ARC Review: Highly Illogical Behavior
Author: John Corey Whaley
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.
Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But how can she prove she deserves a spot there?
Solomon is the answer.
Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa thrusts herself into his life, introducing him to her charming boyfriend Clark and confiding her fears in him. Soon, all three teens are far closer than they thought they’d be, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse, as well.
I want to preface this with letting you know that this is the first book by John Corey Whaley that I’ve read. I want to read everything he’s written now!
John Corey Whaley gives us a glimpse into both the absolutely hysterical and the absolutely heart-wrenching sides of living with mental illness. He shines a light on a topic that we are often too scared to talk about, and shows us that we need to talk about it. That we can’t ignore it. That we shouldn’t.
The characters are fun, well-developed, and have wonderful character arcs. The secondary characters serve very specific purposes, and something very important would be missing if they weren’t there. Solomon’s parents are just doing the best they can, but are hilarious while they are getting through it. They are the main contributors of a lot of the comedic relief throughout the book. Solomon’s grandma is his cheerleader, and she plays a large role in his character’s development. Janis, Lisa’s best friend, is the person who grounds Lisa, and causes her to wake up and pay attention to what is going on around her even if it is not in the best way, but then we have to remember they are teenage girls.
Solomon – Solomon is awesome. He struggles with multiple things in this book. Not only does he struggle with his mental illness, but he also struggles with coming out to his friends and his parents. I think a very important piece of Solomon’s character is that despite the fact that he struggles with these things, he is able to keep his sense of humor. Solomon is, by far, my favorite character. Looking back on how I was reading the book, I became a little protective of Solomon because I didn’t want people to come into his world and hurt him.
Lisa – I’ll be honest, I started out not liking Lisa at all. I didn’t like the fact that she wanted to “fix” Solomon when it really wasn’t any of her business. Eventually, Lisa grew on me, but she was never my favorite. Eventually, I even grew to like Clark more than Lisa.
Clark – Clark is Lisa’s boyfriend. On the outside, to his friends, he is your stereotypical jock. He plays water polo. He’s popular. But on the inside, when he’s not with his friends, he is definitely not your stereotypical jock. I think that’s why, in the end, I like him so much.
I give this book a very strong B for its very well-done addressing of mental illness, character development, and overall fun! John Corey Whaley gives us the opportunity to feel what it’s like to experience what Solomon experiences through his writing, and while the experience was, at times, stressful, it was also a very enjoyable one.