Solid by Shelley Workinger

I’m not a big science fiction fan, so when I received an email from author Shelley Workinger requesting a review for her book, Solid, I had my reservations.  But I decided why not try it.  So I emailed back saying I’d be happy to review her latest young adult sci-fi novel that is part of a series.

It took a while for me to actually have the time to pick it up and read it, but I began it yesterday and actually finished it today (a few minutes ago, actually).  A surprise to myself, I got into the book, wanting to know what happens and what kinds of twists were going to be at the end.  I can honestly say I did thoroughly enjoy reading it.  I’m a big fan of young adult novels; I suppose because there is always that little part of us that enjoys the less stressful and more fun times of those years.  And anyone, whether  a young adult or a “young at heart” adult, who enjoys reading these types of books, will enjoy Solid.  We begin with a group of similarly aged teens who, at no fault of their own, were the result of secret experiments done by a crazy military doctor after the Gulf war.  They had gone about their normal lives, not realizing that they had super-abilities, when suddenly they were asked to spend the summer at a military research facility because they had been accidental experiments and there was a need to discover just what was going on with them.  Among these students are some with super-athletic abilities, abilities to be “stars,” abilities to go unnoticed, and those who can avoid people if needed or wanted.  What I found was interesting was that none of the kids actually realized that they had special abilities.  By using this literary tactic, Workinger made you want to keep reading so you could see what would happen when they did find out what was going on with each one.  This was definitely a book that I read wanting to finish so that I could find out the whole story, if you will.  Workinger didn’t disappoint.  She masterfully created a novel that is appealing in its mystery, science, and general plot.  The characters are very real and you can easily relate to them, whether you are a teenager yourself or you remember what it was like being one.  The only thing that caught me as not the best part of the novel was that some things are referenced that young adults won’t “get.”  A few television shows or tech items that were referenced might not strike home with some teenage readers, but I don’t think it is enough to stop them from reading this book or reading the rest of the series since Workinger uses several references that are a bit more up to date with today’s youth.  Overall, I can say I really did enjoy this book, and I can’t wait to see what else Workinger creates.

The final grade?  I give Solid a B.  Well-written book with a great and different plot line with only a few minor changes to references and maybe adding a bit more to make it a bigger book so we can see more character development.  Looking forward to reading more from this great author!