Highly Illogical Behavior

Highly Illogical BehaviorWritten by John Corey Whaley

Solomon Reed is sixteen years old, suffers from extreme panic attacks/anxiety disorders, and has not left his house in three years, ever since he had a panic attack at school and took off his clothes to swim in the school fountain. Lisa Praytor is one year older and decides she is going to ‘fix’ Solomon as an experiment that will ensure her admission to an out of school university with a great psychology program. Lisa enlists the help of her boyfriend, Clark, but things go from difficult to worse when Solomon doesn’t get ‘better,’ but does develop feelings for Clark.

This book does an amazing job of explaining panic attacks and explores how agoraphobia seems debilitating to others, but can be livable to the person dealing with it. However, the sexual situations and discussions (both straight and gay) and the explicit language throughout the book mean this book would be best only in a high school setting and should be suggested to students who are mature enough to handle it.

Review by Amy Burgon, English Teacher, Eisenhower Jr. High
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 10+

Solomon Reed, aged 16, has not left his house in three years due to agoraphobia. He has lost all contact with friends and only interacts with his parents and grandmother. Enter Lisa Praytor, who happens to remember Solomon from junior high and is a budding psychologist. While trying to do her best to get accepted to the right college, Lisa takes on Solomon as a “project” to enhance her chances of admission.

I found the story to be engaging, and I enjoyed the changing points of view. I also enjoyed the developing friendship between Solomon, Lisa, and Lisa’s boyfriend, Clark. However, I was quite surprised by a secondary theme in the book, which is that of same sex attraction. About midway through the book, the language took a turn toward more adult.

Overall, I liked the book. However, it is definitely more suited to high school rather than junior high.

Review by Larae Thomas, Counselor, Eisenhower Junior High
Rating: ★★★✩✩ (3 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 10-12

Highly Illogical Behavior
Written by John Corey Whaley
Dial Books
249 pages
Release Date: May 10, 2016
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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