At a party last Friday night, I was telling a friend of mine that I was on the hunt for what to read next. Earlier in the day, I had pulled about 10 different books off my shelf, read the introductions, and reshelved. Not that they were bad books, they just weren’t what I was looking for. My friend asked if I had ever read The Solitary Tales by Travis Thrasher and when I told him no, he put the 4 book series in my hand and sent me on my way.
If Thrasher’s name sounds familiar, it may be because he wrote the novel based upon the new movie Do You Believe? from the makers of God’s Not Dead. But if you are like me, you’ve never even heard of The Solitary Tales. The 4 books—Solitary, Gravestone, Temptation, and Hurt—tell the story of a young man, Chris Buckley, who moves with his mother to a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. An outsider in a close knit community, he doesn’t know where he fits, except on the outside. He is drawn to a mysterious girl, Jocelyn, whom he can never quite make sense of. There is also a lot of mystery to discover in Solitary, the town itself.
I don’t want to say much more because I don’t want to give the story away. My daughter is currently reading the series and I find myself eager to hear where she is so we can talk about it. I found the books nearly impossible to set down; in fact, I read over 1700 pages in less than 6 days which is even more than I normally read. I found myself talking to the characters in the books and at times yelling at them. There were some weird idiosyncrasies, like occasionally switching between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person, but overall it did not detract significantly from this compelling story.
If you are looking for something captivating and mysterious, you may want to consider The Solitary Tales by Travis Thrasher.