post Reading Thoughts

Ugh. This book. So beautiful.
(Literally these were the only words that were coming to mind after finishing the novel!)


What I Liked

The characters. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love character driven stories which is probably why I love contemporary stories so much. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is a very character driven story. While this is one of my favourite aspects of young adult contemporary novels, the characters in a character driven story
"People talk about the highway of life, but I think that's crap. Highways are nice and paved, and they have signs telling you which way to go. Life isn't like that at all."

3.5 stars

I liked this book a lot, but I'm not in love with it. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is one of my all time favorite books so it's safe to say I had high expectations going into this one. And I guess I'm slightly disappointed, only because my expectations were so high. But I still loved this b
shady boots
Apr 09, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: the-gay-agenda
I'm one of like, the fifteen people in the universe who was really disappointed by Aristotle and Dante lmao. Still, I'm curious to see what else the author can do. ...more
Iryna *Book and Sword*
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: let-down, dnf
DNF on page 228.
Read this and more reviews on MY BLOG

After 12 long days of trying to get into this book I am finally DNF'ing it on page 228. I've only DNF'd 3 books this year (this is my 4rth), so it was a hard decision. But, I struggled through it from the very beginning, so I just had to leave it. Every time I put it down I just didn't care at all to pick it back up.

It's not a bad book in any sense (that's why it's not getting a 1 star rating), it just didn't do anything for me.

I read one oth
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
I'm not sure how I feel about this book - I didn't dislike it, but I didn't quite like it either.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is one of my most favorite books ever and I kinda expected Benjamin Alire Sáenz to deliver something similar. Well, no such luck.

What I liked:
* Most of all, I enjoyed Sal's family. They are awesome and I fell in love with them and their antics. Sal's father is my most favorite character of this book - A+++ parental figure.
* This book's main foc
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Benjamin Alire Sáenz (born 16 August 1954) is an award-winning American poet, novelist and writer of children's books.

He was born at Old Picacho, New Mexico, the fourth of seven children, and was raised on a small farm near Mesilla, New Mexico. He graduated from Las Cruces High School in 1972. That fall, he entered St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado where he received a B.A. degree in Humaniti

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