eBook - 2017
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New York Times bestseller!

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.

"A contemporary hero's journey, brilliantly told." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"A rhythmic, impassioned ode to family, identity, and the history of rock and roll." --Booklist, starred review

"Many readers will identify with Blade's struggle to find his place in a family where he feels like an outsider." --Publishers Weekly

"The authentic character development and tone will strike a chord with young adults." --School Library Journal

Publisher: [Grand Rapids, Michigan] : Blink, 2017
ISBN: 9780310761907 (electronic bk.)
0310761905 (electronic bk.)
Branch Call Number: eBOOK FIC ALEXANDER
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Hess, Mary Rand - Author


From Library Staff

novel-in-verse, reads like beat poetry.

Blade Morrison knows the life of a rock star isn’t really about the new cars and money – which can't make up for the fact that his famous father is struggling with addiction and there's a huge family secret that turns Blade's life upside down.

Short stories

From the critics

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Feb 05, 2020

did not read but i will try

Jun 03, 2019

It is a mix between the heart and the soul. You have to read this

Feb 12, 2019

It was such a good book. I followed along with the songs that the chapters were named after. Their father and son relationship is much like my mother and mine and it was so refreshing to see this in a masculine since. The message of forgiveness and understanding your parents was so strong. I got the book from a blog post saying "If you like this album you'll love this book". And it was in relation to Drake Nothing Was The Same.

Jan 22, 2019

I listened to this as an audiobook. I couldn't personally connect with the character's life or struggles very much, but the book is written in such a powerful, soulful way that I was able to feel the emotions. I'm not sure how realistic all of the plot is, and I was not a fan of the music that was in the recording. But overall, it was a quick read with very beautiful language and raw emotion.

ArapahoeLaura Jun 26, 2018

A boy whose music and whose identity are closely intertwined. Listen to the audiobook to hear acoustic versions of the songs!

ArapahoeLaura Jun 26, 2018

A boy whose music and whose identity are closely intertwined. Listen to the audiobook to hear acoustic versions of the songs!

Feb 26, 2018

After reading Crossover and Booked I have become a fan of Kwame Alexander's writing. This book about Blade Morrison's epic journey to find himself does not disappoint. There is rock 'n roll history, a family mystery, world travelling and more. You might just need your tissues handy like I did. Highly recommended.

Jan 13, 2018

A unique book with a sincere and heartfelt story. This book was a journey and I was along for the ride.

I will be honest -- I don't like books written in verse. This is why during our #TBRTakeover that Alyson put SOLO on my list. I was pleasantly surprised and inspired to read more books written in verse.

I had no idea what this book was about going into it and I think that made it all the better. I was surprised at the direction of the plot, the twists and turns. Not like a thriller, but a journey. The struggle between Blade and his father, Blade and his past, Blade and Chapel...I bought into all of it. The only reason it's not a five stars for me was I struggled at a lot of points with how obsessive Blade was with his relationship and he was whiney about it at points. It was the least interesting part of the story for me, but I believe it added to some of Blade's weaknesses as a 17 year old male. It was realistic and agonizing at points. But truly a story about self discovery which I enjoyed.

Finally, if you are going to pick up this book LISTEN TO THE AUDIOBOOK. It's read by Kwame Alexander and the songs Blade writes are actually sung on the audiobook. It enhances the entire story and the reading experience.

Nov 01, 2017

This is another great Kwame Alexander book. Blade is constantly frustrated by his famous musician father, and hopes to finally make a name for himself when he graduates from high school. Blade is overshadowed by just about everyone in his life, but also has a lot of opportunities that other high school seniors don't have. The story takes an unexpected turn halfway through, and Blade gets his wish to leave. However, he still can't escape his father's shadow. The language in the book captures the different settings and evokes the music that permeates the story.


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