Reviews for Highly Illogical Behavior, by John Corey Whaley

megpowers's review against another edition

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5.0

"There's no escaping it."
"What?"
"Life."

Wow. I went into this book knowing that it was something that a lot of people were excited about but never having read John Corey Whaley's work. Now I can say that I want to read anything he's ever written, because that was brilliant. It was a fast-paced exploration of human nature and mental illness and I wasn't even sure if I was going to like it. I loved every second of it, and I'd highly recommend this book.

bentheoverlordbooks's review against another edition

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5.0

A whirlwind read.

Gonna process this a bit before I write my review.

bookcheshirecat's review

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3.0

“What he feared the most was that all this hiding had made it impossible for him to ever be found again.”

CW: Attempted Cure (challenged)

After meaning to read this book for a while, I finally picked it up. In fact, I really enjoyed the book and was glad that the reviews were right about one thing - that this does not turn into a cure story despite one character attempting to. That really calmed me down, but I have to say that reading about Lisa trying to “fix” Solomon still was stressful, so if a character with a “cure” mindset stresses you at lot, this may not be the right story for you. As far as I know, the portrayal of Mental Illness was still great, but a few things did leave me gruntled. Therefore, it is TIME FOR SOME LISTS!

WHY THIS BOOK WAS GOOD
Solomon was actually the cutest. He is a huge nerd for Star Trek and watches it whenever he needs advice, imaging that he is Data. Honestly, I just wanted to reach into the book and hug him, because Solomon is such a kind soul that never is mean or cruel towards anyone. He is always friendly and also funny, being up for movie nights and card games. However, he is also very relatable at times. Then there is the fact that he also figures out he’s gay, which adds another storyline besides agoraphobia to his development. He does come out to his parents and tries to explain it using a Star Trek episode. Honestly, Solomon is the most precious cinnamon roll.

There was so much nerdiness, I loved that! The hugest geekiness was connected to Star Trek, which I liked, because my father is a HUGE Star Trek lover. We see Solomon watching his show multiple times and imagining what his favorite character would do, which is quite relatable for everyone who loves to watch their favorite show. We furthermore have the fact that Solomon has built a literal holodeck in his garage which is even more awesome. I always appreciate nerdiness in books, because we are all nerds so YES to more nerdy characters!!

Clark turned out to be such a softie as well. First I thought that he would only be the jock boyfriend of Lisa, but he turned out to be a huge geek as well. Therefore, Solomon and he bonded over their shared passion. Clark really is a big softie and a really good guy, that honestly has so many good intentions. He never liked that Lisa was using Solomon for her essay and also told her off in the end, because he was really angry at her and her pushy nature in general. He just does not share her wish to get as far away from home as possible and is not even sure if he wants to go to college. That is an aspect that he does share with Solomon for sure.

One character is intend on “fixing” Solomon but it does not turn into a “cure” story at all - instead the portrayal of agoraphobia is realistic. The narrative showed that Lisa’s attempts at fixing him are unethical and not okay. Both Clark and Janis tell her how it’s not okay to just use Solomon to get the best essay for college. Clark even threatens to tell him in the end, if she still plans to write that essay. Even Lisa herself knows that what she is doing is wrong deep down, but she chose to ignore it and just do not tell anybody about it, as they would try to rightfully stop her. I really liked that it was shown that her actions were not okay and that in the end she did not manage to “cure” him like she had wanted to in her sick fantasy, as she is no professional psychologist. Solomon still gets panic attacks, even when he is seeing them or especially as a reaction to that new aspect of his life. The steps he takes are very small and he is still not able to travel far away from his house. In the end, it’s shown that friends can help with recovery, as they support and listen, but they cannot cure a mental illness.

Solomon’s parents and grandmother are honestly the best! I loved how supportive they were, accepting Solomon’s decision to not further want to do any therapy and trying their best to help him. Still they had the hope that he would want to get better and maybe make a few small steps. Solomon frequently says that he has won the parent lottery and I think that he is absolutely right. They even let him have a pool and would watch whatever he wanted with them.

Despite everything it was lovely to see Solomon bonding with his new friends. Even Lisa begins to really like him after a while and her feelings get conflicting, between using him and somewhat being his friend. However, I did love the bonding between Solomon and Clark the most, both were both nerds and gaaaah I loved how they interacted. There is of course the fact that Solomon falls for him and things get complicated, but in the end Clark wants to come clear about anything and they make up. Clark just is the one who was always skeptical of Lisa’s “project” and actually is a good guy.

