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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Teen and adult fans of All The Bright Places, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and Everything, Everything 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 psychology 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 Matthew Quick and Rainbow Rowell, Highly Illogical Behavior showcases the different ways in which we hide ourselves from the world—an…

Highly Illogical Behavior

by John Corey Whaley

Overall Book Review:

John Corey Whaley has an engaging style and knows how to speak “teen.” His dialogue is believeable and realistic, and his characters come alive. Solomon is a very sympathetic protagonist, and even though he has some mental health issues most readers won’t ever understand, he’s relatable and lovable. Whaley truly sheds light on this corner of the mental illness world in a way that educates without being didactic. 

Solomon’s friends and family are another critical part of the story, and it’s refreshing to meet some truly kind people–not perfect, but good and kind. Again, Whaley shows his storytelling prowess by developing a solid, compelling plot line without much action or suspense. This is not to say that the story is slow or boring. It moves along at the perfect pace, and the reader is hard pressed to put the book down. Older teen readers who are considering their own futures after high school will particularly enjoy this tale of kids who are looking forward, recognizing that the world out there is unsure and intimidating, but ever so exciting and inviting.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Dial Books for Young Readers

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  24 religious exclamations; 37 mild obscenities; 9 derogatory names; 48 scatological words; 14 anatomical terms; 4 F-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  Whipping is mentioned; a character hits himself repeatedly in a heightened emotional state; a character is reported to have been in a serious car accident.

Sex/Nudity:  Virginity is mentioned; a character strips to his underwear in public (non-sexual); a character relates an experience where members of the opposite sex attempted to “feel her up”; a character thinks about wanting to have sex; sex is mentioned (5 times); characters kiss, one character makes an unsuccessful attempt to touch the other below the waist; a character is homosexual; an allusion to pornography is made (2 times); a character is seen naked by a member of the opposite sex; characters skinny dip.

Content note: although sex is mentioned frequently, and occasionally in crude ways, none of the characters are sexually active. In fact, one character makes a point of repeatedly explaining that he is not ready for sex. Homosexuality is not referred to in a negative light at any time.

Mature Subject Matter:

Sexuality, homosexuality, divorce, family conflict, mental illness.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. My mother would often find me curled up in a corner, avoiding chores with a book–or two. When I was growing up, there wasn’t a large selection of YA books. I had children’s books and adult literature to choose from. I’ve come to love YA fiction as an adult and read almost nothing else when I read for pleasure–any genre will do.