Author: Alice Oseman
Pages: 390 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: July 2014
Rating: 4 Stars
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
After bingeing the Heartstopper show, I had to buy all of Alice Oseman’s books! I read the Heartstopper novels and then started with Solitaire!
Solitaire follows Tori Spring, Charlie’s sister. It Oseman’s debut novel and it shows glimpses into Charlie and Nick’s relationships, however, they are not in the forefront of this novel. I loved getting to see more of Tori and having a deeper understanding of her character. Tori is not a happy character, having undiagnosed depression, and suffering from anxiety. She frequently makes self-depricating jokes and doesn’t have many close friends. Tori is in sixth form at the girls school, which also accepts boys so the events of this story force her out of her comfort zone a bit more.
‘One person can change everything. And you have changed everything for me.’
When she discovers a trail of post-it notes leading to an empty classroom, she stumbles across Solitaire. A few minutes later, someone else arrives, Michael Holden, who was also curious about the post-it note trail. Tori and Michael end up trying to find out what Solitaire is, who they are, and why they are doing it. Michael acts in an almost opposite manner to Tori, but he also has some undealt with issues that are revealed in the novel.
‘Tori Spring, I have been looking for you forever.’
This book has a slight romantic undercurrent, but that is in no way the main focus. Solitaire deals with a lot of triggering issues, such as self-harm and eating-disorders. It is definitely not a light-hearted read. There are themes of family and friendships throughout, and I adored the dynamic between the Spring siblings.
I definitely recommend this one, but do check trigger warnings beforehand.