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Sound by Shelley Workinger Book Review (SPF)

Title: Sound
Story Arc: Solid Series
Publication: November 1, 2012 by Shelley Workinger
Hardcover: 218 pages
Genre: Sci-Fi
Age Group: MG, Teen, YA
Source: Blog Tour
Excerpt(s): from pgs 42-43

"Never thought it'd be you," I growled, pushing back against her with all of my strength...

Clio Kaid's had one crazy summer.

After learning she was one of a hundred teens who were genetically modified before birth, she and the others departed for "camp" at a classified military site.

Besides discovering her own special ability, uncovering a conspiracy, and capturing a killer, she's also forged new friendships, found love, and managed to lose them both.

With no answers and the end of summer closing in, Clio's terrified of going home more lost than when she arrived.

Will she finally find everything she's been looking for?

Find out in this exciting conclusion to the Solid trilogy.
Oh-ho, Settling by Shelley Workinger ended with a hot mess that made me nervous for the lovely Clio Kaid. But, that’s me getting ahead of myself.

One of the reasons this series is so near and dear to my heart is because it’s among the first few review requests I ever received and actually loved. The Solid series is comprised of a trio of books that, no matter the direction of the story, remain addictive. The series begins with the illumination of an experiment performed by one shady scientist years ago, who had managed to alter the chromosomes of pregnant soon-to-be mothers somehow connected to the military. This one sinister alteration later brings together nearly all one hundred of the effected teens under one military-sponsored roof to be studied and tested for any dangerous, harmful side effects. What they learn about themselves is both thrilling and disturbing, and sets the course for the rest of the series, as it tempts those greedy for power to take control of the dark opportunity before them. This series specifically follows the life of Clio Kaid, who quickly befriends and brings together a group of clashing personalities who somehow work, and the shenanigans they unwittingly get themselves tangled in during their stay.

What I downright adore about this series so much is the aforementioned group of friends. I can’t go on with this review without mentioning each of them. The original group of five including Clio began with the cocky, hysterical Garrett, whose athletic prowess and friendly charm probably make him my favorite character in all the books, following with kind, peacemaker, adorable Jack and shy, pleasant Bliss, before finally adding in mean, cranky, bossy Miranda to seal the group. Clearly, this is not an ideally matching group but they are far from disjointed. I would’ve been absolutely okay with just the five, but then Workinger later goes on to add in wise, intelligent, reserved Alexis, a girl version of Garrett, Rae, whom I also adore, and, lastly, music-engrossed, hypnotic—literally—Xavier. You would think eight would be a crowd, no? But these later additions to the crew only enhance an already amazing bunch. They are the kind of friends I wish I’d brought together and constantly hung with in high school. Separately, not all of them completely stand out and make a huge impression, but they are each enjoyable. And together? I wish I had a t-shirt for my thoughts.

Solid, for me, is indeed a solid—pun intended—start to the series, and then Settling turned out to be an explosion of awesome for a follow-up. Which is why I was disappointed that Sound by Shelley Workinger wasn’t EVEN BETTER. The first half of the book really worked for me with all the forgiveness and hugs and fixing the mistakes of the second book. I almost wish that Workinger hadn’t added in a mystery and villain to mix in with the rest because it detracts from what I feel the essence of a finale—though, after the epilogue, I’m not quite sure if it’s really over—should be. Because all this mystery-solving takes place, BIG developments that I’d been waiting for since the beginning are rushed instead of focused on. The second half of Sound by Shelley Workinger begins to give a ‘pressed for time’ vibe, as if Workinger was quickly rushing to crush and shove everything in, tying up loose ends in a hurry, and her typically fun Big Reveal suffers tremendously with a totes anti-climactic twist. If Workinger was so adamant about including ALL THE FLIPPING THINGS then there should’ve been an extra fifty pages minimum added onto the story to fit it all better. However, because the author enjoys dishing out short, easily readable books, her lack of room became painfully evident.

