How did I get it?:
Received from Faber- many thanks to them!
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.
Urgh. I don’t even know where to begin with this book. That’s a good urgh, by the way. This book is absolutely stunning. I first heard about this book at a Faber event. I immediately felt like I needed to read it, but at the same time I was nervous. I always get really nervous about reading books around mental health. Firstly, because I have experience with suffering from mental illness and secondly because sometimes I’ve read about it in ways which didn’t feel true or realistic. I needn’t have worried. John Corey Whaley gets it.
Highly Illogical Behaviour centres around Soloman who is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house for three years after suffering dehabilitating panic attacks. No-one seems to understand that he’s fine by himself. His parents are worried, of course, but are supportive of Soloman and are desperate for him to get better. Lisa, meanwhile, is desperate to get out of her hometown and get into a college. She will get a scholarship to the course she wants if she can write an essay about an experience with mental illness. Uh-oh, I’m sure you can see where it’s going. Lisa recalls Soloman’s big public panic attack and is determined to help him get back outside again. Lisa begins to build a friendship with Soloman. She even manages to introduce him to her boyfriend, Clark. Solomon appears to be making progress, until he finds out about the admission essay…
Immediately I enjoyed how supportive Soloman’s parents are. They encourage him to try to go outside, they encourage him to make friends, but never do they scream or get frustrated with him. They allow Soloman to be Soloman and that melted my heart. I also like how agorophobia and anxiety was approached. It wasn’t ridiculous or blown out of proportion. Soloman isn’t magically ‘cured’. It’s real, realistic and honest.
I absolutely adored the writing style. It’s so easy to devour. I just lapped up the words and let them sink in. There are some truly beautiful moments of acceptance. Just…… urgh!<3 ❤
Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!