Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is one of my favourite books ever. And this is pretty much on par.
Benjamin Alire Saenz honestly has the most incredible gift with words. Almost every sentence is quotable, something you could frame on a wall. There are such incredible truths about growing up, about family, and friendship. It’s a gorgeous book.
What I loved most about Inexplicable Logic was the sense of family.
This is not your conventional nuclear family with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids. Salvador – our main character – is white, but he was raised by his adoptive gay father who is Mexican, and therefore thinks of himself as Mexican. I loved how family was not just about blood. His family not only accepts Salvador but also his best friend Sam, and a boy named Fito who has issues with his home life.
Salvador’s Dad is just a beautiful human being. He is so kind and thoughtful and calm, and fiercely protective. One of the best examples of a Hufflepuff I’ve seen – actually, he reminded me a lot of Dante. And I loved that he had his own dimensions as a character – his love life and his thoughts on family. But he’s a dad to anyone who needs one, he lets his children (Sam included) make their own mistakes, and is always there when they fall. JUST…IT WAS INCREDIBLE.
Like with Aristotle and Dante, it’s quite slow and dialogue-driven and plot-thin. Which was fine by me.
Contemporary is my favourite genre so I don’t need dragons or explosions to keep me occupied. I was quite happy reading this on the train and falling deeper into the words and sighing with how beautiful it all was. Because if you read these books for one reason, read it for the writing. It’s just so full of life and truth, and paradoxes and confusion and hope.
My only criticism is that Salvador is basically a carbon copy of Aristotle.
They have many of the same thought processes, they both have a very similar voice and it was honestly like reading a sequel to Aristotle and Dante with different side characters. But considering how much I LOVE Aristotle and Dante anyway, it honestly didn’t matter much to me.
Basically: read this for #ownvoices Mexican rep, big complex families, amazing food descriptions, beautiful writing and complicated friendships.
(And tears. You’ll probably cry tbh)
The first day of senior year:
Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.
Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?
Anyone have some good recommendations of families in YA books?