Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: Solitaire by Alice Oseman


Solitaire by Alice OsemanSolitaire
by Alice Oseman
March 30, 2015
368 pages

Goodreads Summary:
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.



Review

Right off the bat I want to say that Solitaire is not a happy book. It's not a book everyone would like. Me? I enjoyed it very much. Tossing aside the mellow reveal and quick ending, the honest down-to-earth narration was my favourite part. The sarcastic but fun mentions about pop culture also added to my enjoyment.

The story starts off when Tori finds a sticky about a website called Solitaire and meets an odd guy named Michael. These two things splash her usually depressing existence with colours. The mysterious Solitaire starts pulling pranks on the school and Michael becomes engrossed in searching for the mastermind behind the site. He drags Tori into his investigation and eventually it all pays off when he discovers the possibility that Solitaire may be connected to her. That definitely peaked my interest.

It took me a little time to get into the story but Tori fascinated me the minute I started. I found her boring yet interesting. She's so cynical and personally I loved it. Her honesty made me cringe but I also found myself nodding in agreement a lot of the times. She's conscious about everything around her but generally maintains a nonchalant attitude towards it all. It's a big part of why she finds it hard to fit in anywhere. "This is why you never let your feelings control your behaviour." (p.316).  She doesn't do anything that's illogical and I can totally relate. However, as Solitaire's pranks got worse and people started to get hurt, she comes to realize something important. That even though she's not the one physically hurting people, by not acting, she's essentially an accomplice. Gone was the pessimist replaced by a determined believer.

Michael Holden. I love that boy. Don't ask me why though because I couldn't really give you a reason. Just know that he's so much more than his awkward surface. I love the gradual change in Tori's attitude towards him! It felt natural and wasn't overly dramatic as some relationships tend to get."...I knew, deep down, that he was the best person you could possibly hope to be - so perfect that he was unreal. And it made me sort of hate him. However, rather than slowly learning more and more good things about him, I have come across flaw after flaw after flaw. And you know what? That's what makes me like him now. That's why he is a real perfect person. Because he is a real person." (p. 346). I appreciated every single word and I'm so glad Michael was able to show Tori that!

Becky, Lucas and Charlie all surprised me. They were all more layered than I originally gave them credit for. Becky and Lucas demonstrated the before and after of friendship with Tori. The sibling love between Tori and Charlie earned extra points for me. Her brother is sick but she doesn't treat him any differently. Their mom, on the other hand, I was not a fan of. From the little interactions they had, I can understand why Tori views everything so negatively. I could not fathom her mom's attitude towards her at all and it was sad.....

If you want a book that gets you thinking about what really matters, try Solitaire. Its realistic approach will leave an impression on you!

4 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way. All quotes were taken from the Advance Reading Copy I received.

14 comments:

  1. Ooh this sounds quite interesting! I'll check if they have this at my library. Fantastic review! <3

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    1. Thanks! I'd love to hear what you think!

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  2. I love a good darker, thoughtful read every now and then. Glad you liked this one so much.

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    1. It was definitely dark but surprisingly good!

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  3. I'm not sure if this book would be for me, but I'm really glad to hear that you enjoyed it, Eileen!!

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    1. Thanks Pili~ It might surprise you :D

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  4. Unfortunately, I don't have time to read this one... I'm giving away my copy, hopefully someone will enjoy it! Harper sent it unsolicited, so I don't feel too bad. I'm pleased to see that you liked this book, Eileen! Fabulous review :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I hope whoever gets it will love it as much as I did :D

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  5. See, I read Solitaire last year and it really disappointed me. I loved the way that Tor was so sarcastic and grumpy and angsty (what teenager isn't?) But I didn't GET the whole solitaire club thingy. It didn't work for me, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!
    Beth x

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    1. Tori was definitely my favourite thing about the book! I agree with you. Solitaire wasn't really a focus on the story. It sort of was just there for Tori's character growth. I didn't mind it that much but sorry to hear you didn't like it :(

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  6. Oooooh sounds right up my alley! You've made me even more excited for its release 😃

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    1. I hope you'll love it! Do let me know :D

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  7. Hmm... This sounds interesting. I'm really curious about what Solitaire is. And I always appreciate a dark and cynical book if well written.

    Cayt @ Vicarious Caytastrophe

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    1. Definitely give this a try. I hope enjoy it if you do try it :)

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