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!
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