Sunday, October 3, 2010

Review: Solitary

Solitary by Travis Thrasher is book 1 in the Solitary Tales Series. I'm not sure what to think about Solitary. It is certainly a well written, hard to put down, draws you in, kind of thriller. The first person, present tense of the book makes it gripping. It is a great alternative to all the trashy vampire, horror junk so many teens can read, but... Well it made me ask, What makes a book labeled "Christian? Is this a "Christian" book?

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think all Christian books should contain lines from hymns, peace, love, Amish girls, and puppies. There are some Christian fiction books out geared to teens that I would recommend that would possibly shock your socks off (Melody Carlson comes to mind). But I DO recommend them to some teens because they show teens struggling & reacting in an appropriate God-fearing way to REAL LIFE high school events. That is valuable.

I did a little research on Thrasher and here is what he says about the novel being "Christian". This is an exert from an interview with The Christian Critic:
TCC: Solitary is being marketed as a Young Adult novel. Do you perceive this novel as being “Young Adult” and if so, why?

Travis: That’s a question along the lines of being asked whether I write “Christian fiction.” I don’t perceive of myself as writing Christian fiction the same way that I don’t perceive Solitary as a Young Adult novel. But I can’t do anything about the labels, so in that sense The Solitary Tales are for teens. My hope is that all readers will embrace this series about a teen rather than simply teens embracing this series.

So Solitary is not what I would call "Christian." I think some Christian novels present the gospel in an overly intentional and often "hokey," unnatural way. It's like, lets take a break from our normally scheduled story for a word from our sponsor. But, I think to be a Christian book SOMEBODY ought to be resolving SOME issues in light of a Christian worldview, at the very LEAST someone ought to GAIN some Christian worldview at some point in the story.

I thought we were going to see some Frank Peretti style spiritual warfare against evil in this book, but evil was really not opposed. There is some comfort found in the Bible in Solitary, but overall Christians for the most part are either weak or false in this book. The main character and the situation at the end is unresolved. Thrasher, as a matter of fact, leaves you kind of hanging. Hopefully book 2 will bring some resolution. I'd like to read it just to see where he goes with the series. I wouldn't let my almost teenage daughter read this book because of some themes and hints, mainly sexual.

You can see a short trailer of the book and/or purchase a copy of Solitary HERE for $14.99.
Disclaimer: Solitary was provided by David C. Cook and The B & B Media Group for the purposes of review only.

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