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The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
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's review
May 04, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: life, not-graphic, ya

“You don’t have a high opinion of human nature, do you?”

“Your problem, Sally, is that you think everybody is like you and your dad and your Mima. I got a news flash for you.”
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.
“As I’ve tried to impress upon you in the past, there’s a sad story behind every item that’s for sale in pawnshops.”

“Impress upon me,” I said. “How could I forget? So we’re into sad. No, even worse, we’re into voyeurism? Looking in on or making up other people’s tragedies. Great.”
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.
“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?
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.
I knew why people were afraid of the future. Because the future wasn’t going to look like the past. That was really scary.
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.
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.
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Quotes Chris Liked

Benjamin Alire Sáenz
“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.”
Benjamin Alire Sáenz, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
tags: words

Benjamin Alire Sáenz
“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?”
Benjamin Alire Sáenz, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

Benjamin Alire Sáenz
“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.”
Benjamin Alire Sáenz, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

Benjamin Alire Sáenz
“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?”
Benjamin Alire Sáenz, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

Benjamin Alire Sáenz
“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.”
Benjamin Alire Sáenz, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life


Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 4, 2017 – Shelved
May 4, 2017 – Shelved as: life
May 4, 2017 – Shelved as: not-graphic
May 4, 2017 – Shelved as: ya

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