|Image: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
Teen Tuesday features The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. This first-person narrative features Sal, who finds himself in detention on the very first day of senior year when he decides to use his fists instead of his words to confront a bully. This fast and furious anger puzzles Sal who admits that his life has been pretty great. Though his mother died when he was three, her best friend, Vicente adopted him and Sal, while white, grew up surrounded by a loving Mexican American extended family. He ponders his birth father and begins to wonder if he inherited this new tendency toward violence from him.
He's also lucky with friends, especially his best friend, Samantha. The two are thick as thieves and Vicente acts as a surrogate father to her because her relationship with her mostly absent mother is fraught. He also makes a new friend in Fito, a gay classmate who is working hard to both earn money and college acceptance.
The writing is lovely in this character driven story. It's leisurely pace will require a patient teen reader but the reward is in the warmth of Sal's adoptive family and his friendships. The performance by Robbie Raymond is measured and introspective.