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Book Review: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

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Publication Date: May 3rd 2018


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. Read More

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.75

What do I think about Solitaire by Alice Oseman? This is a harder question to answer than it should be. I know .25/.75 ratings are so annoying but it has to be done in this case.

This book follows Tori Spring, sister of Charlie Spring from the Heartstopper graphic novels, who is going through a hard time in terms of her mental health. On top of that she meets the eccentric Michael Holden, her childhood best friend Lucas comes back into her life and an organization called Solitaire is going around causing havoc and mayhem.

Trigger Warnings: Eating Disorder, Suicide, Depression, Fire

Tori was a good main character. At first it felt like the author was trying too hard to make her seem “edgy” and different by hating everything but I soon realised this was just the character and I soon got over it.

We follow Tori go through a complete downward spiral at a point in this book which was both interesting to read but also completely heart-breaking. I really felt for her. It was so frustrating to me how nobody else seemed to see what she was going through.

My favourite scenes/moments were between Tori and Michael. I liked how their relationship progressed, it was different to your typical YA romance. Neither one are perfect and both need therapy but I enjoyed their interactions.

As for the whole Solitaire plots, I can’t say I cared that much. I wasn’t all that bothered. I kind of guessed who was behind it as well as the motives behind it and a lot of the times when I predict things in books I don’t mind because I enjoy adding the clue to my theories and when the reveal happens I’m like “aha I knew it” but again, this time around I just didn’t care.

This book has been compared to The Catcher in the Rye and I can definitely see where the comparisons came from.

One thing this book did do was remind me who much I love reading UK Young Adult especially when the books are set in secondary schools/sixth form. It’s the little things, stupid things really, that I enjoy, like reading the word “mum” instead of “mom”.

Overall I’m conflicted with my rating and my thoughts. I had a great time reading the middle chunk, I read about 200 pages in one day but the beginning and the ending weren’t my favourite.

I definitely do plan on reading more by Alice Oseman, although I wasn’t as mad about this one as everyone else seems to be I do think I have potential to enjoy some of her other books, especially her 2020 release Loveless.

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