To do that, she needs to write an essay on her 'personal experience with mental illness' that will convince Woodlawn she has what it takes to win their full scholarship. And that's where Solomon Reed comes in.
Solomon Reed is also smart and he's not bad-looking either. However, he's not the boy everyone at school would vote most likely to succeed. In fact, since a panic attack three years ago that saw him end up sitting in the school fountain in only his underwear he hasn't attended school … or even left the house.
Lisa knows she can 'fix' Solomon. All she needs is a little help from her boyfriend, Clark Robbins (likeable, honest, bound to become friends with Solomon if Solomon gives him a chance), and she'll be able to not only write the winning essay but also get his life back on track.
It's the perfect plan. Except, as this book so wonderfully demonstrates, mental health issues can't be 'fixed' like a broken leg and no one ever has all the answers.
Touching on issues of friendship, teen romance and homosexuality, this is a warm, often very funny, but also heartbreakingly genuine exploration of the coming of age of three very different teenagers. Never preachy or didactic, it manages to be both thought-provoking and entertaining. These are characters that leap off the page … and it wouldn't surprise me if they ended up on a movie screen.
Title: Highly Illogical Behaviour
Author: John Corey Whaley
Publisher: Faber & Faber, $16.99
Publication Date: September 2016
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction