Published by Dial Books on May 10th 2016
Source: Hardcover, My Own
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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.
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3 years ago Solomon Reed stopped leaving his house and has lived a happy existence at home. He has his parents, tv and his holodeck. Outside the house just doesn’t appeal to him, the severe anxiety attacks that come along with being outside just don’t do it for him. Solomon suffers from agoraphobia. Which is basically the fear of experiences and situations.
Solomon has severe anxiety attacks when just thinking about going out or meeting new people. As someone who suffers from severe anxiety, I could really relate to Solomon. Often times I have to give myself a pep talk when entering social situations. And meeting someone new that is a huge trigger for my anxiety, I’m constantly working on it though.
Lisa wants to be a psychologist. She’s got her eye on the second best program in the country at Woodlawn. All she has to do is write an essay about her personal experience with mental illness. Solomon Reed will be her personal experience and she is going to fix him. The kid doesn’t know what he’s got in store for him.
Clark is Lisa’s super lovable boyfriend. Clark was my favorite character, he was just so absolutely perfect. At times, I felt like he was Lisa’s moral compass. Once Lisa gets Solomon to trust her and they become friends Clark enters the mix. Solomon and Clark become great friends so much so that Lisa often feels like the third wheel and begins to wonder if here’s something more to their relationship.
In so many ways they help each other. The thing is Solomon doesn’t know he is an experiment, he doesn’t know that Lisa is essentially using him. The teens gradually become different versions of themselves over the summer as their friendships grow.
I really enjoyed Whaleys writing, I enjoyed most of the characters even the ones you maybe shouldn’t like. As I said earlier I found Solomon very relatable. I think what drew me to this book was the spotlight on agoraphobia in my experience many people have no clue what agoraphobia is. I have a soft spot for books that focus on mental illness.