Thursday, 31 December 2015

Solitaire by Alice Oseman review

Title: Solitaire
Author: Alice Oseman
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 400
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery
Format: Paperback, ebook
Source: A copy from my local library!

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 book is such a breath of fresh air - I don't think I've ever read a book that portrays  teenagers  this realistically before. Don't get my wrong - every other book about teens don't get it wrong, but this book represents a certain type of teenager, the one who uses the internet and loves to blog, one that is hardly ever represented in YA, and it does it so well. 

Honestly, I was reading this, and thinking: Yes, exactly, that's exactly how teenagers would act! Or, that's how a teenager like me would act!

Which doesn't usually happen to me very often when I'm reading YA or a book about teens, because I'm not the teenager who goes on wild adventures, I'm the type of teenager that Oseman writes about. I love to spend time, hours and hours, on the internet. I love to blog, like Tori does - and it was so great to be able to read about a teenager who has the same hobbies and experiences as me, in that way. 

Oseman writes so truthfully as well - she never sugar coats any aspect of Tori's life - sometimes the most ordinary things happen to her amongst the drama - so Tori's voice is so amazingly, and painfully real, that there are parts of the book that I honestly wanted to reach out and hug her. Oseman has got the pessimist voice spot on - and while it was heart-wrenching to read at times, Tori shines through from the very first page, and she'll draw you into her story until the very end. Solitaire really is 'The Catcher in the Rye for the digital age' as The Times says - it's so honest and so captivating, that I feel like Tori and Holden are two characters born very much from the same great page - and it's amazing. This is definitely a book you don't want to miss out on.  

The mystery aspect of the book works so well, too. There were amazing red herrings throughout, so I was second guessing until the very end. It was such an amazing reveal - I never would have guessed in a million years who Solitaire was! 

But not only that - the romance that blossoms was so real, that I was rooting for Tori and Michael by about their second meeting. Oseman didn't force the romance, that was the thing - we had a great sense of who both characters were before romance was even hinted at in the book. They both compliment each other so well as characters, too, which made the romance so much lovelier when it actually started - because by then you knew that them being together was just right, and best thing for both of them. (Which sometimes isn't the case with literary romances). 

Overall, 'Solitaire' is an honest book about many things - teenage life, mental illness and romance. But it's also a real gem of a book that you won't want to put down, as well!

It honestly deserves so much more hype - if you're looking for a great contemporary YA book to put on your wishlist, I'd definitely add 'Solitaire'!



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