Today’s topic is Solitaire by Alice Oseman. For those who were with me this weekend, this reveiw is the excuse for my behaviour. Thoroughly enjoyable! By the way: This author seems awesome .
This book was interesting. At first I wasn’t sure, but once I started, I couldn’t stop. Solitaire is about Tori Spring, who is an extreme introvert and pretty much keeps to herself. But a website pulling pranks at her school- all mysteriously connected to her- and a boy called Michael Holden with his own demons, force her to come out of her shell. The character development in this book was excellent, the plot was skillfully written while also being realistic.
Tori goes to school. She hates reading and stays up late watching movies. Her brother who is anorexic/ OCD, though really friendly and awesome apart from that. For a long time Tori has just had one friend, who she doesn’t even know that well. She is the first person to find the Solitaire blog, along with Michael. As everything gets more and more serious, Tori realises that she has to stop hiding inside her blog and reach out to others if she wants to change things.
The character development in this book is amazing. We meet Tori, who “came out of the womb spouting pessimism and wishing for rain” She sees all that is going on, but is just an observer. Participating in life is almost too hard for her. She hangs out with “Our Lot”, none of whom she really likes. Meeting Lucas, her best friend from primary, makes her realise that she has no life. As Solitaire takes over her life, and her brother has a relapse, and she can’t talk to anyone, and her brother gets beaten up for being gay by her best friends not-quite-exactly-boyfriend, she understands how trapped she is. She starts to lash out, especially at her “friend” Becky and Michael. She realises that no-one is doing anything. But she is no longer sure of how to do stuff herself. As all about Solitaire is revealed, she has to do something. So she does.
I loved how this book built up. Seeing Tori’s different reactions to people- so awkward and funny and sad- made me empathize with her. She is os lost, and I can identify with that. Also I agree with her stance on the internet- wonderful until it is boring. Tori’s reactions to the different people in her life define them, and her, and seeing how she is wary of Michael, and then becomes his friend is expertly portrayed. I love how Alice understands Tori’s need to hide, then slowly presents her with different situation that make her go further and further from her comfort zone.
This book is not a love story.
It is, however, a story about relationships. The way that Lucas and Tori’s relationship has warped is honestly shown. THe way that Beck and Victoria slowly stopped being friends is very well portrayed as well. But best of all is Michel and Tori. Tori sees Michael’s speed skating skill and craziness and friendliness to her as perfect. She is unable to understand how he can care so little about other people’s opinions. Michael sees Toris quietness and proneness to uncontrollable fits of laughter- at least when he’s around-as very appealing. Seeing how well they work together is just so real. This author is definitely a teenager because she understands us so well. Tori and Michael… they don’t complete each other, but they each contribute something to each other and become better people. The fact that they don’t realise their value to each other until the end is so true.
I’ve kind of already described the plot. But it was excellent to. It was very smoothly written, and their were hardly any glitches. The level of suspense was excellent. The only complaint that I really have with this book is sometimes the dialogue was awkward. I also wish that Tori was given a little more backstory. Apart from that, I loved this book. I reccommend it for people who like engaging, suspenseful contemporary novels, those who are introverts, and anyone who liked Rainbow Rowells’ Fangirl, Gayle Forman, or Maureen Johnson.
A review copy of this book was provided by Pt. Chev Books. Thank you :).