cover image Highly Illogical Behavior

Highly Illogical Behavior

John Corey Whaley. Dial, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-525-42818-3

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. (May)