The birthday train rolls on and the music theme continues.
Initially, I was going to talk about Graeme Simsion’s latest offering because it was about a guy who plays the piano and I thought it would be cool. Turns out, it wasn’t. Luckily, Solo, by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess stepped into the breach. I didn’t really have any idea what it was about, but several of my online friends were raving about it.
Basic Premise: Blade Morrison, son of fallen rock god Rutherford Morrison, is having a hard time with life. Since his mom’s death, his dad has continually struggled with drugs and alcohol. The only time Blade isn’t embarrassed is when his dad is sober, which doesn’t happen very often. After a horrendous graduation experience, Blade struggles to stay together with his long-time girlfriend. Then to make matters worse, a family secret is revealed, sending Blade on a trip to Ghana to get some answers.
The plot is good and the characters are captivating, but the true magic of the book is in the writer's style. This whole book is written in free verse. Think Ellen Hopkins, but a click less gritty and much more musical. I’m always a little leery at the beginning of these stories of poems, but I was sucked in by the third or fourth one. There is something to be said for including only the exact words needed to tell the story. This book had such a beautiful, lyrical flow to it that I did not want to put it down once I started.
I was gonna try and be cool and write this review in free verse to emulate the style, but let’s face it, I am just not hip enough. The kids still say hip, right? Solo is technically a YA, or young adult book, but something like that never bothers me. Style aside, I really couldn’t tell the difference. Good writing is good writing, no matter what age your target market is.
If you are looking for your next good book to read, I highly recommend this one. If you are looking for that perfect present for my birthday, my list includes: a food processor, a new car, and a pony.