Solo

soloAuthor: Kwame Alexander

Publisher: Blink YA Books

Release Date: August 1, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A stunning tale of finding one’s self and realizing the most important things in life. Told in poetic verse, Solo is a tale that is touching and real down to the heart.

Solo is the story of Blade Morrison, a seventeen-year-old of a rock star that has fallen from grace.  Blade is tired of living the life of glitz and glamour and wants to find more in life.  His mother died when he was nine leaving him and his sister to deal with the aftermath of their father’s addictions.  When Blade discovers a deep held secret within the family, it threatens to throw everything into a tailspin and threaten his relationship with everyone around him.  This sets him on a journey across the country to discover the truth about who he is and how that will shape the rest of his life.

Solo is one of the clearest examples of not judging a book by its cover I have ever read.  The premise sounded very interesting, but when I opened and realized it was told in poetic verse I was initially turned off.  Poetry is usually not my kind of thing.  I have a hard time getting into poetry and the flow of the story told that way.  I decided to give Solo a chance and as the story progressed with each poem, I found myself entranced and pulled into the story.  There was such an intimacy to the characters and the way they interacted with one another.  I read this in one day and enjoyed the flow much more than I imagined I would.  This is the type of story that is for poetry readers, but also for those that enjoy a good story with heart and will leave readers thinking of their family and friends in a different way.  So, if you are like me and open the pages of this book and think it isn’t going to be your cup of tea, give it a few pages and enjoy the story for what it is.  You won’t be disappointed!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

In 27 Days

In 27 DaysAuthor: Alison Gervais

Publisher: Blink YA Books

Release Date: July 25, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A hard hitting, emotional roller coaster that will leave readers pulling at their heart-strings and wiping a tear from their eyes by the last page.

When Archer Morales commits suicide, his classmate Hadley Jamison is surprised by how much it affects her. She knew him from freshman English class, but that’s about it.  He was the kind of guy that pretty much kept to himself.  Hadley decides to attend Archer’s funeral for some closure.  As she is leaving the funeral, she runs into a man who calls himself Death.  Death offers Hadley a deal; he will send her back in time twenty-seven days to try and stop Archer from killing himself.  It doesn’t take much to convince Hadley that this is something she must do.  She agrees but finds that it is not going to be an easy task.  Archer has kept himself isolated for several reasons, none of which he is especially eager to share with anyone.  As Hadley works to gain his confidence, strange accidents start to occur that keep Hadley and Archer farther from each other and make Hadley wonder if she is really ready to risk everything, including her own life, to accomplish her mission.

All I can say is WOW!. When I started In 27 Days, I had no idea where it would lead me.  It was one of the most raw, real, and amazing books I have read in a very long time.  The way these characters and their storyline laid out was unbelievable.  This is the kind of writing I would expect from someone with decades of experience.  Alison Gervais is an author that has the potential to take off and never look back at where her writing can take her and her readers.  The way the story of Hadley and Archer came together was absolutely beautiful.  I never once felt as if anything was forced or rushed between the characters or with their actions.  Out of all the books I have read this year, this is going quickly to the top of my list.  With the rampant amount of bullying going on in our society, this is a story that needs to be read by many.  I highly recommend this to all readers, especially anyone that might be struggling with feeling alone or how to help someone in that position.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.