Review of Solo by Kwame Alexander

I love music. I immerse myself with music on the bus, while exercising, while writing, or relaxing on the beach reading a good book.

Today’s book is full of music in a poetic fashion. Let’s take a look at Solo by Kwame Alexander!

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Blink (August 1, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 0310761832

From award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander, with Mary Rand Hess, comes Solo, a YA novel written in poetic verse. Solo tells the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, who knows the life of a rock star isn’t really about the glitz and glamour. All the new cars and money in the world can’t make up for the scathing tabloid covers or the fact that his father is struggling with just about every addiction under the sun—including a desperate desire to make a comeback and regain his former fame. Haunted by memories of his mother—who died when Blade was nine—and the ruin his father’s washed-up legacy and life have brought to the family, Blade is left to figure out life on his own. But, he’s not all alone: He’s got the friendship of a jazz-musician mentor, Robert; the secret love of a girlfriend, Chapel; and his music. All may not be well in the Morrison home, but things are looking up for Blade, until he discovers a deeply protected family secret—one that further threatens his relationship with his family and has him questioning his own identity. Thrown into a tailspin, Blade decides the only way he will understand his past and begin his future is to find out the truth behind the music and himself. He soon sets out on a journey that will change everything he thought to be true. His quest lands him in Ghana, stuck in a village just shy of where answers to the secret can be found. There, Blade discovers a friendship he couldn’t have imagined, a people founded in family and community, and a reconciliation he never expected.

With his signature intricacy, intimacy, and poetic style, Kwame Alexander explores what it means to finally come home.

Solo features a stunning dust jacket with embossing and gloss.

Review: This book is a poetic read with music verse chapters that had me turning every page.

Blade was a wonderful character to follow. He’s the son of a celebrity and it isn’t all the glitz and glam most people think it is. Drugs and alcohol causes a rift between him and his father and when Blade confronts him about his behavior a secret is revealed that turns Blade’s world upside down.

Alexander does a wonderful job at writing in the point of view of a teenager. We are taken on a ride of discovery with Blade through emotional terrain. We first start of in the glamours rock life Blade knows in Hollywood but it moves halfway into Ghana, a place far beyond what Blade is use to. It’s refreshing to see him out of his element.

Alexander’s poetic writing is beautiful and the description vivid. The book flows with each page and you can’t help but connect with Blade. His musical journey through his struggles to understand his family turn to an understanding on the blessing for what his life is and the changes it brings to him and his father. This book is filled with discussions of wealth, poverty, race, addiction and many more concepts that bring this book to life and adds such a great depth to the story.

Should you read it? Yes! A wonderful read about music, family, love and a character that stays with you. Prepare for all the emotions!


About the Author:

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author of 24 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 Paterson Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages. Some of his other works include THE PLAYBOOK: 52 RULES TO HELP YOU AIM, SHOOT, AND SCORE IN THIS GAME OF LIFE; the picture books, ANIMAL ARK, OUT OF WONDER and SURF’S UP; and novels BOOKED, HE SAID SHE SAID, and the forthcoming SOLO.

Follow Kwame on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and his blog!


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