Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review: Solitary by Travis Thrasher

SOLITARY is the story of a teen boy named Chris Buckley who starts at a new school in the strange town of Solitary, North Carolina after his parents get a divorce. Immediately after he begins his new school he's confronted with mystery and conflict. In between trying to stay out of trouble, taking care of his mom who's having nightmares, and avoiding a bully named Gus who has a very powerful father, Chris meets a beautiful and completely mysterious girl named Jocelyn. As the story unfolds, Chris discovers that Jocelyn has many dark secrets that threaten both their lives and that Solitary is a place of oppressive evil. And all of this is connected to a shady pastor and his strange church.

As a reader of nearly everything Thrasher writes, I was really excited when he mentioned that he was releasing a young adult series. SOLITARY was an intense and really great read. I loved the whole story, and I can't wait to dive in to book 2 - GRAVESTONE. It was a top-notch introduction to what is sure to be a great series.

Thrasher mentioned that the TV show LOST was one of the inspirations for the book, and it definitely had that vibe all the way through it. Thrasher introduces many mysterious questions that kept me turning the pages.

The story was told in first person point-of-view, so we get to spend a lot of time in Chris' head. It's interesting place to be. I felt that Thrasher captured the mind of a teen set in the strange circumstances that Chris is in very well. Jocelyn keeps Chris guessing throughout the story. One of the strangest characters in the story is a pastor named Jeremiah Marsh. I'll be interested to learn more about him as the series progresses.

Thrasher knows how to tell a compelling story with spiritual themes throughout. SOLITARY was actually available as a free Kindle download for a couple weeks recently, but I actually read the book last November, and I decided with the new batch of reviews coming, I would add my thoughts on a book I found hard to put down. Especially after the shocking ending.

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