I did it! I finished this book last night at 11:00 PM, which means I read 8 books in one month. If I keep this up, I might be able to get to the goal of 75 books in a year!
Enough bragging, Highly Illogical Behavior is the first book that I’ve read about someone with a mental disorder in a long time. I give it about 4.9 starts, and here’s why.
This book starts with telling us about a kid with agoraphobia, and how he has created a smaller world to protect himself. Solomon, or Sol, had a meltdown in a fountain and has not left his house since. He has severe panic disorder caused agoraphobia, which means he is afraid of entering the world outside of his home. If he does, he has panic attacks.
Next, we meet the next narrator (Lisa) and her Boyfriend (Clark). Lisa wants to be a clinical psychologist, and she wants to get into one of the best psychology programs and win a full ride. She decides to use Solomon to do this. The topic is “My personal experience with mental disorders.” We can all see this is intended ignorance, and we know roughly how that plot will end.
Clark is a handsome, athletic loner that loves his girlfriend but has problems with sexual intimacy. He eventually befriends Sol and sees the normal kid that he is. These two develop a bond that rocks the boat a bit.
Anywho, in the end, you know that Lisa is going to see some error in her ways. Of course she does. This is a story about dynamic characters that find themselves when they least expect it. However, my biggest pet peeve with any disorder or disability is when someone labels them as such. I typically gently correct the person (if I know them), or I cringe if I do not know them. I know it was probably oversight, but in the end, John Corey Whaley uses Lisa’s character to talk about how nothing is wrong with Solomon, and she calls him an “agoraphobe with panic disorder.” I know it is minor, but with this being the last chapter, I expected more.
Again, 4.9 stars is what I give this. Character development overall: 5 stars. Plot: 5 stars. Creative use of imagery and symbolism: 5 stars. Do not let my pet peeve steer you away from this book. Even if I knew it was coming, I would still read this book. It’s amazing. I just wanted to point it out to remind everyone: person first language is key when talking about disabilities or disorders. Solomon has agoraphobia and panic disorder NOT Solomon is an agoraphobe with panic disorder.
*Steps off soapbox*
For readers, I think this book will be worth your while. It is an intimate display of how mental disorders effect the lives of individuals and how those individuals are normal no matter what the world likes to call them.
Librarians, buy this book. It has received numerous positive reviews, and even though mine might not seem like it, I would give this a starred review in an instant.