Following in a similar vein to All the Bright Places and Everything, Everything, Highly Illogical Behaviour, seeks to highlight the people in society who have been made invisible as a result of their struggle with mental illness.
Lisa is an ambitious sixteen-year-old desperate to leave both the small town she grew up in and her difficult family situation behind. When her plans to apply to a prestigious psychology program demand an entrance essay dealing with mental health, Lisa’s world collides with Solomon Reed’s. Suffering from severe agoraphobia, Solomon hasn’t left his home for three years and has no plans to change anytime soon. Along with her boyfriend, Clark, Lisa is convinced she can ‘fix’ Solomon and in doing so, take a fast track to a new life.
Although slow paced at times, this is a story which examines what it means to be human and to truly live. Solomon’s struggles with anxiety and panic attacks are accurately and painfully captured. The mood is lightened throughout by plenty of sarcastic wit and nerdy references that are sure to delight Star Trek fans. However, Whaley paints a highly realistic portrayal of the effects of mental illness that doesn’t patronise readers by allowing Solomon to instantaneously overcome his problems. An important book dealing with mental health that should please fans of Jennifer Niven.