Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

How I Heard About It:  Having read Noggin a couple years back, I was quite curious about Whaley's new novel that was being chatted about on Twitter.  After reading that Donalyn Miller couldn't put it down and finished it in about a day, I knew I had to read it.  I just finished it earlier today and am so happy I got to experience this incredible story.  

What It Is About:  When Solomon was in eighth grade he experienced an incident that left him in the water fountain in front of all his classmates.  After this, he retreated home and hasn't left since.  Solomon is now sixteen years old.  He has existed in his home with only his parents and his beloved grandmother who visits as often as she can.  Lisa is a senior and wants to attend a highly prestigious physiology program, but getting in is highly competitive.  When she realizes who Solomon is and where he lives, her "project" to get into college becomes apparent.  Lisa's boyfriend Clark isn't sure this is such a good idea, but at this point she can't be stopped.  Lisa creates a way to enter Solomon's world, and home, and begins her "treatment" plan without him even knowing it.  As Solomon ventures into a world of new friendship with Lisa and then with Clark, he realizes slowly what he may have been missing these last three years.  Solomon shares secrets with both Lisa and Clark, but when their secrets are exposed, Solomon may retreat further than he ever has.  

What I Thought Of It:  As soon as I began this novel, I could not stop reading it or thinking about it when I wasn't reading it.  This is my second John Corey Whaley novel; the first being Noggin.  I love his writing style and boy can he tell a great story.  I was fascinated by Solomon's story as I haven't ever read about a character that can't leave their home.  He was an endearing guy that I wanted the best for.  Lisa's character was complex and I found myself angry at her at times and sympathetic toward her at others.  To finish the "love triangle" was Clark and he was an interesting and complex character.  To top it all of there was a grandmother that every young person would want and I could easily picture her in my head.  The book was told from alternating perspectives of Solomon and Lisa and worked well for the plot.  I actually loved everything about this story.  

Who Should Read It:  This is definitely a story that should be read by as many people as possible.  Readers who read middle-grade fiction, would enjoy the story.  Readers who typically read young-adult books, will for sure find this an excellent read.  I know that my adult reader friends will love this story as much as I did.  This is a definite must-read for summer 2016.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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