Release Date: 7/9/10 (Paperback)
Age Group: Young Adult (13+)
Source: Author/ARC (Thank you!)Overall Feelings: New and astounding!
Synopsis- "Eighteen years ago, a rogue Army doctor secretly experimented with a chromosomal drug on unknowing pregnant women. When he was killed not long after the children were born, any knowledge and evidence seemed to die with him -except the living, breathing human products of his work.Quick Thinking: Solid is a wonderful, fast-paced novel that had me flipping pages at a strangely quick speed. This novel is brimming with entertaining, loyal characters, a gripping, mysterious back story/plot, teens with superhuman abilities, and a satisfying ending that cleverly paves the way for a pine-worthy sequel. Find yourself attempting to unearth the secrets behind the puzzling C9x project said to alter the chromosomes of one hundred teenagers granted with abnormal skills and strengths, as you head off to a secluded military campus in New Jersey with the heroine Clio Kaid.
Almost two decades later, the newly self-proclaimed 'open-book' military unearths the truth about the experiment, bring Clio Kaid and the other affected teens to a state-of-the-art, isolated campus where they soon discover that C9x did indeed alter their chromosomes -its mutations presenting as super-human abilities. The military kids, who come from across the nation and all walks of life, come into their own as lighter-than-air 'athletes'; 'indies' as solid as stone walls; teens who can make themselves invisible and others who can blind with their brilliance.
While exploring her own special ability, forging new friendships, and embarking on first love, Clio also stumbles onto information indicating that the military may not have been entirely forthcoming with them and that all may not be as it seems..." (from back of the book)
Suggestion: If you don't like very lengthy reads or you're a beginner on the reading scene, definitely pick up Solid and get a taste of what good reading material is!
My Thoughts In-Depth: *Note: May not be spoiler-free.* I really liked this novel, and I hadn't expected to. Science fiction-y/fantasy books aren't really my thing, YA or not, but I found myself deeply invested in this story. Workinger pulled me into the story of Solid with her obvious knowledge of the topic surrounding her novel, her light, easy yet eloquent writing style, and the group of characters she's brought together and made click within its pages...
It was super easy to fall in love with the characters! For me, I think the characters, though I wish I got to know them a tad more, really did me in among other aspects. Garrett, Jack, Bliss, Miranda, Clio, and later Alexis, are the fine team that come together to find out more about what's going on in this suspicious military base they've been sent to. Garrett had me nearly peeing in my pants with his sporadic corniness and oddly-timed humor. Jack made me drool and want to get know him better, what his deal is. Bliss was so adorable, shy, and sweet; I really wish I had a friend like her. I think Miranda was truly one of my fave characters... It would seem I always end up liking the mean girls (ex. Mimi -Blue Bloods, Aphrodite -HoN series) the most. Creepy goth chicks with underlying techie tendencies became a new favorite kind of personality to read about when I met Alexis. And I really liked the heroine this time around! Clio made an excellent leading lady...
Solid's a fresh ya novel as opposed to all the romantic comedy/paranormal romance themed books I've been reading lately. I think that's what made it so much fun to read! It was so easy to gobble up this plot. It wasn't too complicated; it didn't have The Reader's mind running in circles trying to pick up on clues or underlying meanings and symbolism to later help grasp the entirety of the story. Instead, it was a little on the predictable side, and it suited this novel well.
Of course, I must mention the hot, brief glance I got of the romance lighting up in this book! Clio and Jack... oh, boy. I just loved when they finally got together! It seems like in the first half of the book, The Reader is rooting for these two to hook up, but they're so slow about it... Yet, I loved that romance took some time to develop. I enjoyed it more that way. And when they finally did get drawn into each other... It was well worth the wait, let me just say. My only disappointment is that I didn't get to see too much more romantic situations after that... Also, there's the implied side couple. You know, where you as the reader know that these two side characters are bound to embark on a romantic relationship. I am dying, dying for Bliss and Garrett to head in that direction.
The ending was surprisingly well-paced and satisfying despite the short length of the book. And I think that's my only real problem with the book. I wanted between 50 to 100 pages added on! Though, Shelley has explained in our little chat-chit that the book is meant to entice non-readers into joining in on the obsession. *sigh* I guess I just have to deal. ANYWAY, I cannot wait for the sequel, Settling, to pop up later this year!
Side note: Thank you so much for being my first review request, Shelley! I'm so thankful, since I would've missed out on a great book otherwise. Good luck on your writing journey!
Best Friend Foreva: Gosh, I'd have to say it'd be a tie between Garrett and Miranda!
Garrett has an insanely odd/corny sense of humor, yet it's infectious and I can't help but laugh! On the other hand, Miranda is plain mean, but I'd like having her as my best friend also.
Wish-He-Was-Mine: A guy with Jack's face, Garrett's abs, and a cross between their personalities. *giggles*
Frenemy: You know, I didn't really like Janet all that much. She was a little suspicious and seemed to be too cool and nice.
Bonus Factor: I loved the whole invisibility factor playing into this novel. As well as the other potential super abilities these teens may have.
Jack to Clio: "'Do you remember when we met and you told me you didn't really like your name but I said that I thought it was pretty great?' I nodded encouragingly so that he would continue. 'Well, I got this crazy visual right then of bringing the constellation of Calliope to life for you. So you could see the beauty of it'" (121).
Awwww: "'The talent...and vision...' I shook my head, still stunned by the enormity of it all. 'I can't believe you did all this. For me.'
'I think you're worth it,' [Jack] confirmed, taking my hand and lacing his strong fingers between mine" (122).
Hot, sizzling...yum: "If he'd been cautious about making the wrong rushed mov so far tonight, that hesitation was long gone as his warm lips smoothly met mine. His kiss was powerful, confident with feelings and want, but without the intent to capture my mouth, to claim it. All I felt was the pull of him --a call to my heart to come out and join him at a mutual center" (123).Other: Check out Shelley Workinger's guest post on the blog here: http://paranormalindulgence.blogspot.com/2011/01/guest-post-shelley-workinger.html
Thanks for reading!