David C. Cook
Well if it isn't my second favorite YA series with a boy main character that I'm currently reading (my first is The Knife series by Patrick Ness). The Solitary Tales--of which this is the third book--is also the one that absolutely no one is reading. (I'll be the book hipster who tells everyone he was reading Solitary before it went mainstream.)
Chris Buckley is back and he's still living in his freaky Buffyverse-like town. He has another girlfriend and more mysteries to solve. These mysterious include: who is this guy named Staunch? Who killed off one of his bullies? Why does he keep seeing dead people everywhere? And what the heck happened to his former employer? Also, what is the Smoke Monster and is Charlie really going to die?
Sorry. Wrong series. Because unlike Lost I actually got some answers out of this book.*
Chris spends a majority of this book ignoring his problems. He ignores his mother's alcoholism, he ignores the mysteries that surround him,** and he forgets who the enemies really are. He's also distracted by the lovely and lustily built long legged Lilly (he starts pursuing her upon sight).
Basically, Chris has 99 problems but a hatch ain't one of them.***
Instead of Losting us Thrasher Spiderman 2's us. He tells us that Chris is struggling and needs to find himself. That Chris is hurting in a way that only new love can heal. That Chris is a hero and needs to overcome his struggles. Thrasher is reminding us that even Superman had to go back to Krypton to figure some shit out.
I seriously consider Temptation and Solitary to both be superior to this third installation but that's because it's hard to pull-off that middle third-ish novel (I hate the word tetraolgy). The idea that Chris is back and is over Jocelyn's death, Poe's departure, and decides to just "go with the flow" is one I couldn't grasp. I wanted Thrasher to throw us right back into the mix immediately.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions. There is a Jesustastic ending which is acceptable because this is a Christian book series. There is the standard music playlist for the iPod, Walkman, and movie... there's a lot of good here. A lot of evil. And a lot of mystery. It's exactly what I expected and wanted out Thrasher even if I have to read a whole-nother book to get the answers I so desperately I want.
Full Disclosure: I ordered this from Amazon.
**He ignores the mysterious but gets a lot of answers. This would be like me deciding to quit my job and still getting a nice paycheck every week.
***Lost reference number 99 on this entire blog. Yes, I'm counting.