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YA Mental Health | Book Review: Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Highly Illogical Behavior was not for me, BUT it could very well be for YOU.

Book Review: Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

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highly illocial behavior john corey whaley

Title & Author: Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary

Release Date: May 10, 2016

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Penguin Random House

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“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.”

Unlikeable Character, Party of One

This is a really tough book for me to review. Immediately something, or should I say, someone colored me perception of the book, and it affected my entire reading of the story.

I’ll just tell you straight away: Highly Illogical Behavior has a very unlikable main character. Even worse? Her name is LISA, i.e. MY NAME. The last bit isn’t really important except to me, but seriously, Lisa is kind of the worst.

I don’t want to say too much about WHY she’s so unlikable but it’s 100 percent justified.

Here’s the good news: the other main character is pretty darn cute and lovable: Sol. He’s a pretty regular guy…except he’s agoraphobic and hasn’t left his house in years.

Sol’s into Star Trek (hence part of the name of the book title) and board games and has anxiety attacks (which were very well described). He makes you feel like you understand that having that type of fear feels real – not that he was crazy.

This is definitely a “feels” type of book vs action. Not a lot actually takes place, but there’s a great deal of growth and relationships/friendships that bloom.

I wouldn’t call this book a romance by any means, so if that matters to you keep it in mind.

And, if you also have trouble getting past not liking main characters in a book, especially when their POV is prominently featured, then this may not be for you.

If you can get past that type of thing, Highly Illogical Behavior is a book of substance and depth I think you’ll enjoy.


I wish I liked this story better. I couldn’t get past a personal hang-out to really enjoy the story how it’s meant to be enjoyed. Highly Illogical Behavior is a deep book with flawed but (mostly) lovable characters who represented mental health in a real and relatable way.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Leah Wong

    I also had major problems with Lisa. I didn’t dislike her, but she was downright unethical in her actions. However, I really liked Sol and his family, and of course the Star Trek references were great!

  • AnneBennett

    I think you just saved me hours of reading. I liked Whaley’s award winning book, When Things Come Back, but disliked his second book Noggin. There are so many Mental Health YA novels hitting the scene right now I will look for others.