Review: Solitaire – Alice Oseman

Release Date: July 31st 2014
Published By: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Pages: 400
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: 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: As Tori’s school comes under attack of internet pranksters (otherwise known as Solitaire) and the pranks start becoming more and more dangerous, Tori can no longer sit and watch life go by.

Tori is a very interesting character. She is socially awkward, and she feels most comfortable being herself via blogging. She hates reading, but yet she studies English Lit. She has friends, but doesn’t really seem to like them (with the exception of maybe one). And even though Michael Holden will not leave her alone, Tori is not interested in guys. She is opinionated, sarcastic and serious, abrupt and sassy. And she is the embodiment of cynicism – actually throughout the book the book you have to wonder if her cynicism is hiding something more. I loved her general honesty, and she has some interesting outlooks on particular things - I especially loved her views on Pride and Prejudice!

Tori doesn’t really like to look outside of herself, and the only time she seems to do this willingly is when it comes to her brother Charlie. As the book progresses you get to learn more about Charlie’s struggles, and Tori’s love for him shines through (even though at times it is blinded). But you also get glimpses of proof that Tori cares about more than she likes to admit, but yet, she cares less than she likes to admit as well. She is an extremely complicated character, and I found being in her head fascinating. Although at times I felt she was a little too quick to just go along with whatever she was told because she found it too much to deal with something or think about something herself, I still found her overall character interesting.

Michael is also a great character. He is also pretty much the exact opposite of Tori. Happy and carefree. Confident and persistent. Perceptive and entertaining. But things are not always as they seem – he is a rather complex character underneath his cheerful disposition.

But, this is not a love story! Although Tori and Michael clearly develop a bond, this is a story about Tori growing, learning about herself, and facing up to things that she has tried to deny for some time. I found the development of the friendship between Tori and Michael to be realistic, and I really enjoyed the complexity of their growing relationship, and of both of these characters.

The pop-culture references throughout this book will have you laughing out loud. You will get to enjoy conversations about sexual tension in Harry Potter, debates about fanfics, snarky comments about Twilight and the normality of Facebook stalking, And yes, this book does contain swearing.

Solitaire is an amazing contemporary - a raw and candid look at teenage life, friendships and struggles. Dark, emotional, confronting, emotional, funny and honest. Solitiare is a perfect portrayal of a teenager who finds it hard to face her own reality and of a girl who is finally finding herself.

Solitaire can be a deadly game. But can Tori work out which card will be played next, before it is too late?



“I don’t ever remember not being serious. As far as I am concerned, I came out of the womb sprouting cynicism and wishing for rain”

“Apparantly, no one believes that it is possible to have an original interest”

“Please keep your fantasies between yourself and your blog”

“But one day it’ll end. It always ends”


What do you think?

  • I need to read this book! It’s the first time I have heard about it but it sounds amazing! :D

  • After reading this review I ended up picking Solitaire up at the bookstore on the weekend :P

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