Author: Alice Oseman
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: Review copy from Harper Collins, thank you so much!
This book saved my life because: Solitaire is blunt and realistic story about life. Alice Oseman writes with such emotional depth about what friendship, family and life is really like.
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
Wow. I don't even know where to start with this book. It really blew me away. When I first heard about this book from Harper Collins YA, I thought it would be a cute book about a blogger at school, who maybe played solitaire or something. I was wrong. So wrong. This is such an amazing book I am not sure I know how to describe it or why I love it but I will try.
Can I just take a side note to talk about how cool Alice Oseman is. She is 19 which is the same age as me, and has written a book. So crazy. I started and finished this book in one night, stayed up super late because it was so amazing. I tweeted her, and had a cool conversation with her. I am not sure if this is just me, but I think it is great to know the authors you are reading are nice. Pretty much most are anyway, but I find it make you want to read their books more and appreciate them - it adds to the whole experience of reading a book.
Alice Oseman writes with such emotional depth to tell the captivating story of Tori, a girl who finds life hard. She finds it hard to make friends and isn't really happy. It was such an interesting point of view. I think what I loved most about Tori was that she wasn't a typical contemporary novel character. She was often sad and didn't know what to do, but she didn't tell anyone. She wasn't fine, but she couldn't find the words to tell anyone. She find it hard to let people in, and make the commitment to be friends. I found this refreshing, as I (and I assume most people) understand what it is like when you tell everyone you are fine, but you really aren't. Although Tori was different, she was really relatable. Not just for this, but for all references to things like Harry Potter, Justin Timberlake etc. which were so cool. She also had this amazing relationship with her brother, who also doesn't have the easiest life. He gives Tori great advice, and perseveres through his own life battles.
"I don't understand why you can't accept things like this. If you can't accept things you don't understand, then you'll have to live out your life in your own head"
In the background, but still essential to the story (I found that it was more in the background because I was enticed more by the relationships Tori had with her friends and family), was the concept of Solitaire. Solitaire is a mystery throughout the book, events and pranks going on at her school that know one knows who is doing them or what Solitaire really is. While it did carry the plot line, I wasn't super curious about it because I cared about other things that were happening. Like Michael (ohmygosh Michael!). It was still a super cool part of the book though and I did love what happened in the end.
Michael: I'd better meet you at Hogwarts then
Tori: Or Neverland
I really, really loved Michael Holden. He is totally not the average teen novel guy. At first, I didn't get him and though he was weird. But I think that is kind of the point. But as the book went on I just loved him more and more. He doesn't care what other people care about him, but cares for the people who are in his life. He has such perseverance. The friendship he has with Tori is literally the best thing. They have these amazing converstations about life and friendship and even reading and Harry Potter. Tori isn't even a reader but I think she understands how we all feel.
"When you watch a film, you're sort of an outsider looking in. With a book - you're right there. You are inside. You are the main character."
I really can't praise this book enough. Seriously, go read it now. I have so much love for this book and its characters.