Solstice – P.J. Hoover

Out June 18, 2013


I have been looking forward to reading Solstice after hearing P.J. Hoover speak at the Round Rock Teen Book Festival. I’ve also had an ARC of the book since I went to ALA Midwinter Conference in January, but have not been able to find the time to read it. Finally, with school being out for the time being I was able to bump it up on my To Read List. I was excited to read a book set in Austin and I have to admit that its setting did influence my liking the book. Every time she mentioned something Austin-y (like the Drag) I felt a little jolt of excitement that I’d been where she was talking about.

Eighteen years ago the ice caps melted. There are no more winters, falls, or springs. There is only an endless summer. The government has taken precautions against the heat, but nothing can seem to make it better. At first glance, Solstice is just another dystopian novel, however once you get into the book you realize that Greek mythology is at the root of the problems. This new take on dystopians is fresh and enjoyable, think Percy Jackson meets Legend. Solstice focuses on Piper, a seemingly normal teen with an overprotective Mum, except for the two super hot guys who are in love with her (not something I had the luxury of while I was in high school) and she has to chose between them. While this is your classic love triangle, there are some different twists thrown into the mix. (Hint: watch out for Reece) While all this is happening Piper figures out that global warming is not all what it seems and Greek myths are more than just myths, they are her life. She meets Hades, Ares and Zeus. Through all of this craziness Piper has to discover who she is and how to set the world back to how it was eighteen years ago.

I loved the storyline in Solstice. I liked that Hoover used an underrepresented myth to focus the story on and that she blended two different genres to create something unique. However, I did find one area that annoyed me. I found the texting in the book between Piper and her friends distracting. Hoover writes the texts between characters as shortened letters, think back to TTYL by Lauren Myracle (which I love). She uses the letter ‘u’ instead of you, etc. To me this seems outdated rather than futuristic. Now that many phones have full keyboards, it’s not as necessary to shorten words like it was when T9 was more popular. With that being said, text messages were distracting but they didn’t really bring down the book. I still really enjoyed Solstice. Being set in Austin and the plot more than made up for the text messages.

**I read an advanced readers copy of this book.

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