Monday, July 4, 2011

Solitary: A Novel by Travis Thrasher

Okay, so I've been a little lazy about writing about the books I've been reading or listening to lately... but then, a couple of the many books that I''ve finished reading the past week have been... oh, how can I say this nicely... well, not worth mentioning.  :-)  One was called The Journey by Wanda E. Brunstetter.  The next one was The Cat Who Killed Lilian Jackson Braun: A Parody by Robert Kaplow.  If you've read either one of these and would like to talk about it, please email me!  :-)  I'm not going to say more about these books other than that I've read them to completion.

Okay, on to the good stuff.  I finished reading Solitary: A Novel by Travis Thrasher this morning.  The past couple of nights have been bad ones for my arm and the pain has been keeping me up - so it was a good excuse to spend a couple sleepless nights reading this book.  :-) 

What can I say about this book other than it was such a breath of fresh air to some of the teenage angst books that are so popular today!  Yes, you may already have guessed that I'm am in no way a fan of the Twilight series - as a matter of fact, those books are an insult to anyone with average intelligence... okay, maybe I shouldn't be that nasty about those stories, but I really didn't care for them personally.  But then, I'm no one important, so my opinion doesn't matter anyway.  :-)  :-)

This story on the other hand... yeah, it still has some of that typical teenage angst - that moodiness that some teenagers reek of because of their insecurity and confusion.  But this also has something that I haven't seen very much in a teen type book - a type of innocence that I haven't really seen much currently or in past books that so many modern-day teens have at one point.  But the main character, Chris, shows so much of this.  Maybe because the book is written in the first person, maybe because Chris is a bit more honest than some other stories I've read, but at 16 years old, he still has such an innocent view on life.  Okay, I'm not doing a very good job here at describing Chris at the beginning of this book, but he doesn't have that conceit that know-it-all attitude that so many teenagers have at this age.  Is there a single word that can describe that?  When teenagers suddenly think they their parents are stupid and they have all the answers?  Oh, my brain has too much Tylenol in it to think straight... but let's move on.

Okay, I know I'm not making sense here... so here is an example.  Chris and his mother move to his mom's former home town and move into his uncle's cabin.  Chris is not totally naive about the world, he has to take care of him mom when she has her nightmares or is passed out drunk, but he still thinks that he can get answers to his questions just by asking "Why?".  My own 7 year old still thinks he can get any answer he wants with that simple question and I get pelted with that one word a few hundred times a day!  :-)  Chris still hasn't figured out that sometimes you just can't keep asking so many questions.  So, in his curiosity, he starts to stir up a bit of trouble.

I was quite impressed with the ability of this writer to dive into memory (or maybe he has teens of his own to be inspired by) and really be able to write from a teenager's viewpoint.  It's been a while since I was a teenager, but having my niece move in with us when she was 15 years old certainly brought back so many of those memories.  So I was able to relate to what Chris was going through - his confused thoughts, his reckless decisions, his desire to be secretive... heck, even as an adult, if I were to find out that some of the stuff he discovers was going on in my town, I'd be secretive, confused and reckless to an extent too!  But the point I'm trying to make here is that I can see that in his innocence of asking why, he starts to uncover what is so strange in this town and uncover some of their secrets.  He also has to find a way to protect the girl that he's so enamored with - Joscelyn.

The story may have started a little slow, but I'm glad that it did.  It gave me a good sense of the characters and the town before all of the action starts.  But once Chris starts getting some of his answers, this is when the books really starts to pick up.  Even the few hours of sleep that I was able to get, I found myself dreaming how this book was going to end.  I was glad that it didn't have a fairly tale ending, but it does leave a pretty good cliff hanger (which I personally don't like - but that's because I'm not the most patient type of readers...). 

There is a second book to this series available on for the Kindle... but it's at a price level that I can't afford... so I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed that I'll be able to find the book at my local library.  I will have to look for more titles by this author because I really liked the way he writes... the flow is just right and the story is nice and smooth from the start.  If you've read any of my previous thoughts of books, you'll know that I really dislike what I call choppy stories.  This is why I like reading over watching movies... movies are hacked and chopped into bits of story here and there and doesn't have the flow in story like books do.  So, this author is definitely worth my time to read more of.  I'll be really sad if my library doesn't have any of his titles though... but I'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out.  :-)  No, I'm not a patient person at all.....

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