Nidhi's Book Club
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life: Benjamin Alire Saenz
The Inexplicable Logic of my Life is a heartfelt, enthralling , poetic dive into the depths of friendship, love and loss. Benjamin Alire Sáenz spins the beautiful tale of an adopted teen who has always been sure of his place in the world but when his life starts changing in the form of dramatic, reality-altering events, Salvador Silva is no longer sure what he feels and where he belongs on the gameboard of life.
This book, although fantastic, does not have a plot, per se. Instead, it centers predominantly on the relationships between characters as opposed to the course of events in the characters' lives. Following the lives of Salvador, his gay foster father, his best friend Samantha and their new friend Fito. The various occurrences throughout this heartbreaking story bring these three friends closer together.
The novel is a slow one, as you read on, the story doesn’t feel as impactful, but the emotional hit comes randomly after you’ve finished the book, set it down, walked away, and then out of nowhere you think ‘holy hell, this book’. As a chapter driven story without a plot line, the 450 pages can seem a little excessive and intimidating, if not just tedious, especially since not all the characters are lovable at first read; it takes a while to grow fond of them, although once you fall in love, you’re stuck. Despite this, looking back, there are some extremely touching moments of pure beauty, unsurprisingly since the entire book is so lyrical. The writing, tone, and message of this story truly do tug on your heartstrings and the phrase ‘dejate querer’ which means let yourself be loved is used throughout the book and I cannot think of a better, and more truer words to describe the message and purpose of this story.
If you enjoy getting sucked into a story that explores some of life’s simplest questions and really looks at emotions, this is the one for you. The simple poetic love in this story is sure to bring about some tears and sniffles. Dive into the lyrical beauty of The Inexplicable Logic of my Life, and you won’t be disappointed.
Me, Earl and the Dying Girl: Jesse Andrews
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a story about cancer and... (tentative) friendship. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but no, this is not another The Fault in Our Stars, it’s far from it. This is not a book that will tug at your heartstrings or end in a happily ever after. This is not a book where people fall in love and the world fades to dust. This particular novel explores a very gritty, very real take on high school life, and the emotions that we all feel- the emotions that make us think “perhaps there’s something wrong with me”
Greg Gaines is a high school senior who has mastered the art of high school espionage and has survived high school with minimal drama due to one simple tactic- be friends with everyone, but don’t let people know that you’re friends with anyone. Greg has drifted through high school by staying on the periphery. He laughs, but never too loud, he’s nice, but not too nice- just enough for people to barely notice. And this is his plan for senior year. For one last year, he uses his flawless system. That is until his mother throws a massive wrench in his plans by forcing him to rekindle a non-existent flame with a ‘childhood friend’ (Rachel) who is dying of leukemia.
This elicits some protests but eventually comes to fruition when Greg and Rachel begin an awkward but somewhat fitting relationship in which both parties feel an awkward gap but somewhat of a kinship. That doesn't quite go where you might think, and a lot of the interaction is forced and oh so awkward. This novel dives headfirst into any teenager's innermost thoughts and fears and doesn’t try to sugarcoat or glorify teenage emotions. There is no polished love or selfless acts of giving, but there are confusion and obligation as well as stupid teenage decisions.
Throw out everything you think comes in a good novel, none of that is in this book. There are to the point chapter titles and blunt, crude humor. There is no hiding the mess and perfect revelations in this book, there is just real emotion. This book is such a relief from your typical teenage cancer books, it’s a breath of fresh air on a hot summer day. It is funny, crass and rude and there are times where you want to shake some sense into these loveable characters as they take you along on a journey that seems so real, it must’ve happened.
Although it breaks every rule in the book (pun intended), this book is absolutely amazing and so loveable, almost anyone can relate to the situations presented in this non-conventional, comical journey through one teenager's life.