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#DisabilityDiaries2017 - Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley

Monday, January 16, 2017 Geraldine 0 Comments

The Breakdown

General Info:
     Title: Highly Illogical Behaviour 
     Author: John Corey Whaley
     Genre: Contemporary, YA, Diverse Books,
     Publisher: Dial Books
     Publishing Date: May 26th, 2016

          - The characters - were all fascinating characters that made me think about MY life
          - The plot/premise - intriguing and hooked me in! The synopsis stays true to the book
          - The writing - flows easily and easy to read

    Things that could have been better:
         - um..nothing?

Rating: 5  stars
Goodreads | Amazon

Initial Thoughts

Ever since starting bookstagram, I've raided my local libraries for beautiful books to photograph. That's why I borrowed Highly Illogical Behaviour - the cover is gorgeous in an abstract-art kind of way. But, I wasn't actually planning to read it...sacrilege, you say? Well, it's a good thing that Reg @ SheLatitude convinced me to read it then! She commented on a bookstagram photo that I uploaded of it, saying it was one of her favourite books I HAD to read it right? 

Sixteen year old Solomon has agoraphobia. He hasn't left his house in three years, which is fine by him. At home, he is the master of his own kingdom--even if his kingdom doesn't extend outside of the house. 

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to go to a top tier psychiatry program. She'll do anything to get in. 

When Lisa finds out about Solomon's solitary existence, she comes up with a plan sure to net her a scholarship: befriend Solomon. Treat his condition. And write a paper on her findings. To earn Solomon's trust, Lisa begins letting him into her life, introducing him to her boyfriend Clark, and telling him her secrets. Soon, Solomon begins to open up and expand his universe. But all three teens have grown uncomfortably close, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse as well.


Whaley knows how to write characters. 
I was initially very apprehensive with Lisa. Lisa didn't seem to have any boundaries, and I had no idea why anyone would even like her. But eventually, Whaley reveals so many layers to her character, shows why she is what she is, shadowing light onto her background. It also helped that I completely understood where Lisa was coming from - two or three years ago, I was pretty much Lisa. I was interested in psychology, wanted to do medicine (still want to do both of those things now) and I was determined to get out of the city I grew up in (not so much anymore). 
Solomon was such an endearing character. I could smush up his face and squeal, like an old grandmother, because he just pulled at my heartstrings with everything he did. 
Clark was just a standout character, with how supportive he was. He showed me what being a friend meant - you make sure your friends know when they're overstepping, and you look out for them. 
I really enjoyed how the friendships between this motley bunch was developed - what started off as curiosity on Lisa's part ended up being a sincere, deep affection for Solomon, and Clark, who had little interest in Solomon ended up being one of Solomon's best mates and a love interest. 


I was really hesitant about the plot. A girl who's trying to 'fix' a boy with agoraphobia? For a scholarship? It sounded really unethical to me, and I wasn't sure if I'd be on board with Lisa. Characters are everything to me in contemporary novels, so I was worried I'd be reading a book with an insufferable main character. My worries were all for nothing though - most of the book was about friendship and love. Towards the end, there was some drama, but throughout the book, friendship and love were consistent themes explored, which overshadowed the drama for me. I didn't enjoy reading the drama, but it did help explore the theme of friendship and love even deeper, probing at how betrayal can affect friendships

Writing Style 

Initially, I thought Whaley's writing style was a bit too simplistic. But then I kept reading, and that simplicity strikes you at the core. Although Whaley writes in a simple, short manner, the complex ideas he writes with those simple sentences really made me take a step back and reevaluate my life and everything I've ever done, 
"There are no boring places, only boring people." (pg. 64) 
"You'd know [if you'd fallen out of love with her]. You just have to look at your life before her and then after her and see which one you like better." (pg. 206)
I'm not the quote-keeping kind of girl...but these are beautiful quotes that just really resonated with me. 

Entertainment Value

Hooked. Absolutely hooked. The short sentences made it easy for me to understand everything, to read it through quickly or slowly, depending on what I wanted to do. The characters felt real, it felt like I was there with them. Whilst reading, I was completely lost in the book - I almost forgot to get off the train! 

Final Thoughts

Highly Illogical Behaviour is a gorgeous book with characters that just spoke to me. With a plot that is sure to entice, and with wonderful words that flow like honey, Whaley's Highly Illogical Behaviour was one of my favourite reads of 2016. I'll definitely be looking for more books like his, so if you have any recommendations, please shout them out below! 

Finally, I'll be writing another post as part of Disability Diaries, related to mental illness and Highly Illogical Behaviour - my essay on My Experience With Mental Illness. Keep an eye for it on Wednesday! 


Thoughts in a Phrase 


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