Reviewed by Melanie on July 31, 2017


Blade Morrison is made of music. His father is an old rock star, his sister is trying to become a rock star. Blade writes loves songs and hopes his dad won’t find a new way to embarrass him today. After an embarrassing situation during graduation, Blade learns a secret about himself and begins a journey not only to find himself, but a new love and appreciation for his family.

When I began reading Solo, I thought that the format was a poem. I quickly found out that it’s written as a song. The music of Blade’s life. This format made the book easy to read and appreciate the beauty behind each song and chapter. It was a very interesting way to present Blade’s story and I really enjoyed the rhythm and pace carried by it.

The plot of the book builds up quickly and coasts to the end. I mean this in the best way possible as once I hit 50% I had finished the book long before I was ready for it to end. The characters of the book are flawed but genuine and they come alive through the lyrical way the story is presented.

While maybe we were supposed to dislike Blade in the beginning (he’s described by his family as selfish), I think that while he may not have seemed like it, he wasn’t so much selfish as trying to make his family better.

When traveling Blade learns a new appreciation for his family and all the blessings in his life. The change not only in Blade, but also in Rutherford (his father) was subtle and loving. While I wasn’t expecting the end, rather than disappointed, I was happy for Blade.

Overall I gave the book four moose tracks because I felt that some of the characters, like Storm, were flat, while Sunny, and our short glimpses of her, made her more dynamic. I feel like Uncle Steve could have been left out completely because he added nothing to the story overall.

Solo Book Cover Solo
Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess
Young Adult, Poetry, Realistic Fiction, Music, Teen
July 25, 2017

Solo, a YA novel in poetic verse, tells the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, whose life is bombarded with scathing tabloids and a father struggling with just about every addiction under the sun—including a desperate desire to make a comeback. Haunted by memories of his mother and his family’s ruin, Blade’s only hope is in the forbidden love of his girlfriend. But when he discovers a deeply protected family secret, Blade sets out on a journey across the globe that will change everything he thought to be true.

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