Solitary (The Solitary Tales #1) – Travis Thrasher

Solitary Travis Thrasher
Solitary by Travis Thrasher
Series: Solitary Tales #1
Published by David C. Cook on August 1, 2010
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Suspense, Speculative, Young Adult
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five-stars

His Loneliness Will Soon Turn to Fear…. When Chris Buckley moves to Solitary, North Carolina, he faces the reality of his parents’ divorce, a school full of nameless faces—and Jocelyn Evans. Jocelyn is beautiful and mysterious enough to leave Chris speechless. But the more Jocelyn resists him, the more the two are drawn together. Chris soon learns that Jocelyn has secrets as deep as the town itself. Secrets more terrifying than the bullies he faces in the locker room or his mother’s unexplained nightmares. He slowly begins to understand the horrific answers. The question is whether he can save Jocelyn in time. This first book in the Solitary Tales series will take you from the cold halls of high school to the dark rooms of an abandoned cabin—and remind you what it means to believe in what you cannot see.

Travis, Travis, Travis…will you ever write a story that won’t keep me up all night? I suppose it means you’re doing your job though. Make no mistake about it, Solitary is a page-turning, sleep-stealing, heart-throbbing journey that will haunt you even after you’ve closed the last page. The writing is superb, the first person vantage point really allowing the reader to feel what the character feels. Also written in the present tense means that the reader in thrown into the moment. Thrasher writes in a way so that the reader becomes the character, which only deepens the power of the story.

Solitary is Chris Buckley’s story. Taken from the suburbs of Chicago and dumped in the hick town of Solitary, North Carolina, after his parents’ divorce, Chris knows he’s in for a culture shock. The whole rigmarole of making new friends, wedging yourself into existing cliques, climbing back up the ladder of popularity – it isn’t going to be fun. But in Solitary? It’s going to be nearly impossible.

This town has its secrets, deep secrets, dark secrets that everybody knows but nobody talks about. Secrets that make the town unwelcoming to outsiders like Chris. Add in trouble with the school bully, whose father happens to practically own the town, and Chris’ time in school is pretty much a disaster.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He finds himself friends – maybe friends – among the outcasts, among them the beautiful Jocelyn Evans. And Chris is immediately enraptured and in love. But Jocelyn has secrets almost as deep as the town. And as Chris begins to unravel the mystery of the town and of Jocelyn, he discovers the horrifying truth. The question is if he can save Jocelyn.

Solitary is an engaging beginning to the Solitary Tales, his debut novel with publisher David C. Cook, filled with twists and suspense. It plunges you into the depths of darkness, only to remind you of the hope seen in the light. It’s marketed as juvenile fiction, but don’t let the title throw you. Adults as well as teens will enjoy this roller coaster ride into Solitary – where you feel alone and yet everybody’s watching.

Solitary combines second-to-none writing with a first-rate story filled with darkness yet surrounded by hope. It’s only further proof that – among authors who seek to explore Truth, discover Love, and give Hope – Travis Thrasher is one of the best.

Mini Q&A with Travis

Josh: Solitary is being marketed as a Young Adult novel. Do you perceive this novel as being “Young Adult” and if so, why?

Travis: That’s a question along the lines of being asked whether I write “Christian fiction.” I  don’t perceive of myself as writing Christian fiction the same way that I don’t perceive Solitary as a Young Adult novel. But I can’t do anything about the labels, so in that sense The Solitary Tales are for teens. My hope is that all readers will embrace this series about a teen rather than simply teens embracing this series.

Josh: This is also your first series. What can you tell us about the future novels that will continue the story?

Travis: I mapped out the story from the very beginning, but even then you can deviate from the map. I’m almost finished with book two which is called Gravestone. It picks up right where I left off. There will be new characters introduced and new mysteries that come up. I’m hoping to answer some questions while raising others. I know where I’m going and having fun getting there. The story is getting bigger in scope, but that makes it more interesting to write. I hope readers enjoy the first book and eagerly await the next one!

five-stars

About Travis Thrasher

Travis Thrasher

Bestselling author Travis Thrasher has written over 50 books, spanning genres in fiction, nonfiction and children’s literature. His inspirational stories have included collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, athletes, celebrities and pastors.

With the childhood goal of pursuing a writing career starting in third grade, Thrasher worked for 13 years at Tyndale House Publishers after graduating college. His experience working with as Author Relations Manager allowed him to understand the writing life as well as training him to work with a variety of personalities. This experience has proven to be invaluable with varied writing projects in the decade he’s been a full-time writer.

His novels are as diverse as the people he’s worked with, ranging from love stories to supernatural thrillers. Publishers Weekly said “Sara and Ethan are two of the most real and sensitive lovers to grace the genre” when reviewing his first novel, The Promise Remains. They also stated “Thrasher demonstrates a considerable talent for the horror genre” in a review for Isolation years later. His readers have enjoyed the unpredictability of his novels, whether it’s due to a unique style such as second person or a twist they never saw coming.

Thrasher’s storytelling ability has also allowed him to work with others on their books, from musicians like country musician Scotty McCreery and Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain to the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty. He has also penned novels based on songs such as Paper Angels with Jimmy Wayne and novelizations for films including Do You Believe? and God’s Not Dead 2. Upcoming projects continue to expand his talents, with projects including The Black Auxiliary about the lives of the 17 American black athletes who competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, and Baby Don’t Hurt Me about comedian Chris Kattan’s life and time on Saturday Night Live.

Travis lives with his wife and three young daughters in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

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