I’m sure I’m missing out on lots of books because of this, but I have to confess, that I only read verse novels if they’re written by Jason Reynolds or Kwame Alexander. I know, I know. They speak to a very specific demographic (Black teenagers) with what feels to me to be deep authenticity and understanding of their inner lives. Also, it’s the strangest thing, but when I read these two authors, writing in verse, I later don’t remember that the book wasn’t prose, I just remember the characters and the story and the genius use of language. This one, Solo by Kwame Alexander is about a kid who has a life that not many people can relate to. He’s a rock star’s son. And yet, Alexander managed to make him very relatable just as a kid trying to find his way and figure out who he is. I think your teens will enjoy this one, but as someone who long ago left her teenage years behind, I loved it as well. I recommend.

My review on Goodreads:
SoloSolo by Kwame Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blade is a rock star’s son, whose father just doesn’t seem to be able to hold it together, not even for one of the biggest days of Blade’s life. But at least he has Chapel, his girlfriend who is a salve for his crazy life, even if her parents don’t approve of their relationship. But soon, a family secret comes out and Blade is forced to be his own salve. Sick of the screw-ups and scandals, he leaves his drug-addicted father, his enabling sister and his fickle girlfriend behind to find a piece of himself in Ghana. Told in verse, ‘Solo’ moved really quickly, and felt more like reading prose after the first third of the book. Loved the theme of a young man with a larger-than-life father, trying to find his own way and his own voice. Recommended. A great read for those in their early teens who think they don’t like to read.

View all my reviews

Happy Reading!


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Woman-Centered Fiction Writer, commenting on books, culture and the human condition.

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