Book Review: Solid (Solid #1) by Shelley Workinger

Teens who discover they were secretly genetically altered before birth are brought together at a classified site where they forge new friendships, find love, develop "super-abilities," and even unearth a conspiracy.

Eighteen years ago, a rogue Army doctor secretly experimented with a chromosomal drug on unknowing pregnant women. When he was killed not long after the children were born, any knowledge and evidence seemed to die with him - except for the living, breathing, human products of his work.

Almost two decades later, the newly self-proclaimed "open-book" military unearths the truth about the experiment, bringing Clio Kaid and the other affected teens to a state-of-the-art, isolated campus where they soon discover that C9x did indeed alter their chromosomes, its mutations presenting as super-human abilities. The military kids, who come from across the nation and all walks of life, come into their own as lighter-than-air 'athletes'; 'indies' as solid as stone walls; teens who can make themselves invisible and others who can blind with their brilliance.

While exploring her own special ability, forging new friendships and embarking on first love, Clio also stumbles onto information indicating that the military may not have been entirely forthcoming with them and that all may not be as it seems...
Release Date:  July 9, 2010
Age Group:  Young Adult
Pages:  222
Source: Author

I love dystopia so I was really looking forward to Solid after reading the description.  I enjoy a good government conspiracy and Shelley Workinger has written an intriguing novel full of conspiracy, betrayal, love, as well as a sweet coming-of-age story.

This novel is the first in a series, so there was quite a bit of world-building.  The world-building was very good, though, and did not slow the pace of the book down.  The love story, while a smaller part of the book as a whole, was sweet and tender.  Solid focuses more on interpersonal relationships and character building, something which I really like when it's done well (which it was in Solid). 

In a time when YA is dominated by paranormal books, Solid was a great change of pace.  The writing style, quirky characters, tender love story, and fast-paced plot were all a breath of fresh air and I'm looking forward to seeing where Workinger takes the rest of the series.

Just One Gripe: 
The cover didn't draw me in to the story at all, but don't be put off by it---just start reading and judge the book for itself. 

The Best Thing About This Book: 
I loved the writing style.

Appropriate for a younger audience: 

Characters:  4/5
Plot: 4/5
Setting/Imagery: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Ending:  4/5
Total Score:  20/25


  1. Wow, this sounds very different than what I was expecting, and you're right - that cover doesn't imply much at all. In fact, I really don't like it. It's kind of gross-looking haha the story, itself, sounds great though! Awesome review :)

  2. I think this one sounds so great! I too like you and Melissa didn't think much just from the cover alone. Probably why I unfortunately overlooked it.

  3. I never heard of this book before, but now I'm intrigued and will be on the lookout for it. Thanks, Kelli!

  4. I have to say that cover sort of freaks me out... Very chromosomes via the specs of the science lab.

    Adding it to dystopian reads.

    PS has the countdown time for baby started yet??

  5. Nice review Kelli, I've been seeing this one around a lot lately and everyone seems to be enjoying it. Sometimes I like a little break from the regular paranormal vamp and weres and want something new. Thanks for the recommendation!

  6. I have seen this book being discussed in multiple sites before but the main reason I didn't read further on it is just because of.... its cover. Yes, it looks too bland to me and didn't attract my attention at all. However, upon reading your review, I found that this book has quite an interesting premise and the fact that it is a dystopian book really piqued my interest. Hoping that I'll get the chance to read it sooner or later.

    I'm here from the comment exchange program.

    Hope you have a great day!

  7. From YA Addict's Comment Exchange Program.

    I too love dystopia, or am starting to love it.
    And to be honest, I would love to read this book now. I'm doing to look for it in the library methinks.
    Great review :)

  8. This book sounds like it's right up my ally. It has an interesting backstory, and it's only 222 pages? I'll need to check it out for sure!


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