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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-09-05 02:42
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life (Audiobook)
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Warning:

Death and grief

(spoiler show)

 

I loved Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and was worried that nothing else would measure up to it. 

 

As with that book, this one is centered around a young high school boy trying to figure out life while detailing in his relationships with those around him. Here, we have Salvador, his gay dad Vicente and his best friends Sam, who is more of a sister to him, and Fito, who is also gay. Sam's and Fito's lives are not as easy as Salvie's but he has his own issues to. His grandmother is sick again, and he's feeling an anger that he can't place where it came from. The ghost of his mother is always there, nearby, and his unknown bio dad is a big question mark. As Salvie, Sam and Fito go through their last year of high school, they face trials, joys and life-changing events. 

 

I didn't really click with the narrator. He did a great job but for some reason his voice just never sounded like what I thought Salvie's voice should sound like. Then Saenz started tugging at the heart strings as first Sam, then Fito, then Salvie and Vicente experienced significant losses in their lives. All the characters are great, flaws and all, and Vicente is a terrific father. But Mima. Mima got me.

 

I lost my nana at the beginning of the year, a few weeks after New Year's. She had been sick a long time and waiting for death, but that didn't make it any easier when we got the call late one night to hurry and come before it was too late to say our goodbyes. I wasn't as close to her as Salvie is to Mima. My nana only spoke Spanish and I only speak English, so we couldn't talk without a translator. But I never needed a translator to know how much she loved me. She had God in her heart, and she loved her family with all her heart. If I was sick or not feeling well when we were visiting, she'd whip up some lemon tea with her special blend of spices and I'd feel better. She made the best tamales and her house and yard always smelled like guavas. Ten months have passed and I still sometimes forget she's not just a couple hours down the highway, and this'll be the first Christmas where we don't all gather at her house, sing carols and eat tamales until we can't move. 

(spoiler show)

 

I saw my nana in Mima, and myself and all my cousins in Salvie, and the special bond that they shared. It's no surprise those were my favorite parts of the book, and that pulled this up from a 3-star to a 4-star read for me.

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review 2017-09-21 00:00
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz I loved this book. I think it's a story that either really connects for you or doesn't at all. I wasn't so sure about it for some, in the beginning, but not too far in I really loved the characters. They're such individuals. They don't really fit into any stereotypes for teens. It made them feel more realistic. I really liked being inside their heads and witnessing them growing up as issues happened. ♥︎

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text 2017-06-15 21:32
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 359 pages.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Re-  reading   I love my boys 

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review 2017-04-22 05:12
Two teenage boys figuring out their identity and their friendship...
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

 

 

This is an amazing book that seems to truly understand the minds of teenage boys trying to navigate life. It appeals to both boys and girls who are trying to figure out their identity and their lives. Dante seems to know who he is from the beginning, but Aristotle (Ari) is constantly worrying about the fact that he doesn't know who he is or what he wants.

 

Some of the students in my class found Ari's angst to be more than a bit annoying, but I really enjoyed this book. I felt for Ari, even though, at times, I didn't really understand why he was so angry. Dante didn't always understand it either. However, I am certain I was just as confused and confusing as a teenager (especially to my mom). And now, I have my own teenage daughter. Her moods are more than a bit unpredictable and confusing; so now I know what my mother felt like.

 

I think teens, especially those questioning their sexuality, will enjoy this book.

 

Recommended to:

Grades 9-12, both boys and girls. 

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review 2017-03-21 22:20
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

I was frustrated with the first half of this novel. I felt that it was going nowhere. Sal was pondering his life and his identity, only he was doing internally. If only he’d reached out, I’d felt better but Sal drifted, his voice silent while his mind filled with questions and unknowns. Sal had plenty of opportunities and he had a lot of individuals, of all ages, to help him, yet he kept quiet. Somehow as life starts to get complicated for himself and his friends, Sal’s questions don’t seem to be that important anymore, his mind seems to find the bigger picture.

 

The second half of the novel saved this novel for me as I was tired of Sal’s unending questions and his life’s pondering. Sal finally starts to show some heart, could it have been all the emotions and messages that his friends are sending out? Sal begins by recording his grandma’s voice as he knows her days are numbered, he then starts to open up a bit with his dad, just a few questions but I felt something happening in the relationships with all the characters. Sal seems relieved, he has finally opened up and after telling his friends this breakthrough, it’s as if they all are breathing lighter now. If only the beginning of the novel, they would have had some of this connection, I would have loved it.

 

This was not what I expected from this novel, it carried a terrific cover, a great synopsis but the beginning was a disappointment. I loved the secondary characters in the novel, and the ending made up the novel for me. I loved Benjamin Saenz other novels and I look forward to reading other novels by him. 3.5 stars

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