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Highly Illogical Behavior
Cover of Highly Illogical Behavior
Highly Illogical Behavior
Teen and adult fans of Matthew Quick, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will adore this quirky story of coming-of-age, coming out, friendship, love...and agoraphobia. Sixteen-year-old Solomon is...
Teen and adult fans of Matthew Quick, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will adore this quirky story of coming-of-age, coming out, friendship, love...and agoraphobia. Sixteen-year-old Solomon is...
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Description-

  • Teen and adult fans of Matthew Quick, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will adore this quirky story of coming-of-age, coming out, friendship, love...and agoraphobia.

    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 psychiatry program for college (she's being realistic). But how can she prove she deserves a spot there?
    Solomon is the answer.
    Determined to "fix" Sol, Lisa thrusts herself into his life, introducing him to her charming boyfriend Clark and confiding her fears in him. Soon, all three teens are far closer than they thought they'd be, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse, as well.
    A hilarious and heartwarming coming-of-age perfect for readers of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and All The Bright Places, Highly Illogical Behavior 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.
    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-

  • From the book ONE

    SOLOMON REED

    Solomon never needed to leave the house anyway. He had food. He had water. He could see the mountains from his bedroom window, and his parents were so busy all the time that he pretty much got to be sole ruler of the house. Jason and Valerie Reed let it be this way because, eventually, giving in to their son's condition was the only way to make him better. So, by the time he turned sixteen, he hadn't left the house in three years, two months, and one day. He was pale and chronically barefoot and it worked. It was the only thing that ever had.

    He did his schoolwork online—usually finishing it before his parents were home every evening, with bed head and pajamas on. If the phone rang, he'd let it go to voice mail. And, on the rare occasion that someone knocked on the door, he would look through the peephole until whoever it was—a Girl Scout, a politician, or maybe a neighbor—would give up and leave. Solomon lived in the only world that would have him. And even though it was quiet and mundane and sometimes lonely, it never got out of control.

    He hadn't made the decision lightly, and it should be said that he at least tried to make it out there for as long as possible, for as long as anyone like him could. Then one day trying wasn't enough, so he stripped down to his boxers and sat in the fountain in front of his junior high school. And right there, with his classmates and teachers watching, with the morning sun blinding him, he slowly leaned back until his entire body was underwater.

    That was the last time Solomon Reed went to Upland Junior High and, within a matter of days, he started refusing to go outside altogether. It was better that way.

    "It's better this way," he said to his mom, who begged him each morning to try harder.

    And really, it was. His panic attacks had been happening since he was eleven, but over the course of just two years, he'd gone from having one every few months, to once a month, to twice, and so on. By the time he hopped into the fountain like a lunatic, he was having mild to severe panic attacks up to three times daily.

    It was hell.

    After the fountain, he realized what he had to do. Take away the things that make you panic and you won't panic. And then he spent three years wondering why everyone found that so hard to understand. All he was doing was living instead of dying. Some people get cancer. Some people get crazy. Nobody tries to take the chemo away.

    Solomon was born and will, in all likelihood, die in Upland, California. Upland is a suburb of Los Angeles, just about an hour east of downtown. It's in a part of the state they call the Inland Empire, which really floats Solomon's boat because it sounds like something from Star Trek, which is a television show he knows far too much about.

    His parents, Jason and Valerie, don't know too much about Star Trek, despite their son's insistence that it's a brilliant exploration of humanity. It makes him happy, though, so they'll watch an episode with him every now and then. They even ask questions about the characters from time to time just so they can see that excited look he gets.

    Valerie Reed is a dentist with her own practice in Upland, and Jason builds movie sets on a studio lot in Burbank. You'd think this would lead to some great stories from work, but Jason's the kind of guy who thinks Dermot Mulroney and Dylan McDermott are interchangeable, so most of his celebrity sightings can't be trusted.

    A week after he turned sixteen, Solomon was growing impatient as his dad tried to tell him about an actor he'd seen on set earlier that day.

    "You...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 29, 2016
    Solomon Reed, 16, suffers from acute anxiety and agoraphobia. He hasn’t left his house since a panic attack in seventh grade, during which he stripped to his underwear seeking calm in the waters of a fountain outside his school. Former classmate Lisa—an ambitious, straight-A type who “believed in herself maybe more than other people believed in God”—hasn’t forgotten him. In need of a subject for a scholarship essay about mental illness, she thrusts herself into Solomon’s existence with a plan to “cure” him using some armchair cognitive behavior therapy. Solomon doesn’t think he needs saving (or know about the essay), but he lets Lisa in, followed by her handsome boyfriend, Clark, who shares his interest in comic books, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and card games. Heartbreak ensues when Solomon falls for Clark. Printz Award–winner Whaley (Where Things Come Back) again tackles heavy, heady topics with a light touch, populating his perceptive and quick-witted story with endearing, believably flawed teens. Solomon’s parents and grandmother are refreshingly supportive, letting Solomon take the lead as he tests the possibility of re-entry. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from February 15, 2016
    A teen with her sights set on a scholarship for a psychology undergraduate program befriends a boy with agoraphobia in order to write an essay about the experience in this novel from Printz Medal winner Whaley. Sixteen-year-old Solomon last left his house back in seventh grade, when, one day during a particularly horrible anxiety attack, he shed his clothing and climbed into a fountain at school. His former classmate Lisa, ambitious to a fault ("You're like Lady Macbeth without the murder" says her boyfriend, Clark), has long wondered what became of him and angles her way into his life. She begins to visit Solomon daily and is surprised at how funny and easygoing he is, eventually bringing into the fold a reluctant Clark, who quickly bonds with him. In part because Solomon has earlier come out as gay to her, this eventually piques Lisa's jealousy and sets the stage for a heartbreaking clash among the three. Chapters alternate between Sol's and Lisa's third-person narrations and brim over with warm, witty, authentic dialogue. Solomon's descriptions of his anxiety are achingly real, and the adoration his family has for him, even as they fear he will never leave the house in their white, wealthy suburban neighborhood again, is poignant. Readers will easily come to care about these bright, wonderfully nerdy, flawed characters. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from April 1, 2016

    Gr 9 Up-Solomon Reed, 16, has not left his house in three years. Regular panic attacks keep him from handling the outside. Yet he is a smart and resourceful teenager with a love for Star Trek, gratifying hobbies, and a supportive family. Solomon is being educated online and doesn't feel that any social life he might be missing is worth the mental anguish that daily life causes him to endure. However, he knows he can't live like this forever. Then Lisa Praytor, a vivacious and take-charge extrovert appears, wanting to be his friend. Lisa is convinced that she can treat Solomon's agoraphobia and get him outside. She is also convinced that the experience will help her write the best college essay and win a scholarship for a prominent psychology program. However, Lisa uncovers more than she expected as she and her boyfriend Clark get to know and grow close to the recluse. Sol's grandmother makes a grand gesture of building a backyard pool to encourage the boy's efforts to overcome his anxiety. What looks like a typical friendship story is blended with issues of trust, vulnerability, and identity. Solomon's agoraphobia is not the only thing that defines him, which speaks to the larger message about those living with mental illness. Each character has an authentic voice and temperament that feel realistic, and the alternating narratives capture the perspective of the bright, witty, and decidedly quirky protagonists. The spare writing makes this a taut, tender, and appealing read. VERDICT A logical choice for Whaley's fans, Trekkies, and sensitive readers of all stripes.-Briana Moore, School Library Journal

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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