“The Inexplicable Logic of My Life” by Benjamin Alire Saenz— Growing Up

Saenz, Benjamin Alire. “The Inexplicable Logic of My Life”, Clarion, 2017.

Growing Up

Amos Lassen

Now that Salvador is a senior in high school, he begins questioning things. Before that he thought he knew everything about being adopted by his gay father, his Mexican American family and about Samantha his best friend. He really wants to discover who he is. While he does not share blood with the people he lives with, they are his family and share a very tight bond. Author Benjamin Saenz writes of life, in all its simplicities and complexities and we are reminded that death is a fact of life. We also see that people die but love doesn’t. Those we have loved live on in memories and they guide and comfort us when the need arises.

This is a is a book about family and how families evolve. It looks at the bonds shared with other and how these bonds affect the ways we think and live. We get an optimistic look at young people as well as at adults to let us know that even in the darkest of times there is someone to turn to. Benjamin just wants to have a sense of identity and as he sets out to do so, we are with his every step. Themes of love, social responsibility, death, and redemption come together in the wonderfully drawn characters.

Text messages between Sal and Sam, demonstrate the beautiful relationships among family and friends. The novel is written in short chapters that describe Sal’s deepest fears and most intense moments of affection that always leads back to his family and the love that is shared. As Sal deals with memories and feelings about mothers in general and his mother in particular, we see the goodness of families and the need of love.


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