Title: Highly Illogical Behaviour
Author:John Corey Whaley
Genre: YA / Coming-of-Age / Mental Illness
Meet Solomon. He’s sixteen years old and he has agoraphobia. After the water fountain incident three years ago, he hasn’t set foot outside of his house. For Solomon, life is just easier inside.
Meet Lisa. She’s seventeen years old and can’t wait to leave home. She’s hoping to get a scholarship to study for a top tier psychiatry degree. For Lisa, fixing Solomon and writing a paper about his condition is her one-way ticket out of here.
Meet Clark. He’s seventeen years old and he’s the kind of guy that everyone loves. The trouble is, although he’s popular, he doesn’t really fit in with the crowd at school. For Clark, what he really wants in life is a bit of a mystery.
When the three come together to form an unlikely friendship, Solomon’s universe begins to expand for the first time in many years. But things are not always what they seem – there are secrets bubbling below the surface that may have the power to destroy their friendship.
YESSSSSS. I have so much love for this book. This YA Novel is both moving and hilarious, and deals with difficult topics like agoraphobia, anxiety disorders, and coming to accept who we are. I fell in love with the characters and their story and I didn’t want to ever finish reading.
This book was a total surprise for me. I haven’t read anything by John Corey Whaley before, and so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Now I feel like a total idiot for never picking up one of his books before. After reading Highly Illogical Behaviour, I am really keen to read Where Things Come Back, and Noggin, as well.
I really enjoyed the sense of humour in this book. And by really, I mean really really. The constant banter between Sol, Lisa, and Clark was nerdy, witty, and it totally cracked me up. The conversations they had with each other felt so realistic and were just the kind of humour that I really enjoy.
The characterisation was great. Although not all of the characters were particularly likeable ( *cough* Lisa *cough*) they were all relatable and believable. Sol, Clark, and Lisa all changed and grew as the story progressed, and they felt like they could easily be real people. Also, Clark and Sol are amazing and I love them both.
The story deals with mental illness in a sensitive but realistic way. Obviously people who experience anxiety and agoraphobia will experience these to a different degree, and in different ways, but to me Sol’s experience felt authentic. I think that the way Lisa sets off trying to ‘fix’ Sol is a great representation of the common misconceptions the world has about mental illness, and it’s important to see the lessons that she learns after befriending Sol. Also, it’s great how Sol’s mental illness is not his defining characteristic. He’s a smart, witty, sarcastic teenager with a great sense of humour and a lot of love for Star Trek. He’s not just a boy who’s afraid to go outside; he’s totally relatable.
Final Thoughts: Everyone should read this book. Highly Illogical Behaviour is an absolutely delightful read; it’s both humorous and thought-provoking and you will fall in love with Sol and Clark, I swear.