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Review by Suze
Blade is the son of the famous rockstar Rutherford Morrison. Rutherford throws wild uncontrolled parties and he's a drug addict. His career isn't as grand as it used to be because of it. Blade's mother died and without her Blade doesn't want to be part of his father's household any longer. They have their passion for music in common, but that's the only connection they have. Rutherford means well, but he's so messed up that everything he does inevitably ends in disaster.
Blade's girlfriend Chapel isn't supposed to see Blade because of Rutherford's reputation, her parents are forbidding it, and Blade is fed up with the situation. When a shocking family secret comes to light Blade can't stand being at home any longer and goes on a journey to find himself. Will he be able to get his much needed peace and quiet eventually and will it bring him what he wants the most?
Blade is unhappy because of his home situation. He's a talented guy, but he doesn't feel good in his own skin. He worships Chapel, but she's always keeping him at a distance, which makes him feel even worse. Blade blames Rutherford for everything that's wrong with his life and a bit of space from his family gives him the chance to objectively look at the situation. He constantly grows as a person and this was amazing to witness. In a few weeks time Blade changes from an angry teenager into a much wiser young man, which was incredibly impressive to read about.
Solo is beautifully written. Kwame Alexander's choice of words is spot on and his sentences all work really well. I love his stunning free verse and enjoyed every single page. I could feel Blade's emotions through his music and that gave the story a great open and honest atmosphere. Solo is impressive, entertaining, moving and filled with love and intelligence, it's a very special story that will stay with me for a long time.
If you love free verse and are a fan of YA stories about music Solo is an absolute must-read.