Saturday, February 25, 2012
"Solitary" by Travis Thrasher
I received this book to review from Netgalley. I loved every sentence of it, every word, every letter. It took me on a journey full of grotesque secrets, unbelievable mysteries and fear that cannot be described properly with words. It showed me that nothing is accomplished easily in life, not the bad, and certainly not the good. It taught me that even if evil does win a battle, love is always there to shine through it; that even in the darkest of times, hope comes around for those who have faith in God.
"Solitary" is the story of a small town in the middle of nowhere, South Carolina. The people are kind of friendly, but once you start asking questions or looking at them with more than curiosity, they take the offensive. They watch you and wait for you to make a mistake. They warn you to stay away from them, because if you don't - people you love would get hurt. And they do.
Because Solitary isn't just a regular small town. It's a small town with evil energy and dark secrets. A town where people disappear never to be found again. A town where you can get marked and that would mean the end of you.
If you're a 16 year old teenager, who just happens to fall in love with a marked girl, what do you do? Do you try to save her? Or do you back away, wishing you'd never stumbled upon her at all? Do you put at stake your family - or at least what's left of it - for the sake of a girl who might not survive past Christmas?
I never believed that a Christian-themed horror/thriller/mystery book would interest me so much, but I take my words back. Not only was I interested, I would've read it in one breath if it were humanly possible. 400 pages blew past me like nothing at all. And I"m hungry and thirsty for more. Because the story isn't over. Indeed, it has just begun.
The story was developed on many levels. Firstly, there was the journey toward knowing oneself. You go through a bunch of obstacles just to learn who you really are, what you're capable of. To learn that you can be brave, and stupid, and impatient. To learn that to protect sometimes means to hurt; that to trust sometimes means to doubt.
Then there was the emotional journey, where you figure out that beating machine that lives inside your rib cage can bring you lots of trouble. That is, it could make you fall in love. So hard, so deep that there's no getting out of it. You look silly, you sound dumb but there's nothing you can do about it.
And last, there was the spiritual journey that stretched from not believing in God, to being indifferent, to asking Him why He's doing what He's doing. The most frightening and most comforting thing is realizing He's a;ways there to watch over us. That he sees both the good and the bad. That He will let us suffer so we get to grow up and learn to trust him.
I felt like every time there was cursive font, it wasn't Chris's thoughts I was reading, but the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. It fit so well, and felt so reassuring.
*Chris, the main character is just an ordinary 16 year old boy, nothing special about him. But he's the new kid in town and the bad news is that the towns folk don't like outsiders. Especially when the outsiders try to mess up plans crafted ahead of time. But he's stubborn and besides, love can do miracles to a person. It could transform the careless boy to a brave man. I felt his pain over the divorce of his parents, over the lack of life, over the God who never seemed to be there. At times I laughed with him, then I wanted to strangle him for being an idiot. But truly, I liked him.
*Jocelyn.. all her secrets are overbearing. Like they could swallow you whole, and you'd never see a bright day again. She's difficult to decipher, to understand, to know, but not to love. She's a tormented soul, as Chris calls her. But she's also found the hope to believe, that life would somehow get better. If not here, then after it's all over.
The other characters that intrigued me were Newt - the geek boy who always got picked on, and was also the only one willing to talk to Chris about the weirdness happening around Solitary; Oli - was he a bully or an ally? Poe - because what was her deal? And for some reason I kept on thinking that Chris should've talked to his dad about everything. And oh yeah that flash drive he never checked out...what was on it???