Solstice High is like Twilight Zone meets Gossip Girl. Think contemporary, current setting with some bitchy characters, give them paranormal powers and you will get the picture.
Published by Strategic Book Group on 22 Oct 2012
Genres: Paranormal, YA
Source: Blog Tour
It's the first day of school at prestigious Solstice High. Seniors Matt, Rochelle, Daphne and Jonas each have a big surprise waiting for them. When the four friends undergo a freak accident, they begin to develop superhuman abilities and come to realize that all is not as it seems within the bleak walls of their high school. While dealing with the day-to-day challenges of being teenagers, they must also confront their sinister principal, Mr. Devlin, who seems to have more than just education on his agenda
Four friends accidently stumble into someplace they should not be and inhale gas which gives them superhuman abilities. They now have to get to the bottom of what happened and try to obstruct their principal’s evil plans. You thought high school was hard? Try adding in invisible people, shape shifters and a psychotic head master!
Two good reasons to read this book – the writing is great and the characters rocked. If I try to describe the characters with key words (for example Matt – gay, over dramatic or Rochelle – queen bee, schemer) then I know you will run fast thinking uh-oh clichéd characters. But these are no clichéd characters; they are multi layered, unpredictable and original. Leaving out the paranormal activities, this book was worth reading for the characters alone.
I loved the writing too. It was creative and complex. It threw out some interesting ideas about how passion and tragedy create art which is something I always believe. However, it was also fun, witty and amusing. And if you like Gossip Girl then you will be in heaven as it is littered with Gossip Girl references and jokes.
The paranormal powers were interesting but not the highlight of the book for me. I found it odd how quickly they all accepted their powers and I found the reaction of their friend Julius even stranger. He didn’t blink an eyelid. If one of my friends suddenly spouted wings and started flying, I doubt I would be so accepting or blasé about it! I liked how the paranormal powers were scientific and not magic, that aspect worked well for me. I am intrigued to know more about how they were created but it looks like that is a story for another day.
Something that didn’t work quite so well for me was the multiple POV’s. The story is told from each of the four friend’s pov. The characters were so well drawn that I never mixed them up and I enjoyed spending time with all of them. But, I got confused every time we changed POV. I had to read a page or so to try and figure out who we were with now and that was a bit annoying. Once I had established whose POV it was, then I was happy again.
I think the author took chances with the plot and I was never quite sure where we were heading. I was kept guessing which was fun. Some of the plotlines were risky such as an attempted rape scene at one point which made me feel uneasy especially as I empathised with the predator. I know that sounds awful but if you read you will understand my dilemma. The pacing at the end was fast and furious, maybe a bit too fast as it did get confusing at times. However I was relatively satisfied with how we wrapped everything up.
This is book full of teenagers so of course we had some romances. There was a gay romance which was sweet and passionate. Another romance between two other main characters was predicable but still satisfying. The romances were sideline stories and never dominated the plot which was just right.
Who should read Solstice High?
Overall this is a book that I’m delighted I read. If you like character driven books, paranormal superpowers with a touch of Gossip Girl lightness then you should enjoy this one.
Thanks to the author and Teddy Rose from Virutal Author Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.