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 is ambition alone enough to get her in?
Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same.
I first came across Highly Illogical Behavior when I noticed it on a table at work for staff to read. Later on, I saw the book on one of our “books about mental health” feature tables and I decided to give it a shot. After reading the book over the course of two days, I can honestly say that this was one of the best decisions I have made this summer!
I absolutely adored this book! It is a strange mix of humor and serious suffering that managed to make me laugh one moment and then feel deep empathy for Sol’s experiences with agoraphobia the next. While I have not personally experienced agoraphobia, I have experienced panic disorder so I know first-hand just how debilitating panic attacks can be. So with that in mind, I think that it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about anxiety and panic attacks and in my opinion I believe that John Corey Whaley did an excellent job of accurately depicting the reality of agoraphobia and anxiety in general.
Additionally, I think this story has a lot to teach the reader about friendship and trust when it comes to developing relationships with individuals who experience mental illness. More specifically, I think Lisa and Clark’s willingness to make sacrifices and be patient with Soloman as he struggled to work through his illness is in direct opposition to the widespread stigmatization that we see in society. Therefore, I felt as though these characters served an important purpose in the book by demonstrating that people who are suffering from a mental illness can get better with the right support system and a tremendous amount of acceptance and compassion.
In short, I loved this book. I cannot praise this book enough and I will absolutely be recommending it to my friends as well as my customers at the bookstore. If you are looking for an entertaining book that also has a lot of deeper meaning then you should look no further than Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley. What a truly amazing book.
As always, thanks for stopping by!