Here are a couple of early reviews of Solitary. It comes out in just a couple of weeks.
Solitary by Travis Thrasher
Reviewed by James Andrew Wilson, FictionAddict.com
Strange men wearing trench coats are staring at you, everyone in the school warns you to stay away from the girl you can’t help but be drawn to, you find a creepy, abandoned cabin out in the woods, and you can’t shake the sense that somebody or something is watching you, following you, staring in your window at night and probing your very thoughts.
Welcome to Solitary.
Travis Thrasher has already proven himself capable of writing page turners about things that go bump in the night, but with Solitary, he ups the ante. You get the sense very early on that something is not right about this town. There are deadly secrets, questions that nobody seems to want to answer. Thrasher does an admirable job of dropping in new mysteries all through out the book, so that by the time you finish, your mind is buzzing with theories and you are frantic for book two.
Thrasher is no stranger to first person narrative, and here he squeezes out all of its potential, thrusting us into the head of sixteen-year-old Chris Buckley. Chris is about as likeable a character as they come. He’s no wimp; we see him spouting off smart remarks to the face of the school bully, going out in the dead of night to explore the eerie woods alone, and expressing a general lack of disregard toward the threats to mind his own business and to just blend in like everyone else.
Chris isn’t the only character to like here. His attraction, Jocelyn Evans, is complex and elusive, and like Chris, we as readers are dying to know what she is hiding. Chris’s other friends, Poe, Rachel, Newt and Ray are all well drawn out characters that are each unique and enjoyable to read.
It is obvious that Thrasher is a fan of such TV shows as Lost and Twin Peaks, and that they played a role in the inspiration for this series. Fans of those types of stories will find plenty here to love.
People who don’t generally pick up young adult fiction shouldn’t shy away from Solitary. Not for one moment did I feel like this was any less engaging than Thrasher’s adult fiction. In fact, I’d rank it right up there with Ghostwriter as my favorite Thrasher novel to date. (Psst, fans of Ghostwriter, be on the lookout for the Dennis Shore reference.)
Solitary is creepy, fun, and impossible to put down. I can’t imagine a much better beginning to what is sure to be a mind-bending, stellar series. Put this one at the top of your list, and don’t be surprised if you’re picking it up a month later to read it again.
Jake Chism’s Review from FictionAddict.com:
Chris Buckley never thought he’d end up in a place like Solitary, North Carolina. After his parents divorce he reluctantly moves with his Mom back to the strange little town she grew up in. Everything about Solitary feels off to Chris. The way the kids in his new high school look at him, the way everyone seems to know a secret except for him, even the feel of the town itself. Everything feels wrong, except for the way he feels about Jocelyn Evans. He finds himself hopelessly drawn to her, despite her efforts to push him away. As Chris falls deeper for the girl he has to have, he approaches a darkness that will shake him to his core.
Bold. Edgy. Beautiful. Terrifying. These are the words that ran through my mind after I closed the last page of Travis Thrasher’s latest. Solitary is Thrasher’s first attempt at a series and his first foray into the YA market. If you are going to make an entrance, why not stand up and demand some attention? That’s exactly what Thrasher and David C. Cook Publishers have done with this outstanding story that is as haunting as it is addicting.
The first person narrative of Chris Buckley is the shining element here. I loved being immersed into Chris’s world as he juggled the struggles of a new town, a mysterious love, and a broken home. Everything Chris feels and experiences masterfully flows off the page allowing the reader to dive in and look around this strange and scary place he finds himself in. The relationship of Chris and Jocelyn is especially handled well as Thrasher explores the emotional and physical struggles teens face in everyday life.
Solitary has such a creepy feel to it throughout, and I found myself flying through the pages desperately trying to make sense of the bizarre elements we are introduced to at just the right places. I was surprised at just how edgy this story was, and it was a pleasant discovery indeed. David C. Cook is known as a Sunday school curriculum publisher, so I expected something much lighter and well…”churchy”. Rest assured…”churchy” this is not, however Chris’s spiritual and family struggles make Solitary more relevant to so many teens who face similar circumstances in our culture.
Solitary is the kind of novel the Twilight (don’t worry..no vampires here) crowd will enjoy, and dare I say contains the depth and level of creativity that could have made Twilight a great series instead of a good one. In the end, Thrasher leaves us with a twist that will have everyone talking and will no doubt be divisive amongst some readers. I’m blown away by what Thrasher and David C. Cook have just brought to us and I can’t wait to read more.
Labels: reviews, Solitary