Book Review: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

First Published in Great Britain by HarperCollins Children’s Books in 2014

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Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

ISBN: 9780007559220

Page Count: 400

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Trigger Warnings: Depression, Self Harm, Suicide, Anorexia.

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.
I really don’t.

This incredible debut novel by outstanding young author Alice Oseman is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and all unflinchingly honest writers.

My Review:

I’m convinced that no one writes like Alice Oseman! She’s one of my absolute favourite Authors of all time, honestly her characters that she creates are always depicted so well and honestly just some of the most realistically portrayed, I honestly think!

Tori Spring is such a unique character, I haven’t read about a character being so self depricating and harsh on themselves before! All throughout, I just felt so devastated for her because she thinks she’s not worthy of being anyone’s friend, that she’s a horrible human being. Upon first glance towards her character, it’s really like Tori has no real spark for life, that she’s just permanently etched in sadness, that she doesn’t even really try to succeed in school, sh just feels like she’s on the outside looking in, there but not really. In her school year, she muses upon that everyone sort of gifts among a group type, even when she’s with her best friend, Becky, she doesn’t feel like she can completely be herself, that no one really understands why she acts how she does, but more than anything I just felt so sad that Tori didn’t think she was worthy of proper friendships!

I’ve read and loved This Winter, which is a prequel novella to Solitaire, featuring narration from the lovely, wholesome Charlie, the sweet Oliver and of course Tori herself. I’m really happy having read This Winter prior to Solitaire as it gave an insight to Tori’s character and why she thinks how she does, though there’s absolutely no doubt that she has a complete fondness and adoration for Charlie, a feeling of protectiveness and helplessness when Charlie has his moments of despair and hating herself for not being able to help him more! Just, my heart! I just felt so sad and devastated for Tori throughout and given how helpless she felt throughout, I actually feel quite bittersweet having finished it because she was actually quite relatable, in a sense!

What really had my mind circulating throughout Solitaire was how vividly raw Tori’s self depricating, harsh personality was. Haven’t we all, at some point through our time in life, perhaps thought that maybe we’re not worthy of complete happiness. I mean, we all absolutely should be happy and surrounded by positive and happy people, but sometimes it definitely can be hard to always feel happy!

Which brings me to Alice Oseman’s mental health rep, which is always completely poignant! Tori, I’d say has depression and her thoughts just were written so vividly and poignantly, I really felt her sense of despair at every point throughout this novel, her feeling of zero significance and worth, honestly it just completely hurt! I loved the tender scenes throughout with Tori and Charlie, coupled with the sweet wholesome of the Narlie scenes and the addition of one Michael Holden, Solitaire made for such a beautiful reading experience!

Happy Reading,


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