Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Summary: I really enjoyed this book, but it didn’t quite live up to the emotional punch of Ari and Dante.
“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?” (source)
This book had a lot to live up to, because I fell so completely in love with Sáenz’s first book, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I did my best to temper my expectations, but it was hard! Although I did really enjoy this book, it didn’t quite live up to Ari and Dante for me. It was moving and felt very real, two things I loved about Ari and Dante. However, it lacked the emotional crescendo of Ari and Dante. It was constantly pretty moving, which I didn’t enjoy as much as the way the emotion in Ari and Dante slowly built up to a climactic ending.
Since I couldn’t attribute my preference for Ari and Dante to anything more specific than how it made me feel, I was curious if Inexplicable Logic was actually just at a disadvantage because I read it second. I know that I often love books where I feel as though the author has done something novel. This is obviously less likely to be the case if I’m reading a second, very similar book by a given author. Surprisingly, the data actually show the opposite – 85% of the 75 times I’ve read a second book by an author, I’ve rated the second book as high or higher than the first. The only caveat I’d add to that conclusion is that there the star rating I give a book doesn’t always mean the same thing. A five star book that is one of my favorite books ever is very different from a five star book that isn’t. I just don’t have a higher rating for these all time favorites. Anyway, going back to Inexplicable Logic, I think my previous ratings suggest that I do give second books a fair chance. I’m guessing that means that Ari and Dante would have been my favorite of the two regardless of the order in which I read them.