Book Review: Highly Illogical Behavior

Highly Illogical Behavior

by John Corey Whaley.

Highly Illogical Behavior Three years ago, agoraphobic Solomon had the most massive panic attack of his life while at school. He hasn’t left his house since- not even to the backyard. And that’s fine with him. It’s a controlled environment, he knows what to expect, and he has everything he needs. Except, maybe, a friend. Lisa, searching for essay ideas for entry to a top psychology program, suddenly remembers the boy from school who ended up near catatonic in the fountain. Determined to find him and fix him, she embarks on a mission to become his friend with the reluctant help of her boyfriend Clark. None of the three are prepared for how close they all become, or for what happens when their carefully constructed parameters and plans fall apart.

There are so many ways this book could’ve gone wrong- it could have felt gimmicky, or uninformed, or message-y. I’m happy to say it avoided all of those. This story was so well done. The POV alternates between Solomon and Lisa, both of whom have a lot going on underneath the surface. I have never had to deal with anxiety on that level, but the depiction of Solomon’s anxiety and the logic he uses to deal with it felt real. The author managed to portray Solomon with empathy and humor, without making him an object of pity. That is a hard line to walk. Lisa, while being somewhat of a teenage Machiavelli, nonetheless had good intentions. Despite the lies and her other motivations, she does genuinely end up caring for Solomon and being good for him. Clark was a surprise, in a good way. He was much different than early descriptions in the book would lead you to expect. The banter and growth of friendship between the three felt natural, and was fun the read.

They are all still teenagers, so you do get some teenage drama, but it’s not the usual sort. A lot of the drama plays out in their heads, rather than in reality. And while it seemed there was going to be a love triangle situation, it kind of quashed itself before getting off the ground, which was refreshing for YA. I liked where the book ended, with things broken and slowly getting pieced back together, rather than all patched up and back to normal. I did not like the afterward included at the end- that was the only part that felt message-y to me.

But overall, this was just a wonderful read. I finished it in one sitting, in an evening. It’s a quick read, but packs a lot of quality. If you’re looking for your next YA read, give this a try- it’ll be out in a few days on May 10th.

I give it 4.5/5 stars.

I received an advanced reading copy (ARC) of this book from Penguin Random House First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

Buy From Amazon

Highly Illogical Behavior

Continue Reading

Tuesday Treasure Trove

Tuesday Treasure Trove

  The World’s Newest Major Religion: No Religion. “The religiously unaffiliated, called “nones,” are growing significantly. They’re the second largest religious group in North America and most of Europe. […] There have long been predictions that religion would fade from relevancy as the world modernizes, but all the recent surveys are finding that it’s happening startlingly fast.” Why my videogame chooses your character’s race and gender for you. Interesting. I think this is a good step. There Are Almost No Black People Brewing Craft Beer. Here’s Why. I wonder if it’s any different for wine? Men in Airport Bars Ask: […]

Continue Reading

Book Review: Children of Earth and Sky

Children of Earth and Sky

Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay. What do a pirate, a spy, a painter, a merchant, and a soldier have in common? They are all key characters in this book, and they are all more than they seem. Children of Earth and Sky is a story about intertwined lives and how sometimes small decisions can have far-reaching consequences. It’s a beautifully-written epic that muses on the nature of humanity, love, war, and fate. It’s set in a fictional Renaissance-style world and while there are some small elements of folk magic, it is more focused on adventure and […]

Continue Reading

Tuesday Treasure Trove

Tuesday Treasure Trove

  The world’s oldest known tree is 4,800 years old. Its location is secret. Because humans are awful. How Information Graphics Reveal Your Brain’s Blind Spots. More mind-bending: How to Apply Lateral Thinking to Your Creative Work. General Mills announced that it would be reformulating certain cereals to have no artificial colors or flavors. They are stumped by the marshmallows in Lucky Charms. Fancy Juice Doesn’t Cleanse the Body of Toxins. Michael Pollan wants Americans to devote more time to cooking. Is he fighting a losing battle? “Europeans fought for shorter workdays, more vacation time, family leave, and all these […]

Continue Reading

Book Review: Six of Crows

Six of Crows

Six of Crows (#1) by Leigh Bardugo. My husband asked what this book was about while I was reading it, and for brevity I answered “It’s like Ocean’s Eleven, but with magic.” This is not an inaccurate representation, I think. There’s a motley assortment of crooks planning a grand heist, and the mastermind thief has more motivation behind it than just the job at hand. There’s danger, violence, intrigue, a smidgeon of romance, and of course some humor. But on the other hand, it takes place in a fantasy world, some of the crooks are also magicians, and the stakes […]

Continue Reading

Tuesday Treasure Trove

Tuesday Treasure Trove

  Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism, But That’s Not the Point. This will make you reframe some thoughts. As one teen with autism put it: “When people talk about vaccines and autism it makes me feel like I’m not a person but a ‘bad result.’ It reminds me that no one wants a kid like me and parents will risk their kid’s lives and everyone else’s just to make sure their kid doesn’t turn out like me.” Being Dishonest About Ugliness. Unnatural Selection. One marine biologist’s quest to save coral reefs by engineering a species more resistant to climate change. At […]

Continue Reading

Taking Stock

muffins

Taking a page from Pip’s book and using this list to do a life snapshot. Making: a new cover for Pride & Prejudice over on my design blog. Cooking: Nothing at the moment. Drinking: Sweet tea. Reading: The Children of Earth & Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay. Wanting: to get a new laptop (I don’t currently have a functioning one). Eyeing this one. Looking: out the window at the rain. All rain all week in the forecast. 😩 Playing: not much of anything lately, other than fetch with Sienna. Deciding: whether and where to go on vacation later this summer. […]

Continue Reading