Solid by Shelley Workinger
publisher: Self published/Createspace
release date: July 9th, 2010
paperback, 222 pages
intended audience: Young adult
source: signed copy from author for review
Teens who discover they were secretly genetically altered before birth are brought together at a classified site where they forge new friendships, find love, develop "super-abilities," and even unearth a conspiracy.
Review: Solid is a great start to a very unique series! I really enjoyed this one, its a fast entertaining read. The story was original and had a great concept. First we meet Clio, who is on her way to a military "summer camp" to be observed. It was recently discovered that her and 99 other teens were the result of an experimental chromosome-altering drug that was given to pregnant women and now they are all being brought in and given what appears to be the royal treatment while the military tries to sort out the effects of the drug. Each kid is put up in an exact replica of their own rooms back home and served comfort food at mealtimes. The testing and questioning seems relatively harmless...until Clio overhears a private conversation that makes it clear that there is definitely information they are not being told. Her and her new friends take on the mystery to find out what is really going on.
One great part of this story is the friendships. They are a diverse group of kids thrown together, but with one major thing in common,...they are bound together by the mystery of this supposed chromosome abnormality. Clio forms a pretty tight friendship with Miranda and Bliss in just a short time and they have their ups and downs like any group of friends. I really liked Jack, he was confident and kind and friendly---and puts on one of the sweetest, most romantic evenings I've ever read to win Clio over. The only character I didn't really warm to was Garrett...he just seemed completely fake to me. It may have been part of his character, but he was obnoxious, had cheesy dialogue that didn't feel like any real teenager would say, even if they were the show-off, egotistical type it seemed he was meant to be. Still, the group as a whole made for a great dynamic. I especially like the "addition" to the group at the end, I think it rounded out their little team perfectly---you'll have to read this to see what I mean!
The solution of the story felt a little "Scooby Doo" to me. Funny thing is, it must have felt at least a little bit like that to the author as well, because a few pages after thinking "hey, it's a Scooby Doo ending!", Clio actually says, "it was a full-on Scooby Doo moment". It wasn't a bad way to end it, by any means---it just felt a bit "familiar". What I really loved was the very ending, what happens after the big reveal. Like I said, my favorite thing was the dynamic of this group of friends and it made for a sweet moment to see them kind of holding each other up after what they'd gone through. You don't get to see that often; many times the mystery is wrapped up and that's the end. With this one, it was almost comforting and I felt like there was real closure.
I was glad to find out that there will be more to this story, because I definitely want to find out what Clio and her friends do next with those mysterious powers!
Visit the series website here!
Purchase Solid at: Amazon • BN.com • Indiebound.org