Solstice by P.J. Hoover

SolsticeSolstice by P.J. Hoover
Published by: Tor Teen on June 18, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 384
Source: Finished Copy From Publisher
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★

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.

An imaginative melding of mythology and dystopia, Solstice is the first YA novel by talented newcomer P. J. Hoover.

Note: This review is riddled with spoilers, but they’re all safely contained within clickable spoiler tags. If you’re reading this in an e-mail or in an RSS feed, you’ll need to view the original post if you want to see the spoilers.

Excuse me, folks, black sheep coming through.

The first quarter of Solstice left me in a constant state of confusion. Very suddenly, the main character is develops not one—but two—insta-love relationships. I figured there was some bigger picture at work, but it was annoying because the relationships reminded me of those books where there’s the plain, ‘normal’ girl and every guy in a 2 mile radius is obsessed with her. Because in Solstice Piper had never dated ANYONE, and suddenly the two hottest guys she’s ever seen are asking her out and fighting for her affection, and she’s so madly obsessed with both of them. I was just like, “Really?” And this went on for so long that I was starting to seriously wonder if this was going to be the entire book (and in a way it kind of was).

More than anything, I’d say that Solstice is a romance book, with mythology and sci-fi twisted in (rather than the other way around). Once you get to the end of the book, you realize that everything revolves around the romance. And for me, that became a huge problem because I wasn’t sold on the romance. I didn’t feel the chemistry between Piper and View Spoiler » and the other love interest was such a massive douchebag. I think the biggest problem was that the nature of the romance made it very un-relatable. View Spoiler »

I also think that Piper accepted the existence of the Underworld and the reality of Greek Mythology way too easily. It’s like she got taken into the Underworld and just turned to Hades and said, “Oh I’ve heard myths about this place! It’s real? Cool!” And that was it. View Spoiler »

And then almost every part of the story of Solstice was just so predictable and obvious. Like once we figured out that Reese was View Spoiler » , I thought it was so obvious that View Spoiler » But it took so long for Piper to catch up to that fact. When she finally did, I was just like, “Way ahead of you, girl.” And then there’s the whole thing with View Spoiler » I just felt like I was constantly waiting for Piper to catch up to me.

Overall I’m massively disappointed by Solstice. It sounded like a fantastic book and got so many great reviews, and I’m so bummed that I’m a black sheep here. I wanted to love this book, and I thought I would because it combines so many elements that I love (Greek mythology, global warming, sci-fi, romance..). But I think the whacky insta-love-y triangle just ruined the book for me. It started so suddenly and was way too strong, and then dominated the whole book. I was put off by it from the very beginning. I literally think my face was contorted with confusion for the first half of the book, as I tried to figure out why we were dealing with two crazy cases of insta-love.

The Verdict


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  1. Aw, this is kind of disappointing, especially since I was kinda excited to read this. The author is going to be at the book festival I’m going to in September, and this was the one (and only, haha) YA book that she wrote. (I’m trying to read AT LEAST one book by each author.)

    I think the main reason I was excited for this was the mythology. The only mythology book I read was a flop, which bummed me out. Apparently mythology doesn’t like me, though, haha.

    Amanda recently posted: Stacking the Shelves | 4
    1. Yeah I was really excited about the mythology but it wasn’t anything original. It dealt with the same “go-to” mythology that’s in every other YA mythology book. By that I mean it didn’t elaborate on any ‘original’, overlooked Greek stories/gods. It dealt with the easy ones that everyone already knows everything about because it’s the go-to story.

      If you don’t mind a mini-spoiler (otherwise ignore this last comment):

      It’s the Hades and Persephone myth. I feel like there are a million YA books out there that are Hades and Persephone and I’m getting kind of tired of it. I do love their story, but not after reading about it 5 million times.

  2. AHH ASHLEY! First I need to say that you are epically awesome for that comment you left me on my blog and THANK YOU for the Happy Birthday I TOTALLY LOVE YOU BEA BUDDY! You need to tell me soon when your birthday is <3333

    Also, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one as much as you wanted to 🙁 Insta-love is a huge turn-off, and so are love triangles, especially when they aren't done right at all. I totally get why you didn't like this one, because with something that huge it would definitely be hard to get over it. Fantastic review, though! <333

    1. *HUUGSSSS*!!! My birthday is January 28th. 🙂 Not for a while! Lol!

      And yeah I was so upset that I didn’t like this one. 🙁 I thought I was going to love it.. I hate it when that happens.

    1. Honestly I was SHOCKED to see two insta-loves right off the bat. I was like, “Are we seriously doing this??” Bah.

  3. Oh noes!!! I was really looking forward to this one D:
    But because I’m usually your black sheep bff, I’m not sure I even want to read this anymore. The romance (or lack thereof) sounds disgusting, and I hate those kind of books where ridiculously hot guys are drawn to an ordinary MC. And I hate slow leads that can’t figure anything out when I’m a step ahead the entire novel.
    I read all of the spoilers even though I probably shouldn’t have…because I won’t be able to figure it out for myself if I do read it…but I couldn’t help myself lmao! Curiosity killed the cat! But it sounds a LOT like Abandon by Meg Cabot – and I thought that book was terrible.
    I think I’m going to push this one to the bottom of my list for now. Maybe someday I’ll try and see if I like it any better! Fabulous review! <3

    Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads recently posted: Undersea Spotlight: Janhvi and Sarika at The Readdicts
    1. I know! I was REALLY looking forward to this book. I thought it sounded like a perfect “Ashley book”. But turns out….. not. If you do end up reading Solstice, I’d love to know what you think!

      I haven’t read Abandon but now I know to avoid it. 😉

      1. I will definitely let you know if I do! But I’m probably going to stay away from it for now…too many other good books. I wonder what you think of so many books I don’t like….today I got to thinking about how everyone just LOVES Vampire Academy and I was like, Hmm…I wonder what Ashley would think of it! I feel like I’m the only person who hated it >.<

        Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads recently posted: Undersea Spotlight: Janhvi and Sarika at The Readdicts
  4. Two insta-loves, a romance pretending to be science fiction, and a less-than-intelligent protagonist eh? Definitely doesn’t sound like my kind of read. I’m often the black sheep, so don’t feel bad!

    Kelly recently posted: Keeping Up With the Blogosphere
  5. Wonderful review! I completely agree with everything you’ve stated here. I guess, like you, I felt this was just too predictable for my taste. And the insta-love really threw me off *Sighs* I think that lots of other people will like this, but I guess it wasn’t my cup of tea either. 🙁

    Brilliant review – as always! Have a great weekend and happy reading!

    Zoe N.. recently posted: "These Broken Stars"

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