Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley

Highly Illogical Behaviour

Written by John Corey Whaley

YA readers   
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In a Nutshell: Universe-expanding friendship • Trust • Anxiety disorder

An uplifting coming-of-age novel about living with agoraphobia and the transformative power of true friendship.

Solomon hasn't left his house for three years, not since the panic attack that saw him strip down to his boxers and jump into the school fountain. He spends all his time inside, reading and watching Star Trek. Lisa, the girl who beams into Solomon’s life like a ray of sunlight, couldn’t be more different. She’s outgoing, gets great grades, and is adored by her handsome athletic boyfriend, Clark. When Lisa has to write a paper on her experience of mental illness as part of her college application, she immediately thinks of Solomon. Determined to “fix" him, she writes a letter asking him to be her friend. Against expectation, and partly aided by his flamboyant grandmother promising to pay for the pool he’s long hoped for, Solomon agrees to let Lisa into his life. As things turn out, they’re both completely comfortable in each other’s company, and Solomon soon feels ready to broaden his world further by meeting Clark, with whom he bonds over their shared geekery. But, as Solomon takes his first steps into the outside world, their three-way friendship is put under strain when Lisa begins to question her relationship with Clark, and when Solomon learns of Lisa’s original motivation for contacting him.

Brilliantly understated and sweetly humorous, this is one of those rare novels that casts a quiet, yet powerfully undulating spell over the heart. Reading it felt like spending quality time in the company of close friends. ~ Joanne Owen


Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley

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.

At turns hilarious and heartwarming, Highly Illogical Behaviour showcases the different ways in which we hide ourselves from the world - and the ways in which love, tragedy, and the need for connection may be the only things to bring us back into the light.

About the Author

John Corey Whaley

John 'Corey' Whaley grew up in the small town of Springhill, Louisiana, where he learned to be sarcastic and to tell stories. He has a BA in English from Louisiana Tech University, as well as an MA in Secondary English Education. He started writing stories about aliens and underwater civilizations when he was around ten or eleven, but now writes realistic YA fiction. His debut novel Where Things Come Back won the Printz Medal, and his second book Noggin was a National Book Award Finalist.

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Book Info


256 pages
Interest Age: From 12


John Corey Whaley
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Author's Website



Faber & Faber

Publication date

26th May 2016




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