Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.
Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?
Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same.
Characters: Sol- I really liked his character in this story. I thought he was a very lovable, yet sad character. I know people who struggle with very similar problems so this hit home to me. He portrays anxiety is such a real way that I loved it! He was also very aware of his issues. He wasn’t confused about his mental illness, and he knew exactly what he needed to do when problems arose. He’s also a really cute nerd and I liked that.
Cover: Honestly, this is one of the best covers I’ve seen for a book. I like how he’s standing in this very black, boring room (a room in the book) and the outside is all colorful. And to me, this isn’t because the outside world is magical and better, but because it’s a lot to take in. To Sol, the world is just too much and it’s overwhelming. I felt like the cover was not only just cute, but really meaningful when looked at again.
Closing Thoughts: Overall, I really liked this book. It wasn’t my favorite and I wasn’t raving about it at the end. But it was cute and it told a good story. I have been really tired of the genre of “sick/dying/mentally ill teens trying to find love” and this wasn’t that. It was realistic and more about friendship than love. This is probably my favorite and more authentic mental illness work of fiction I have read. Not too dramatic, not too boring. It did take me a while to get through because the pacing felt a little strange. Not really slow, just weird. But it’s a short book and an easy read. I did cry though, so probably prepare for that if you’re a crier.
Where to find John Corey Whaley: