Highly Illogical Behaviour
Author: John Corey Whaley
Publisher: Dial Books
Genre/Themes: YA, Contemporary, Mental Health
Release Date: May 10th 2016
Page Count: 256
Alright so, this was my first ever John Corey Whaley book. I know, please don’t kill me. When Highly Illogical Behaviour was released a few months ago, it started gaining a lot of hype. I picked it up based on my limited knowledge of John Corey Whaley’s work, and I mean, the cover is pretty amazing as well.
Highly Illogical Behaviour tells the story of Solomon, a teenage boy who has not left his home in three years. It all started when Solomon had an intense panic attack and climbed into the fountain outside of his school. Solomon has since confined himself to his home to keep the panic attacks to a minimum while also suffering from agoraphobia. Lisa, a fellow student, remembers that day three years ago when “that kid jumped into the fountain”. She has thought about him ever since. She has recently decided to pursue a career in psychology, but in order to get into the college program she is interested in, she needs to write one kick ass essay about a personal experience with mental illness. She quickly tracks down Solomon with the intention of curing him and using that experience to write her essay. This story is told from the perspectives of both Solomon and Lisa in alternating chapters.
Highly Illogical Behaviour was one of those reads that I just could not put down. It was such a quick and fast paced read and I never wanted it to end. I felt like Highly Illogical Behaviour dealt with mental health in a really respectable way. The scenes involving Solomon’s panic attacks were written really well and I felt as though they were realistic and believable.
Maybe it was just me, but I felt as though Solomon was really quick to accept Lisa into his home, especially considering his extreme fear of everything from the outside world. I thought it would take a little bit more convincing from Lisa before he allowed her into his home, but now that I’m thinking about it, he must have been extremely lonely. Sure, he had his parents but, sometimes you just really need a good friend.
I really liked the way that this book ended. It wasn’t necessarily a “happily ever after” type ending, but it wasn’t emotionally draining either. It left room for the character to grow more and it felt realistic in the sense that mental illness can’t just be cured in a short amount of time. It takes small steps and help from the right people and I think that Highly Illogical Behaviour explored that quite well.
I was surprised to find some LGBTQ+ themes within the novel. The synopsis didn’t mention it at all and I’m not sure if I’ve been living under a rock, but I hadn’t heard anyone else mention it either. I loved that it was worked into a book that primarily focused on mental health. None of the characters made a huge fuss about it as it was merely a minor detail.
One little tiny complaint that I have about Highly Illogical Behaviour is how short it was! I never wanted to stop reading and I felt like I reached the ending way too quickly. I loved reading from both Solomon and Lisa’s perspectives. I loved all of the Star Trek references. I loved all of the minor characters, like Solomon’s parents, grandmother & Lisa’s boyfriend Clark. I just wanted to keep reading about all of them and then just like that, the book had ended!
Other than that minor detail, I absolutely adored Highly Illogical Behaviour. I got more than I expected from it and I cannot wait to read more from John Corey Whaley!