Title: Highly Illogical Behaviour
Author: John Corey Whaley
Publisher: Faber & Faber
UK Release Date: 26rd May 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health
Source: Charity shop
Sixteen year old Solomon has agoraphobia. He hasn’t left his house in three years, which is fine by him. At home, he is the master of his own kingdom-even if his kingdom doesn’t extend outside of the house.
Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to go to a top tier psychiatry program. She’ll do anything to get in.
When Lisa finds out about Solomon’s solitary existence, she comes up with a plan sure to net her a scholarship: befriend Solomon. Treat his condition. And write a paper on her findings. To earn Solomon’s trust, Lisa begins letting him into her life, introducing him to her boyfriend Clark, and telling him her secrets. Soon, Solomon begins to open up and expand his universe. But all three teens have grown uncomfortably close, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse as well.
Highly Illogical Behaviour is a book that I’d been meaning to read for a long time – I mentioned it in my first ever book haul on my blog over the summer, but only got round to reading it in October, and am only reviewing it in December! I am so glad I did find the time to read it though, as I really enjoyed it.
The real highlight of Highly Illogical Behaviour for me was definitely the character development, and one of my favourite parts of the book was watching the relationships between the characters progress. At the beginning, Lisa was a girl motivated by one thing – a scholarship out of her town – and Solomon hadn’t left his house for years, and felt very much alone. Watching them progress, and become more in-depth characters for it, made the book for me. When I first picked up the book, I was a little worried that it would portray mental health is something that can be easily ‘fixed’, as this is Lisa’s intention, but this really wasn’t the case, as shown perfectly by the end of the book.
The book was also very easy to get into – when I read it a few weeks ago, I hadn’t really finished any books for a while, as I was finding it tricky to really feel gripped by anything, and so it was difficult to persevere with any one book. However, Highly Illogical Behaviour just pulled me in and really engaged me. It’s also a perfect length if you’re feeling quite pressed for time but still want to read, as it is 246 pages long. Also, even though it was relatively shorter than some other books I’ve read, this by no means detracted from the book itself, something I’m sure you can see from the praise for the characters above.
I briefly mentioned above that I loved seeing the relationships between the characters develop. Across the book, I thought the portrayal of the relationships between Lisa and Solomon and Clark very interesting. The introduction of sexuality as a theme towards the end was something I really wasn’t anticipating, as there is no hint that this is going to be explored, but I thought it was a great addition, as not only did the book deal with the subject of mental health, but another important topic as well.
Overall, I would recommend Highly Illogical Behaviour to those who enjoy books with interesting character, important themes, and strong friendships and relationships between the characters.