Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess

Thanks to the #kidlitexchange network for the free review copy of his book – all opinions are my own.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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.


Alexander and Hess have written a phenomenal book. As I was expecting, I was pulled into the story from the very beginning, where the reader is tossed right into the middle of Blade’s life. There’s a lot of emotion in his story, and I love that the shape and sound of the writing add to that.

The short lines and stanzas used in poetic verse force the reader to pause and hear the words in a way that is different from standard prose, allowing for more emphasis and emotional impact. Personally, I feel that this also causes the authors to choose their words more carefully, and in the case of Solo it allowed for some really beautiful phrasing despite the heavy topics being discussed.

I definitely think that this book is going to resonate with teen readers. Everything about it packs a solid punch. And I think it has the potential to open some eyes to the wider world of poetry and show how powerful it can be as a form of storytelling.

Highly recommend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Purchase links: Barnes & NobleAmazonAuthor stats: WebsiteFacebookInstagramTwitterBook stats: Hardcover, 464 pages, Blink, July 25, 2017


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