Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley | SLJ Review

redstarWhaley, John Corey. Highly Illogical Behavior. 256p. ebook available. Dial. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525428183. YA_Whaley_Highly Illogical Behavior

Gr 9 Up –Solomon Reed, 16, has not left his house in three years. Regular panic attacks keep him from handling the outside. Yet he is a smart and resourceful teenager with a love for Star Trek, gratifying hobbies, and a supportive family. Solomon is being educated online and doesn’t feel that any social life he might be missing is worth the mental anguish that daily life causes him to endure. However, he knows he can’t live like this forever. Then Lisa Praytor, a vivacious and take-charge extrovert appears, wanting to be his friend. Lisa is convinced that she can treat Solomon’s agoraphobia and get him outside. She is also convinced that the experience will help her write the best college essay and win a scholarship for a prominent psychology program. However, Lisa uncovers more than she expected as she and her boyfriend Clark get to know and grow close to the recluse. Sol’s grandmother makes a grand gesture of building a backyard pool to encourage the boy’s efforts to overcome his anxiety. What looks like a typical friendship story is blended with issues of trust, vulnerability, and identity. Solomon’s agoraphobia is not the only thing that defines him, which speaks to the larger message about those living with mental illness. Each character has an authentic voice and temperament that feel realistic, and the alternating narratives capture the perspective of the bright, witty, and decidedly quirky protagonists. The spare writing makes this a taut, tender, and appealing read. VERDICT A logical choice for Whaley’s fans, Trekkies, and sensitive readers of all stripes.–Briana Moore, School Library Journal

This review was published in the School Library Journal April 2016 issue.

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