Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Solitary: A Novel, Or: This Ain't Sunnydale.

There are no vampires--from space or small towns--in Travis Thrasher's Solitary. It is vampire free, werewolf free, mermaid free, and post-apocalyptic landscape free. It is the anti-young adult trilogy to all of the other young adult trilogies out there right now.

Not that the ones out right now aren't good. And not that Thrasher doesn't use the Twilight formula:

(insert main character's name) is from (insert major city) and moves to (insert small town) where he meets the mysterious (insert secondary character's name). All around him people are (insert plot points) all while going to high school.

To repeat: Chris Buckely is from Chicago and moves to Solitary, North Carolina where he meets the mysterious Jocelyn Evans. All around him people are warning him of terrors untold and that he should avoid Jocelyn and watch his single mother's back; all while going to high school.

See how simple that is? It's actually Thrasher's small town that's the star here. Everyone in it has a secret. Everyone. The police. Jocelyn. Chris' mom. His missing uncle. The people that are trying to "help" Chris.

Chris himself is an open book; he really throws his feelings out there*. But that's a problem in Solitary; people keep secrets and not keeping them makes you stand out. Very dark and mysteriously mysterious secrets that need keeping.

The spacing of the novel was the only problem I had with it.

There are no real paragraphs.

Just individual lines.

Kind of like this.

But it does serve to make the novel more bleak and solemn.

I'll be reading Gravestone sometime in the near future for sure.

This book is ranked grilled cheese. For seeming crunchy on the outside but gooey on the inside.

*Chris expresses himself through music**; there are playlists at the end of the novel.

**"So I'm shaving last night at this make-out party. I took a bunch of pictures. You can see them on my MySpace page. Along with my favorite songs and movies and things that other people have created but that I use to express my individualism." -- Stewie Griffin


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