Despite the enormous let-down of the plot, I can’t write off the book all together. Shelley’s writing style is simple and companionable, which is a plus, but it all goes back to these characters. This story and its characters aren’t literary masterpieces, and yet I couldn’t quite break down and pinpoint what I love so much about them. It’s that kind of addictive, happy, comfortable love that just brims over whenever you see certain characters interact together. It’s the idea of a group of teens, in spite of their differences and personal obstacles, relating, befriending, and sticking together for better or worse. And when the worst happens, given time, they can forgive, move on, and grow closer together. It’s a collective friendship that, frankly, makes me wistful and envious and happy all at once. What girl wouldn’t feel secretly smug for being the adhesive that not only keeps the group together but also the attraction that lured them into becoming friends to begin with? It’s my secret—or not—fantasy come to fiction!

If you’re after fun, light, quick reads and can suspend a certain amount of disbelief, then you’ll find yourself among those like me who enjoy and are quite entertained by this series as a whole and truly adore the collection of characters within.

Most Likely to be Enjoyed By: The less analytical reader who can enjoy a book completely without analyzing suspicious details and can simply go with the flow, who can enjoy mysteries and the solving of them even if they find themselves ten steps ahead and very expectant of a certain conclusion, and can ultimately relax with the brain candy in front of them and find laughter and cheer among a group of (not necessarily overly developed) characters who create an addictive and compulsively readable friendship and atmosphere, will have an easy time with this series. As for this third book, in particular, I find that fans, whose expectations may be unfulfilled, might be disappointed by the rushed vibe carried throughout the latter half of the book and might also realize that Sound by Shelley Workinger isn’t what they hoped it would be, especially after such a long wait between this installment and the last.

Content Warning: This book, this series for that matter, is perfect for a middle grade to young adult audience as it lacks any profound harshness or worrisome content. There’s kissing, death threats, but nothing explicitly violent or sexual in any of the books.

Blog Rating: Guilty Pleasure
Hover over Books in the navigation bar above to find a link to My Rating System In-Depth.

Goodreads Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
“You kind of saved me back there.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“You didn’t have to do that.”
“Well, I did it for both of you, really. You looked pretty stupid-fied.”
“Thanks,” I said, genuinely meaning it despite the jab.
“I wanted to give you a chance to think about what you were going to say before you did your usual make-it-worse magic.”
“Thanks,” I said again, this time with less heartfelt gratitude.
“And I thought maybe I owed you a solid.”
Didn’t see that coming.
“Because I haven’t been the best lately,” he went on, then hurried to clarify. “To you. I’ve obviously kept on being the best thing to happen to, you know, the universe.”
That’s right, you jerk! a small part of me wanted to yell, but the bigger part had control of my mouth. “What made you change your mind?”
“Well, the way I see it, being mad’s like holding in a sneeze. You can only do it for so long before there’s a giant boogery explosion, and I’m just too pretty for that kind of mess.”
“Wow,” I said, many levels of meaning packed into the small word.
Oh, Garrett, your logic never ceases to poke me in the areas where it tickles.

Minus Some Words: Although quite disappointing considering how unbearably long the wait for this third installment was, particularly in the plot arena, it was pretty much impossible to withhold myself from the fun and general comfort this book brings, very much like it’s predecessors. As soon as I entered into the book, I felt a warmth that comes from welcome and familiarity and the joy of a reunion with some of my favorite characters. Not everyone can enjoy this series, and not every fan will be happy with every aspect of this book, but for my part I found it hard to be totally unhappy with it, even while acknowledging the unadventurous and obviously rushed plot, because the characters never stop being some of the perfect friends I’ve ever read.

  1. I'd So Rather Be Reading
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Got something specific in mind? Dare I believe I might NOT have covered something you wish to know? If so, let me know down in the comments section. Comment down below if you've ever wondered if you were a mutant human with insane super abilities.


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