Friday, November 9, 2018

*Review* Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess

Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Published: August 1, 2017
Pages: 463

When the heart gets lost, let the music find you.

Blade never asked for a life of the rich and famous. In fact, he’d give anything not to be the son of Rutherford Morrison, a washed-up rock star and drug addict with delusions of a comeback. Or to no longer be part of a family known most for lost potential, failure, and tragedy. The one true light is his girlfriend, Chapel, but her parents have forbidden their relationship, assuming—like many—that Blade will become just like his father.

In reality, the only thing Blade has in common with Rutherford is the music that lives inside them. But not even the songs that flow through Blade’s soul are enough when he’s faced with two unimaginable realities: the threat of losing Chapel forever, and the revelation of a long-held family secret, one that leaves him questioning everything he thought was true. All that remains is a letter and a ticket to Ghana—both of which could bring Blade the freedom and love he’s been searching for, or leave him feeling even more adrift.

I received a free audiobook copy of this book through the Audiofile Sync summer reading program for teens. There was no expectation for a review. I definitely recommend listening to the audiobook because it includes music along with the story and it's worth the listen. 

I didn't know what to expect from this book when I started listening to it. This was an interesting coming of age story that kind of made me think of how the Kardashian children may feel in about sixteen years, growing up in the shadow of famous parents who are not hesitant to cause a scene for a couple minutes of attention. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Blade every time Rutherford caused a scene. 

And then there was Blade's girlfriend, Chapel. She was so obviously a gold digger and he was just too naive to see it. She just pissed me off so much pretty much all the time. 

Overall I give Solo 4.135 stars. - Katie 

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times Bestselling author of 21 books, including THE CROSSOVER, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Passaic Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages. His other works include SURF'S UP, a picture book; BOOKED, a middle grade novel; and He Said She Said, a YA novel.

(Find out more info on Kwame and where he'll be at

Kwame believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his PAGE TO STAGE Writing and Publishing Program released by Scholastic. A regular speaker at colleges and conferences in the U.S., he also travels the world planting seeds of literary love (Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, Shanghai, etc.). Recently, Alexander led a delegation of 20 writers and activists to Ghana, where they delivered books, built a library, and provided literacy professional development to 300 teachers, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program he co-founded.

For more info or to sign up, click here.

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