Solomon lived in the only world that would have him. And even though it was quiet and mundane and sometimes lonely, it never got out of control. (3)
While I could not get over some characters in this book, overall it was an enjoyable read about agoraphobia, of course, but also about friendship, the importance of opening ourselves up, and the necessity of forgiveness in all relationships.
When you only have your parents and your grandma to talk to, you figure out ways to learn about the world—and Solomon, for reasons that made terrific sense to him, had chosen a nineties space drama to forever be his compass. (41)
And for my summary, straight from the back of the book since I loved it so much: Solomon hasn’t left his house in three years, which is fine by him. Lisa will do anything to get into university including befriending and ‘fixing’ Solomon for the benefit of a school psychology project. And Clark, Lisa’s boyfriend, would do anything for her; because that’s what love is.
He was safe with her. She did something instead of nothing. And suddenly destiny didn’t seem all that far-fetched an idea. (107).
I really did not like Lisa, almost throughout the whole book. It bothered me that Lisa felt that she could ‘fix’ Solomon and was justifying her friendship with him as such. She was an extremely conflicted character. It also helped that almost everyone else in the book tells Lisa her plan is unwise and very dangerous. I identified with her control issues and her fierce determination, but on an ethical level I could not get over what she was doing.
After all, wasn’t she just trying to run away from the little part of the world that scared her, too? (188)
This small fact kept me from enjoying the book until the end, when I came around. But now that I have finished, my opinion of the book has turned up. The ending saved the entire book for me, and I am glad it ended like it did. Ultimately what I enjoyed so much were the characters. Solomon is very relatable, ranging from his humor to his easy going relationship with his parents. Clark’s lack of direction is something I think we all face at one point in our life. And Lisa? Her intense need to get out of Upland is something I know I relate to. Even more so, Solomon’s family is amazing. They are supportive and loving, and I am so glad. The book world and world in general needs more awesome parents.
These were inevitabilities. Time would prove that. But was this inevitable, too? (203)
The differing perspectives of Solomon, his friends, and his family who all deal with his agoraphobia was interesting and is a journey in and of itself. I do not have agoraphobia, but I felt that the novel was respectful and did not, thankfully, present friends as the solution or cure. That was extremely relieving.
It was this thing they had most in common—all they wanted was a quiet place to be invisible and pretend the world away. (207)
We can all relate to the feelings of first love, betrayal, denial, and a lack of direction. While for the most part of the book Lisa and her ‘fixing’ bothered me, at the heart of this story is one about friendship and the ways friends open up our world (if not our doors). Pick this book up from Amazon, add it to Goodreads, or visit the author’s website.
Let’s Discuss: What is your favorite book that deals with mental health?
Subscribe for more diverse reads
Cover image from Goodreads