Genre: Mythology, Dystopia, YA Publication Date: June 18, 2013 Pages: 384 Published By: Tor Teen/Macmillan Website Solstice on Goodreads P.J. Hoover's Website My review copy: Purchased
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Piper's world is dying.
Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom.
Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.
His eyes are dark like chocolate and filled with shadows. They make me think of mysteries and secrets and forbidden fruit. In short, he sums up every single thing my mom tells me to avoid. So I sit the empty seat next to him.
I grab a broom and a dustpan and start cleaning up the mess as I play the conversation over again in my mind, thinking I’ve missed some vital part of it. But it’s all there. Reese has basically asked me out. And without even really meaning to, I think I've said yes.
Around me is nothing but life. I smell each plant. I almost hear nectar pumping through stems, feeding them. But then I catch it--the scent of death, here in this beautiful garden. So misplaced that, as soon as I smell it, all other aromas go away.
The funny thing about reading a book that you judge mainly by the cover, is that you are often surprised in one way or another. With Solstice, I was majorly surprised. I went in expecting a Dystopia but what I got was mythology. I was beyond pleasantly surprised at the amazing cross between mythology and kind of dystopia. This book was something fun and unexpected, giving me a boost out of my reading slump.
The setting/world in this book gave of the feel of a dystopian at the start. There is nothing wrong with this, as that is what I went in expecting. However, soon the plot started twisting a bit, some small things were being mentioned that were giving me pause. Little things that Piper and her mother were doing that seemed above and beyond what should be possible. This is when I realized that there was more to many players in this story. The plot stayed on a constant pace that had me turning pages and not wanting to put this book down. Basically between the plot, the setting, the pacing and the characters I was hooked.
Piper was a strange type of character, or different I should say. She was strong willed but at the same time she was the good girl that mostly listened to her mother. However, I did like her because she had the sense to question, and she also had the will to stand up for what she really believed was right. I know this sounds contradictory but really everything changed when she found out that not all was as it seemed. Once she started to grasp everything that was going on around her, she started to be able to defy the rules that she had so firmly lived by. There were moments she rushed into things, but she did so with heart and the will to do what was right.
Now for romance… This is tricky. There was most definitely two boy, but it’s a twist in the book. See both Shayne and Reese are a part of Piper’s past, and for their own reasons they are trying to get her attention. Right from the start I liked Shayne, he is sweet and never pushed Piper for anything or to do anything she didn't want to. There were times it was irritating that he would not tell Piper what she wanted to know but there were reasons. However, Reese always seemed to want to push. He was totally the bad boy and normally I really like the bad boy but something always felt off with this guy. To a point Piper knew who she really wanted but it’s hard with two hot guys vying for your attention.
I’m so glad that I picked up Solstice. It was a surprise and one that I would happily revisit in the future because it was almost a perfect all around book. Hoover took mythology, threw in some dystopia and twisted the mythology into something that I loved. There is always something appealing when authors take a story commonly told one way and make it into something I love more than the original tale. This book is a must read for anyone that loves mythology.