Series: Solitaire #1
Author: Alice Osman
Publisher: Harper Collins Childrens
Publication Date: July 2014
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
REVIEW BY EVIE – YEAR 9
Solitaire is all about teenager Victoria ‘Tori’ Spring. She has just been through drama at home with her brother Charlie and then solitaire appears. Nobody knows who they are and why they are there and nobody cares, nobody except Michael Holden. Tori doesn’t want anything to do with Michael Holden or solitaire.
Tori is and average teenager who prefers to observe the conversation rather than contribute.
Through out the plot we see her change she starts caring more and more about certain things but she doesn’t know what to do as she has never really cared before apart from with Charlie. Tori is very relatable in different ways throughout solitaire as we all have split personalities sometimes and when things happen to us and the people around us we also don’t know how to act sometimes.
My favourite part of the storyline was when Tori has had enough and she cannot contain her emotions anymore as she has bottled everything up for so long so when she starts shouting she just can’t stop. Solitaire has grown out of control and then they get personal. Also she feels betrayed by someone very close to her, this was the spark that caused her explosion. I like this scene because Tori finally shows her emotions and the metaphorical explosion shows us how much she cares about her brother and that she does care and is not just an antisocial blogger who prefers to stay locked in her room all day.
My favourite character is Michael Holden. I like Michael Holden because everyone has their labels for different people and everyone thinks one thing about Michael, no one likes him just because he’s different, he’s not like the teenagers in solitaire or in real life. I feel like the stereotype of adolescents now has become much more vain and everyone feels like they have to be ‘cool’ but Michael is completely the opposite. He is quirky and proud of it, and that’s why I like him, he’s not afraid to stand out in the crowd.
I really liked the point of view. Solitaire was written from Tori’s point of view. We would only find out things when the main character did, to me this made her more relatable as we only know as much as she does. The point of view also keeps you guessing and you never truly know what’s going to happen next with solitaire. Solitaire made you really feel something while reading it. This is because the point of view made the reader feeling like they could connect with Tori Spring very well, when she felt angered or mad, you felt annoyed or angry. When Tori became sad, you felt sympathy for her. I felt very empathetic towards Tori as I was reading Solitaire, right until the last few pages. Then everything is resolved and Tori’s life continues as it did before Solitaire, with just one change. For Tori, quite a big change.
Solitaire plays with your emotions. In the beginning of the book I didn’t feel connected with any of the characters so I didn’t empathies with any of them. However when I read on I felt strong emotions during the book. At certain points in the storyline I felt frustrated with the characters choices and in the end I wanted the cliché happy ending for the characters.
The ending was Solitaire’s let down. I found that certain elements of the ending were predictable. Some from the beginning of the plot, others I guessed closer to the end. I guessed some from stereotypical relationships in books. However the plot including Lucas Ryan I figured out because the author gives you a few hints towards the middle and the end and I used them to figure out more about Lucas Ryan. However his motives were a surprise to me. Even though parts of the ending were predictable it wasn’t an anticlimax, it builds and builds
I would definitely read another book by this author again. As Alice Oseman was 19 when she wrote the book she truly understands and remembers what it’s like to be a teenager and her book can be very relatable for teenagers. For me this made me want to read on and I really enjoyed learning more and more about Tori’s life and how she ‘copes’ with being a teenager.