by Alice Oseman

3.56 of 5 stars 9 ratings • 2 reviews • 29 shelved
Book cover for Solitaire

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by Alice Oseman

3.56 of 5 stars 9 ratings • 2 reviews • 29 shelved

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

Chapters 1-7 of the astonishing debut novel, Solitaire.

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.

  • ISBN10 0062335685
  • ISBN13 9780062335685
  • Publish Date 31 March 2015 (first published 10 July 2014)
  • Publish Status Out of Stock
  • Imprint Harperteen
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 368
  • Language English


Avatar for leahmichelle

Leah 5 of 5 stars
When Alice Oseman posted a shout-out on Twitter asking who would like to read and review her debut novel Solitaire, I very excitedly asked if I could. I thought it looked and sounded fabulous, and was very pleased to receive a copy from the lovely folks at HC Children's Books. The cover is black, but the colourful shapes that make up a heart add a pop of colour and the boldness of the title is quite amazing. I was super disappointed to see the tag-line, mind, "This is not a love story..." But love stories are my favourite! But, I was prepared to let it go, for once. It doesn't always have to be about love (what am I saying? I'm lying. LYING.), so I picked up the book just before bed and I was ENTRANCED by the first chapter. Entranced! And couldn't wait til the next morning to get stuck in properly!

Solitaire is a novel that could have been written about me. I am literally an older version of Tori. I am socially inept, conversations are difficult for me unless someone is asking questions, or they keep the conversation going, and I much prefer to just spend time solo, although unlike Tori I LOVE books. So on that we'll have to agree to disagree, and perhaps I'll introduce Tori to Suzanne Collins and see what she thinks of books then! It literally made me day to see Tori referenced by her brother as Sheldon Cooper, if she were to be ANY of The Big Bang Theory group (though it killed me she said it was unfunny) because sometimes I feel very Sheldon Cooper like. Tori and me just GOT ON from the off. If she were real, I would be her friend and she would be mine because we would just click. We would be BFFs for life, I can tell you that without even thinking about it - and I'm kind of tempted to go meet Alice, who wrote the book, and see if she and I would too be BFFs.

What I liked best about Solitaire, is something that always amuses me - when someone who most definitely does not like company, is brought into the world of someone who doesn't understand that. And Michael Holden doesn't seem to get that Tori is a one-woman show, and does not want or need to be cheered up for any reason. Michael Holden lit the book up! With his funny different coloured eyes (I have no idea if the reason his eyes are two different colours is true, but I liked it) and his geeky glasses, and his side parting. The novel is quite a downer of a novel - Tori is seriously struggling to be part of her sixth-form world, and barely interacts with her peers and her moods are low, and grumpy, and sad, so it was quite nice to have Michael come into the novel and try and make it better. It would have been so easy to just shrug his shoulders, and leave Tori to her misery, but he didn't. He wormed his way in, and eventually I liked that Tori found herself needing him in unexpected ways.

The addition of the whole 'Solitaire' plot line was awesome. Seriously, so imaginative, so clever and bloody spooky! As the novel progressed, I had a feeling who it was (and it KILLED ME, actually) and I let out the biggest sigh of relief when it turned out it wasn't who I thought because I could see that would have literally destroyed Tori. (I let out an audible "Phew" when I found out who was actually behind the whole thing.) It astounds me that a nineteen-year-0ld wrote this book - I am envious beyond belief at Alice Oseman's writing talent. It is a seriously impressive debut novel. I LOVED it. I raced through it, from beginning to end, because it was like I was Tori (and I suppose she's right - when we read books, we DO become the main characters), although I've always been a bit like Tori. It was literally like Tori and I became one and the same, although I am still lacking my very own Michael Holden. Sob.

It was such an interesting look into life as a teenager, and I just wanted to hug Tori (which she would have hated, but I felt that nonetheless). She goes through a lot, and her brother's storyline was so awful. Solitaire is one of those special, honest, unflinching novels and I'm torn between wanting a sequel (the thought of never hearing from Tori again KILLS me) and not wanting a sequel (because I would want it to be HAPPY. Overwhelmingly happy, and Tori isn't there yet) But either way this is a special book, from a very special author. Alice Oseman knows what it's like to be a teen - she bloody is one!!!!! - and she writes about one beautifully, and sadly, it must be said. Tori and Michael are such unforgettable characters - they all are, to be fair, Oseman has written a great cast of characters (although I wanted to slap Tori's mother, she's awful). If you read one contemporary novel this year, make it this one. It's SO good, and you will not regret it in the slightest. I LOVED IT.

This review was originally posted on Girls Love To Read