Sunday, February 20, 2011

Solitary by Travis Thrasher

~ Not for readers under 13, this book is a little scary and covers mature topics. ~
Chris is 16, his parents have just divorced and his mother is moving him from Chicago to her hometown, Solitary. In this hick of a town Chris falls for the high school beauty, Jocelyn. Problem is it seems no one wants him to date her and evil forces are at work to stop them.

This book is in first person, I felt was a good and a bad thing.
Good because we got to know Chris a lot better than we would have in third person. We also learned a lot about his mother, and her drinking problem; which I feel is a real problem that needs to be talked about, not covered up.
The bad thing is a lot of the book was about his feelings and thoughts for Jocelyn. Now you might be thinking, "Why is that bad?".  I didn't care for it, it reminded me of a sappy love story. I would have liked more action and less, "I can't stop thinking about her." - chapter 5. As well as other comments like it throughout the book. If this was meant to be a romance book then that is fine, just I thought the book was suppose to be mystery/horror/thriller.
All in all Chris and his mother, Jocelyn, Poe, Rachel, Newt, Gus and all the characters were well developed as needed. Travis did a great job there.

The plot had me confused through most of the book. The climax was a little slow for me, though the last 30 pages are great with an epic twist. For me most of the plot was based on high school dating and some mystery/cult on the side. Thrasher did throw in some scenes that I don't think were needed other than to speed up the story and show creepiness. The visit to Aunt Alice was one, loved that chapter, and a few of Chris’s self-missions were thrown in to build suspense and entertain us.

Solitary is set in South Carolina, not my favorite state to begin with, and for sure not my favorite after reading this book. The natural “creepy” that Thrasher gave that town still has me awed.

The messages that the book taught were good, one is that Chris and Jocelyn should/could be just good friends. I liked that. He also touched on inner beauty over outer beauty. Plus the comments about hope were good, something I could think about after reading the book. 
I liked the book, it was humorous, insightful and had a great final twist. Travis also has given me new insight about short chapters; two chapters are only 3 words. Solitary maybe a little more romance than I like, but I am still looking forward to reading more by Thrasher.