This was such a quick read and I absolutely flew through the book. The book is only 250 pages and therefore rather short. You can definitely read the book in a few hours if you have the time and need for a quick read. The writing style also helped with that as it was easy to get through and very fast paced.

THE SMALL LIST OF DISLIKES
I of course could not help but dislike Lisa. She is obviously selfish and horribly using Solomon at first, intending to “fix” him. That alone is known from the synopsis’ so you cannot help but despise her for how she uses someone as a means to an end. She literally would do anything to get into university and it is shown how unethical her approach is, even though she turns a deaf ear towards anyone who dares to disagree with her. Lisa is also very arrogant and her deadly sin definitely is pride, because she - someone without a psychological degree - thinks she can help Solomon. I also disliked how she kept pushing Clark to have sex with her, despite knowing he was not ready. Again this shows how self centered she was and in general she was SO nosy. At the end she did try to redeem herself and honestly began to like Solomon, but I could never shake off the bitter aftertaste of her bad side. I know she also has family problems, but it does not excuse her behavior.

Janis did feel a little bit too much like the token side character. We saw her in a few scenes sure, but I was missing some depth in her character, therefore she felt more like the token minor character than a complex character of her own.

The book was definitely too short. Do not get me wrong, I loved that the book a fast paced read, but I felt like 50 pages more would have improved the end so much and wrapped up things nicely. This brings me to my next point.

For me the ending was not satisfying at all. There is not resolve for Solomon’s illness, it is not known if he pursues therapy now that he changed his mindset about trying to get out and therefore would be ready for therapy. This also leaves the final message about mental health out in the open and offers no real solution for Solomon. Except for his friends he is still not leaving the house on a larger scale and there are no steps taken to show that he is seeking professional help.

IN CONCLUSION: Highly Illogical Behavior is a good story about agoraphobia and the perfect book for a quick read when you have a few hours to yourself. The characters are perfectly geeky and there is NO “cure” involved despite a character trying to. However, I felt like the ending was a bit rushed and did not give a clear message about agoraphobia, by leaving Solomon’s fate hanging in the open.

lucyp21's review

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4.0

This book is from the POVs of Solomon (a teenage boy with agoraphobia) and Lisa (a future psychology student who wants to 'fix' Solomon) and how they become friends. Anxiety and panic attacks come up in this book as well as ableism. I found this book really quick and easy to read and I found myself liking all the characters (even Lisa).

Lisa, Solomon and Clark become friends through the course of the book and I loved seeing their friendship, because it was just so easy and relaxed and Clark and Solomon geeked out about similar things and Solomon came out to the two of them. Solomon's parents were brilliant, I loved how they worried about Solomon but they didn't try to force him to do anything and I loved his grandmother who was honest with him throughout. I liked how Lisa became more aware as the book went on of what a horrible thing she was doing and I really liked reading her essay at the end. I would have liked it if some more people, like Clark, had pointed out how terrible an idea it was, but the narration made it obvious that what Lisa was doing wasn't okay. I really liked how Solomon managed to do things he wanted to do like swimming because he had the extra support from Lisa and Clark.

However, I didn't particularly like Lisa thinking Clark fancied Solomon because he spent all his time with him and Solomon was gay so of course it was a possibility or how short the book was. Some plot points could have been expanded just a little more, this plot was just a little too big for how short this book was. However, I did fly through this book. Four stars!

lashepherd86's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

bookspastbedtime's review

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4.0

I really enjoyed this book. I thought that the characters felt very real and relatable, and the portrayal of mental illness was engaging and accurate (as far as I know). But, maybe because of the book's short length, I felt it left a little bit to be wanted. I kind of wanted more of a resolution, more of a plot progression. It almost seemed as though nothing really happened, or that not enough happened. I guess that is what made this book feel realistic, but I personally just wanted something more.

dlarue's review

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4.0

review to come

jasmineqzou's review

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3.0

lisa was a bitch but it worked out ok in the end

mypaperworld's review

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2.0

Probably maybe 2,5/2,75, but I find it so hard to rate this one.
Review to come

believedcrazy's review

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4.0

I adored this book, the characters were great and I just loved the plot so much. The only reason this got four stars instead of five is that I hated the ending, it was so rushed and unsatisfying!