Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Review: Solitary by Travis Thrasher

Solitary: A Novel (Solitary Tales Series) 
Solitary by Travis Thrasher
Publisher: David C. Cook
Publish Date: August 1, 2010
Paperback, 400 pages
Young Adult, Solitary Tales Series #1

My Review:
Why I read this:  I have read several of Travis Thrasher's adult novels and love his style of writing and his books so when I was offered this one I really wanted to read it.  Mix young adult with an author I love and it's a must-read for me.

How is the novel driven: Character and plot are intertwined brilliantly in this one.  Action/plot drives it for the most part, but the characters are so integral that it’s hard to separate and say what truly drives this exceptional book.

My thoughts:   My first thoughts of wanting to read this book were correct.  I went on an amazing ride during this one.  Travis Thrasher seems to channel Stephen King, Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti and other great authors, yet he keeps his novels true to him.  I hate comparing authors to other authors because it sounds like they don’t have their own voice.  This is not what I mean when I do this with Travis Thrasher.  I think I do it more to share that if you like certain authors you might like his books.  But if you don’t like those authors, don’t let that turn you off either.  As I said, Travis Thrasher has his own voice and a way with storytelling that bridges the gap between adult fiction and young adult fiction. 
Most of Mr. Thrasher’s books have a supernatural bend to them.  A good vs. evil plotline and Solitary takes this plot and makes it so much more.  He writes what I consider the new “Christian” fiction.  It takes a story and doesn’t beat you over the head with Christianity but lets you make the decisions for yourself and lets you see real people trying to do the right thing, not perfect people.  Solitary takes this, adds in some teenage angst, some cliques, a new boy at school, an aloof beauty and a town where nothing seems right but no one dares speak about it.  I must say go ahead and mark out a block of time and sit down with this one because you won’t want to put it down once you pick it up.
With quotes like the following it can appeal to multiple generations like my own generation which will understand this fully:
I'm listening to the Foo Fighters and wish I could've been sixteen back when Dave Grohl was in his first band.  Foo Fighters are great, but Nirvana was epic."
And here a gem that will appeal to today’s generation:
I laugh and let out a curse of disbelief.  "What is going on here?  I mean--where in the world is this place?  Isn't this America?  Things like this don't happen.  Can't someone put out a rumor on the Web?  Tweet about it?"
With Solitary, Travis Thrasher proves he has a great grasp on what it’s like to be a teenager and writes the book with genuine feeling that I think any teenager can relate with.  While getting the teenage aspect right, I also feel he does a masterful job weaving a story that grabs you on the first page and keeps you hanging right up until the last page and then has you eagerly awaiting the next installment in this series.
Come check out the town of Solitary, meet Chris and Jocelyn, fall in love with them, be scared of the town and some of it’s inhabitants and find a book and an author that you won’t want to put down.

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

About the Book:

His Loneliness Will Soon Turn to Fear….
When Chris Buckley moves to Solitary, North Carolina, he faces the reality of his parents’ divorce, a school full of nameless faces—and Jocelyn Evans. Jocelyn is beautiful and mysterious enough to leave Chris speechless. But the more Jocelyn resists him, the more the two are drawn together.
Chris soon learns that Jocelyn has secrets as deep as the town itself. Secrets more terrifying than the bullies he faces in the locker room or his mother’s unexplained nightmares. He slowly begins to understand the horrific answers. The question is whether he can save Jocelyn in time.
This first book in the Solitary Tales series will take you from the cold halls of high school to the dark rooms of an abandoned cabin—and remind you what it means to believe in what you cannot see.

About the Author:

The author of a dozen works of fiction, including Isolation and Ghostwriter, Travis Thrasher has been writing since he was in the third grade. His writing is known for its honesty, depth, and surprising twists. Thrasher lives with his wife and daughter near Chicago.

His website
His Blog

FTC Information: I received this book from Audra Jennings at The B&B Media Group for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Book Blogger Hop - October 15-18, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

To check out other answers and join the hop go and check out for the Mr. Linky for the Blog Hop. 

This week's question:
"When you read a book that you just can't get into, do you stick it out and keep reading or move to your next title?"

It depends, if it is one for review I will try and stick it out if I need to review it soon.  If not I will put it down until a time when it might appeal to me more.  Much more leeway with books that aren't for review.  I like to put in at least 150 pages if it is for review and if I still can't get into then that is how I review it.  It rarely happens, but sometimes I'm just not in the mood for the book, or it is just not for me.

I've been missing from the hop for a few months but decided to come back - I look forward to hopping and finding new blogs this weekend!