Parman Teen Book Review: “Highly illogical behavior” by John Corey Whaley
Unlike anything I’ve ever read, this book only took me a couple hours to finish reading it because I couldn’t put it down. In Highly Illogical Behavior, Whaley examines mental illness with humor while managing to ensure his deep, true message reverberates with readers. The protagonist of the novel, Solomon Reed, is an agoraphobic. Instead of crafting the story in a way in which readers would pity him, Whaley constructs Solomon as someone readers could relate to. Solomon is witty, charming, and hilarious, and thinks and acts like any other teenage boy does despite having severe panic attacks and never leaving the house. His character defies the stereotype that people with mental illnesses are given in books and, sometimes, the real world. He is not depressed, strange, angry, excessively shy, or any of the other negative qualities characters with mental illnesses receive in literature. Rather, Solomon is a funny and compassionate young man. I also loved many of the other characters, including Solomon’s grandmother, whose youthfulness and quirky character add a fresh vibe to the story, and Lisa Reed, whose stubborn determinism and authentic, straightforward voice made her surprisingly likable. In addition, the dialogue in the novel is laugh-out-loud hilarious, for the characters discuss the most interesting and most banal topics with good-natured honesty. I appreciated how there was never a lull or dull moment in the story, which helped keep my interest from the first page to the last. Overall, Highly Illogical Behavior is a fresh, entertaining novel I would recommend to teens and adults alike.
Niraja, 18 Parman TLLC