Insta Review: Solo, by Kwame Alexander

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The jury is still out on Solo. Son of hyperbolically washed up and struggling “rock god” Rutherford Morrison, Blade Morrison has been raised in the lap of luxury, with everything he could ever want; until his mother dies suddenly. With no mom in the picture, his father goes off the rails, and his life turns into one Hollywood tabloid story after another. After a lot of angst buildup, Blade’s sister, Storm, lets loose with the big plot twist – Blade is adopted. This realization cuts the few threads that were holding Blade together and in the blink of an eye, Blade has left his cushy home in LA and hopped a jet to Ghana to find his birth mother. She is, of course, an angelic, lovable do-gooder selflessly dedicating her life to others, which explains her giving him up in a very neat, explainable way. These types of dramatic and generalized pieces are sprinkled throughout Solo – exaggerated situations that cause more eye-rolling than story-building, that took me out of the action and made me put the book down to take a break. I love the energy and the music in the story, which we have all come to expect from Alexander’s excellent poetry, but Blade is a great character, and I wanted more for him than soap opera plotlines. Although Booked and The Crossover were huge hits with middle grade readers, Solo is definitely for older readers – drug and alcohol abuse, complicated family relationships, and lots of lust earn this book its YA classification. Although almost all the reviews that I saw were stellar, I don’t have a definitive thumbs up or down for Solo. What did you think? #yalit #ireadya #poetry #youngadult #bookreview

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