Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Published by Dial Books
Publication Date : May 10th, 2016
Available as Hardback & eBook – 256 Pages
Source : Library
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.
The premise could lead one into thinking it’ll fall into the same tropes as a lot of YA books do. Girl/boy finds girl/boy with mental illness. Queue montage of beautiful moments and boom, girl/boy fixed! It also had the beginnings of what I call the ‘Tidy Bow’ trope. This is the classic trope where everyone ends up in a happy relationship at the end, or at the very least happy that they are alone and everyone else is in a relationship. I was also very concerned about the ‘nerdy’ aspect of this book. I have struggled with other ‘nerdy’ books in the past, finding them forced and obnoxious. So did the book do all this?
I have to say no! I was impressed. Not only was Sol not ‘fixed’ in the end, he was happy with where he was. Progress was made, sure, but he was not in the classic sense ‘fixed’. There was an open ending regarding relationship, the Tidy bow trope neatly avoided – realistically avoided I might add. And the nerdy references in this did not fall into that painful camp I was hoping to avoid.
The characters were strong, I enjoyed all of them. Lisa I actively disliked at the beginning of the book but she grew and changed. Though she wasn’t my favorite by the end she had grown enough I was happy with where she was. Clarke, I believe, was the ode to Wesley Crusher and to all the other straight up ‘nice guys’. I don’t see those often in books, not the tropey ‘nice guy’ that the internet despises but the guys who are genuine, kind, and sensitive. Clarke exemplified that, it’s something I look for since I married that kind of guy and I was super happy to see it reflected. Sol and his family were also just what I had hoped to see. His parents and grandparents were supporting, and he himself was the perfect introvert. I found myself, as someone who is an almost extreme introvert, really identifying with him. Though I’ve only had a few panic attacks or anxiety attacks in the past I also found that very accurate, scarily so.
There were a lot of little things I appreciated about this besides the characters and believable story, which is impressive since I’ve been avoiding and not finishing a lot of YA books lately. The nerdy references didn’t feel shoved in, they felt natural, as I stated. They were perfectly added and fit, not to mention that Munchkin was played! I love Munchkin! The dialogue was chipper and funny, flowed well and what I expected from young and nerdy folk.
Overall a short but fun read.