Highly Illogical Behaviour is a dual perspective novel about two teenagers; Lisa a grade A student who desperately wants to leave home and study psychology, and Solomon, an agoraphobe who hasn’t left his house in 3 years.
To be accepted onto the second-best course in America Lisa must write an essay on how mental health has affected her life, and to fulfil this she tracks down and befriends Solomon, a boy who used to go to her school before he took all his clothes off and jumped in a fountain.
I’ve read quite a few books that are told using dual perspective although this is the first I’ve read that uses 3rd person narrative. This story is told in a really quirky manner and I think it certainly benefited from the slightly detached style. The 3rd person narrative kept it bouncy and a wonderfully unique insight into each character.
Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the unusual choice of mental health issue. I’ve read so many books that feature characters with depression or general anxiety and it was so nice to read about agoraphobia as it’s a condition that I have suffered with. John Corey Whaley has a really good understanding of how agoraphobia works and was able to write about Solomon and his condition without ever slipping into sob story territory. As is everyone who suffers from agoraphobia, Solomon is the victim of a disease but is absolutely not defined by it, and I really liked that his character is interesting and bright.
I enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading American YA. It’s very well written, the characters are believable and I love that LGBT, mental health, family issues and school pressures are all themes that have been woven in so well. For me, the only thing lacking was that it left me feeling content rather than wanting more, although I’m sure that many people would be completely fine with that!
This is a heartwarming story of friendship, family and love, and I think it will be adored by loads of YA readers when it’s published on 26th June. If you like the sound of this, I’d also recommend You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan which is published at the beginning of June.
Thank you to Faber & Faber for my proof copy!