Booklist Reviews 2016 March #1
After a panic attack in eighth grade, during which he stripped to his underwear and plopped himself in the school fountain, Solomon hasn't left his house. Ever. Lisa never forgot that day, however, and when she sets out to write a college essay on her personal experience with mental illness, she believes (ethics be damned) curing Solomon will be the perfect, scholarship-worthy topic. Enlisting the help of her boyfriend, Clark, Lisa inserts herself into Solomon's world, building a friendship while covertly observing him. But as she gets to know Solomon better, especially as he develops a crush on Clark, she realizes how her ulterior motives could threaten his progress. Printz Award–winning Whaley (Where Things Come Back, 2011) alternates between Lisa's and Solomon's perspectives, and in their witty, bantering conversations, he teases out a sensitive examination of friendship and mental illness. Solomon, after all, is far more than his anxiety, and intelligent Lisa is nearly blinded by her own certainty. With plenty of geekery, charming repartee, and fairly realistic teen drama, this will have wide appeal among readers of contemporary fiction. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2016 #4
Solomon, an agoraphobic sixteen-year-old prone to panic attacks, hasn't left his house in the three years since he stripped down and jumped into the school fountain back in junior high. Lisa, an aspiring psychologist, has always wondered what happened to him. Slyly reaching out to his mother, she finds not only a way to satisfy her curiosity but also the perfect subject for her college entrance essay, "My Personal Experience with Mental Illness." As Lisa gets to know Sol, and then Lisa's boyfriend Clark befriends him, too, the three become genuinely close. Lisa's initially selfish ulterior motive, however, portends a disruption in this happy state. Solomon comes out as gay to his new friends, and subsequently cannot hide his growing attraction to Clark, an attraction that seems to be mutual. If the resolution feels a bit too easy, everything else about the novel is skillfully done, from the fully realized supporting characters (especially Sol's parents and grandmother) to the pithy, humorous dialogue to the assured third-person narrative that alternates chapters between Sol and Lisa. A hopeful novel with lots of heart. jonathan hunt
PW Reviews 2016 February #5
Solomon Reed, 16, suffers from acute anxiety and agoraphobia. He hasn't left his house since a panic attack in seventh grade, during which he stripped to his underwear seeking calm in the waters of a fountain outside his school. Former classmate Lisa—an ambitious, straight-A type who "believed in herself maybe more than other people believed in God"—hasn't forgotten him. In need of a subject for a scholarship essay about mental illness, she thrusts herself into Solomon's existence with a plan to "cure" him using some armchair cognitive behavior therapy. Solomon doesn't think he needs saving (or know about the essay), but he lets Lisa in, followed by her handsome boyfriend, Clark, who shares his interest in comic books, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and card games. Heartbreak ensues when Solomon falls for Clark. Printz Award–winner Whaley (Where Things Come Back) again tackles heavy, heady topics with a light touch, populating his perceptive and quick-witted story with endearing, believably flawed teens. Solomon's parents and grandmother are refreshingly supportive, letting Solomon take the lead as he tests the possibility of re-entry. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (May)[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC