April 10, 2015

REVIEW: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Solitaire by Alice Oseman
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: March 30, 2015
Source: Edelweiss*
Rating: 4/5
Get it: Amazon | B&N
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.

My thoughts, feelings, and reactions
To be quite honest, while I was reading Solitaire, I wasn’t exactly sure what in god’s name the book was really about and what the freaking point was until near the end. But I enjoyed the mysteriousness of what Solitaire was, how it was true to the tagline of not being a love story and how the writing felt like one flow of conversational thoughts that just clicked and worked for the main character. 

Meet a non optimistic, bored, teenaged girl in her Year 12 named Victoria Spring or Tori for short. I thought I wouldn’t like this girl, but the more she showed who she was, I sort of kind of fell for her. She had little quirks about herself that made her interesting such as her not liking people, how she really could care less about certain things, how she was awkward, how she hated the invention of the phone, but loves to blog. Tori was comically cynical and perpetually sarcastic, and her slightly pessimistic demeanor about school and her life in general was refreshing. She was snarky at her best and sleepy at her worst and I liked her for being so brutally honest and opinionated despite the fact that she hated reading books and Disney moves and  had an uncanny ability to have a negative comment about anything and everything. But she was entertaining, yet relatable because she struggled with school, starting conversations with people and making friends. She just felt like a genuine, authentic teenager you could meet these days. 

To counter the pessimistic attitude from Tori, there was Michael. He was the opposite of Tori in a lot of ways, but at the same time he also thought like her too. He just didn’t show it or voice it as much as she did on the outside. Michael was eccentric and loud at best and wacky and weird at his worst, which wasn’t really all that bad if you ask me. He would pop up at the most randomest of times and wouldn’t fail to find Tori and kind of make you laugh and put a smile on your face. There was just something about his oddness and his energetic nature that was hard to ignore. 

The only way to really find out about Solitaire is to just read, experience it, and take it all in. This goes for what Solitaire actually is in the book and the whole book itself. I felt this book was more about Tori and how she saw her life and other things and people and how she felt. There was no rhyme or reason to her thoughts or actions. Her inner thoughts and verbal monologues were super entertaining and full of sarcasm. With the mysteriousness of Solitaire this allowed the pacing and plot of the book to propel forward. There were also little side plot lines that took hold of my attention and I’m sure will do the same to other readers. There was definitely something edgy and realistic about the nature of Solitaire as a book and this definitely had to do with some of the topics of suicide, depression, etc. that got explored here. Like I said, the book’s tagline is true to its word, however, the lightness of Tori and Michael’s friendship really was adorable and quite hilarious so I don’t think the lack of a love story hinders it.

What really stood out with Solitaire is how authentic it is in teenage voice and mind. Nothing is sugar coated and Tori’s blunt responses and thoughts are sometimes uncalled for but they give a refreshing point of view. Solitaire is definitely a different book that many will have various thoughts and feelings on, but I for one really enjoyed it and had a good time reading it.

*Thanks HarperTeen for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

1 comment:

  1. after several reviews I STILL don't know what this book is about! it sounds very vague but i am still intrigued.. glad the main protagonist was still likable even though she hated everything

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf


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