Saturday, November 5, 2011

Gravestone by Travis Thrasher - a review

Note: This is the sequel to Solitary by Travis Thrasher. My original review of the first book is here.

Chris Buckley still has problems in Gravestone. Boy oh boy does he have problems. He needs a job, he needs to find out who murdered his girlfriend, he needs to know if he can trust this guy claiming to be his cousin, he needs to know if he can trust the sheriff, and there are bullies that keep confronting him in the restroom at school. There's a lot going on; it's like The Empire Strikes Back but set in North Carolina and instead of Imperial Walkers and Yoda we get an old lady in a hotel on a hill that's protected by birds.

Oh and Chris' other problem is that he stabs a preacher to death and pushes him off of a cliff. Don't worry. The evil Pastor Jeremiah Marsh pulls a John Locke and shows up later at church seemingly fine. He's the least of Chris' problems, though; there's a secret tunnel leading to his bathroom that some sort of creature has been using to get into his house to terrorize his alcoholic mother.

So things like girls should be easy for Chris to figure out, right? No. No no no. The real mystery in Gravestone are the girls in Solitary. Chris doesn't understand them and they can be worse than a pastor that comes back to life after you go all stabby on him:

"I need to avoid any and all hot dark-haired chicks from here on out until the end of my life."

Good luck on that, Chris. It's the dark-haired ones that are always interesting and always hot. Especially the ones that show up wearing Pixies shirts and share a lot of similar interests. That would be Chris'
potential girlfriend
friend girlfriend friend Poe in this instance. Poe is an emo girl with a car and a plan to investigate Chris' girlfriend's murder. Too bad Poe has her own drama going on: drug possession charges!

Doesn't Solitary, North Carolina sound like fun? All the adults keep their mouths shut and the teenagers are stabbing people, kissing each other, investigating murders, walking around dark underground tunnels... it's enough suspense and mayhem to drive a person mad.

But I do keep ranting and raving about these books to every person I meet. It's the mystery. I watched Lost for years to figure out what's going on and I'm reading Solitary Tales for the same reason.

Thrasher created Chris Buckley, planted him in Solitary, and surrounded him with weirdos. I can't wait to see where he takes all of them. I hope Solitary sinks into the earth like how Sunnydale did in Buffy. Or maybe the whole town will turn on one another like in Needful Things. Or maybe Thrasher will spare me a bad ending and go with a happy one (doubtful). Either way I look forward to it.

Favorite line:

"Hey." The universal word for teen boys everywhere. This can mean many things. It can be a sign that we're alive, or it can mean that yes we've just crashed our car into the tree, or it can mean absolutely nothing.

Reminded me of:

The hatch from Lost. Because what the heck is going on out here in the middle of nowhere?


  1. Where the heck have you been! I have been waiting on a new review FOREVER.

    *Note: this is not as looserish as it sounds, I am on maternity leave and use blogs like this as my only adult human interaction. Please do not disappear again or I may melt into a puddle of goo goos, gah gahs and drool - lots and lots of drool.

  2. Please don't turn into a puddle of drool. Someone could slip and get hurt. To answer your question: I started working again and was put on mandatory overtime for the past few months. It just ended so I have more free time now.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. cool, please guidance so that I can create a blog like yours


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