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Solo by Kwame Alexander (63)

4 hours and 2 minutes

Narrated by Kwame Alexander

Music by Randy Preston

Released August 17, 2017

ASIN: B071LN5KT6


AMAZON


Through the story of a young Black man searching for answers about his life, Solo empowers, engages, and encourages teenagers to move from heartache to healing, burden to blessings, depression to deliverance, and trials to triumphs. And the audio is narrated by Kwame Alexander himself, featuring original music that ties to the book.

Blade never asked for a life of the rich and famous. In fact, he’d give anything not to be the son of Rutherford Morrison, a washed-up rock star and drug addict with delusions of a comeback. Or to no longer be part of a family known most for lost potential, failure, and tragedy, including the loss of his mother. The one true light is his girlfriend, Chapel, but her parents have forbidden their relationship, assuming Blade will become just like his father.

In reality, the only thing Blade and Rutherford have in common is the music that lives inside them. And songwriting is all Blade has left after Rutherford, while drunk, crashes his high school graduation speech and effectively rips Chapel away forever. But when a long-held family secret comes to light, the music disappears. In its place is a letter, one that could bring Blade the freedom and love he’s been searching for, or leave him feeling even more adrift.


Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times bestselling author of 28 books, including Swing, Solo, and Rebound, the follow-up to his Newbery Medal-winning middle grade novel, The Crossover. The 2018 NEA Read Across America Ambassador, Kwame is also the host and producer of the literary variety/talk show, Bookish, which airs on Facebook Watch, and the Founding Editor of VERSIFY, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.


REVIEW:
I listened to the audiobook version. I liked the story but didn't care for the author being the narrator. I felt like his voice was pleasant, but often I felt like his voice all blended together while he was narrating. So he would say a chapter title and go right into the story, but I wouldn't have known it was the title without looking. I was like, 'why is he saying a random word', then I realized he was saying the title. It just all mashed together.
That's the thing with audiobooks, and also why I don't listen to them more. Narrating is such an important part. Between keeping the reader, or listener, engaged, to having tones that split the story and keep the confusion to a minimum, it is a hard thing to do. 
Let's focus on the story now. 
A coming of age story of sorts. This guy, Blade, is a musician and he finds out he is adopted. It is a balancing act of what he knows and what he doesn't. The author does a great job of keeping you glued to the story. You want to know what happens.
My favorite part is the songs that are sung. So this is where I appreciate the audiobook more than print. If I read the print book, I wouldn't have heard the great songs that were in the story. I was surprised, since I've never come across such an interactive audiobook. It was delightful and added to the story immensely.
I have the next book, Swing, on audiobook as well. I so look forward to listening to it. I just hope it has songs on it too!


4/5




**Compensation may be earned from the link within. This copy was obtained free for OverDrive. Opinions are owned by Freda's Voice.

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