Solstice by Lorence Alison
Lorence Alison
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Aug 10, 2022

Adri is perfectly on track to become the lawyer that her parents have always wanted her to
become. Through academic excellence, hard work, and sacrifice, a summer internship represents
the final bridge between her and her parents’ dreams. The problem is, she wants nothing more
than to get away from the internship, especially when she gets the opportunity of a lifetime.
Courtesy of her best friend Elena, Adri gets tickets to go to Solstice, a life-changing getaway
featuring music’s biggest stars. Despite her parents’ marked disapproval, Adri decides to go. But
when she arrives on the island of Myla, nothing is as advertised. The luxurious amenities
promised by organizer and YouTube star Zack Frazier are nowhere to be found. What’s more, the
island itself harbors a mystery. Soon, the lack of proper resources begins to become a crisis,
forcing people to take desperate actions. When a dead body shows up, Adri is forced to question
each of her relationships on the island. As more people begin to perish, one thing becomes clear.
Things are not as they seem. As the situation on the island goes from bad to worse, Adri begins
to unravel the mystery behind Solstice. Is Myla really just the venue for the biggest event of the
year? Or does it harbor a secret far worse than she could ever imagine? Read Solstice, by
Lorence Alison, to find out!

After reading Solstice, the one thing that comes to mind is missed opportunities. The first couple
of chapters created a fantastic opportunity to capitalize on a captivating plot. The reader is
introduced to Solstice, a seemingly life-changing event that is shrouded in mystery. A mysterious
event on a mysterious island creates endless possibilities for the author to explore. In some ways,
Alison almost goes after each and every single one of these opportunities. But, this pursuit
deprives the reader of the chance to really appreciate any of them. This is the first flaw in this
book: a lack of identity. The outstanding introduction gives Alison the opportunity to give this
book any identity. It can be a monster horror story, an island survival story, a coming-of-age
story, or a thriller that incorporates elements of pop culture into the plot. To the reader, it appears
that Alison is pursuing all four of these identities. This approach is really successful in some
aspects, using the monster to intensify the thrill of the survival story and force characters to
adapt, really captivating the reader. But, personally, I feel that Alison’s attempt to draw from all
four of these categories really deprives the reader of the ability to fully appreciate the book in
any individual one of them. The book bounces too quickly from Godzilla, to Lord of the Flies, to
summer camp horror, and so on. The reader is left wondering what the protagonists are really up
against. At first, this suspense works really well for the story. But, the answer becomes clear a
little bit too late, and once it does, this once-captivating suspense appears to be unintentional.
This really made me rethink what I thought of the book, as that had been my favorite part of the
plot thus far. I think if Alison had worked more directly to build that suspense and revealed the
answer a little bit earlier, I would have really enjoyed this book. Next, I felt that another missed
opportunity was plot holes. There were certain parts of the plot that were skipped (such as how
Adri got past her parents for two days to reach Myla), skimmed (such as why the police couldn’t
get involved; the only answer given was solved for later on, leaving us with the same question),
or overused (such as the online discussions to end certain chapters, which I felt didn’t really add
to the plot after they arrived on the island, but did a good job of creating intrigue before they
arrived). The third and final missed opportunity was character depth. First, it felt as though
Hayden and Steve, two main characters, didn’t really add much to the plot. Second, there was a
lot of potential for character exploration that I was sad to see left unused. For example, the book
only briefly touched on Elena’s mental struggles at the end of the story, when I felt that there was
so much to be explored during the story. I think that refocusing the plot a little bit would really
take this book to new heights. Overall, I enjoyed this book. Any book that makes me want to
finish it in one sitting is a good book, and Solstice is no exception. Alison’s vivid imagery,
excellent integration of humor, and ability to create characters that emulate readers was
outstanding. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a light and fun
thriller to read. I think that Alison does a great job of making the book appeal to a wide range of
readers. However, missed opportunities with the theme, plot, and characters lead me to
recommend that readers who want a truly riveting and deep thriller look elsewhere.

Written by
Varun R.

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