Book Reviews, LGBTQIA+

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

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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?

Enter Lisa.

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 listened to this audiobook in one day. Most of the time I was trying to clean my apartment,but ended up just stopping to listen to the book a lot of the day. There were so many things I liked about this book and I had some problems with it too. Midway through the book I was invested because of how complicated and interesting the dynamics in the relationships were. Lisa, Solomon were each really interesting characters.

I did not expect to like Clark as much as I did. I usually don’t like characters like Clark very much. He was just different, though. It’s why he fit so well with Solomon really. He felt like a really genuine character. I liked it all a lot. Their friendship is one of my favorite friendships ever. I was jealous. The whole plot with Clark and Solomon in the book was really familiar for me. It was relatable in some ways.

Lisa is something else.I honestly found myself laughing at Lisa’s life when I shouldn’t have been. Like the entire last half of the book. The situation she causes with her own insecurities. I laughed. I couldn’t help it. I could see what was going to happen and just had to.

The book is one of those where it all starts off because of questionable and immoral decisions of one character. Books like that can work, but often don’t. This works because people are telling Lisa that what she’s doing is wrong each step of the way. There is always a tension building as you think about when Solomon will find out what she did or if he even will.

Solomon’s grandmother is amazing. I wish I had a close relationship with one of my grandmother’s like what Solomon has with his. It’s really great to see.I loved their conversations in the book.

One more side character. At first, I didn’t like Janice. I still don’t but I don’t hate her. Janice isn’t the best person in the world, but neither is Lisa. Their friendship actually makes sense to me, which is crazy. It did not for a while there. Then I woke today and it just made sense. People who are sometimes horrible people being friends makes sense.

Solomon isn’t in therapy for his agoraphobia. I really liked that his parents saw that it wasn’t helping. Therapy isn’t for everyone. I liked that the other two characters went to that as a solution first telling him that’s what he needed because people really do that. It was realistic and didn’t have any affect on Solomon. Them saying that didn’t make him run to his parents and ask for a therapist. He understood what worked for him and someone telling him what they thought he needed didn’t change anything about what he thought.

If you don’t like when characters joke around mental health.Maybe don’t read this. Solomon does it himself and so does his parents. I mostly felt fine with it in this. Why?

  1. His family’s sense of humor made sense to me.The family unit in this book seemed like one that really worked.I feel like Solomon’s parents understood him.
  2. I know a lot of people who joke about their conditions in the same vein for whatever reason. My sister used to all the time. I have.

Still, there were moments where things made me felt a little off. It depended on who was using the language. So if Lisa, Clark, or someone else like Janice did it I didn’t like it much.You could argue that Lisa and Clark become as close as family,but there are things said really early in the book by them that I didn’t like.

It’s a book about friendships and being oneself. It had its problems , but I still recommend it. I feel like at the end Lisa is at a point where she realizes her actions were wrong. That’s what you would hope for. I’d like more there. I’d like her to really recognize the specific things she did and said that were wrong. Her attempts at different kinds of therapy when she is not a psychologist yet. I’d want her to understand even more how the things she says to people matter.

You know what the problem actually is. The last chapter. There is a line from Lisa that really annoyed me. I think the one line drops the book a little. It was just not good. I really questioned if she really got it in the end because of it.If I ignore that then I’d say I liked the ending a lot more,but it’s hard to ignore. I’d still recommend people try the book like I said. The characters are really great. John Corey Whaley does a great job of pulling you into the story. 

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