Sunday, February 12, 2012

Review: Solitary

Solitary by Travis Thrasher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chris Buckley’s parents have divorced and he’s chosen to return, with his Mom, to her birthplace of Solitary, NC. On his first day of school, he’s greeted by three girls. One of them, Jocelyn, is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen. Not long thereafter, Chris starts getting messages and warnings to stay away from her. And, he makes the mistake of sticking up for a bullied kid, which makes him the target of said bully, Gus, who happens to be the only child of the richest man in town. Chris and his Mom live in his Uncles house. His Uncle has mysteriously disappeared just like other people who have supposedly asked questions. Chris is really off to a horrid start in his new life and his Mom is choosing to live at the bottom of a wine bottle. So what is the deal with Solitary, NC?

Here is the deal, we never find out! This book was full of suspense. There is some evil hovering over this town and NO ONE will speak of it. Everyone knows there is always someone watching and listening. Heck, when Chris finally gets internet and sets up a brand new email account, there are anonymous messages waiting for him. Talk about “Big Brother” watching!

The pace of the book is fast, and the drive to find out what the deal is really keeps you reading. My frustration is that whenever Chris encounters someone who might be willing to share some of the answers he is seeking, the answers are too vague so he is still stumbling around, and subsequently so are we, trying to find answers.

Chris is in an awkward place. His parents are recently divorced because his Dad chose to leave his law practice and become “born again”, which is fine, but he was leaving the family to be a missionary. So Chris doesn’t have a great relationship with God, feeling like God has taken away his family and he’s had to move to this awful town, and fall in love with this girl every one is trying to warn him away from. He’s confused, 16, hormonal, being pulled to numerous directions and I could feel his frustration. Then add to that the fact that he really doesn’t know who he can trust. He might be able to trust his Mom if she could just put down the bottle long enough.

Thrasher definitely has a Stephen King or Dean Koontz vibe to his writing.. This seems as though it’s going to be a good old fashioned “Good vs. Evil” battle and Thrasher isn’t afraid to kill off important characters which makes for some interesting possibilities. I also loved all the musical references because the author and I grew up in the same era listening to the same bands. Off to read book #2 and already have book #3 from netgalley so I am anxious to see how it all pans out.

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