Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Year Published: 2014
My Rating: ★★★★★
Brief Summary: Teenager Tori Spring has always felt somewhat outside of her friends. She likes to blog and she likes to sleep. One day, two things appear in her life that change all of that. The first is Solitaire, and the second is Michael Holden. The cover does not lie; this is not a love story. Tori faces battles at home, at school, with her friends, with Michael Holden, and most importantly, with herself. Solitaire is a coming of age novel that explores the type of teenage years that many teens today experience; something that people who are older may not understand.
Review: I really enjoyed Alice Oseman’s writing in this novel. It was simple and to the point. I really felt as though I was inside Tori’s head the whole time. I had a very clear understanding of who she was as a person: cynical and pessimistic, yet not entirely helpless in either of these areas. The plot also came from someone that was near the age group of the main characters in the novel, which made it more credible. Often adults are writing novels about teenagers and thus cannot be 100% accurate about how teenagers act today, but because of Oseman’s young age, the writing and the story was absolutely believable.
The characters were fantastic as well. Each of the main characters—Tori, Michael, Becky, and Charlie—were deeply developed. We learned each person had their own fatal flaw and we observed those flaws through Tori’s eyes, and along the way, Tori began to see her own by means of observing others. She was very self-aware of her personality. As the novel progressed you could see her deteriorate mentally, and in the end, the beginning of her revival. How she came to that endpoint, I will not go into, but the book is definitely worth the read to find out how this develops between Tori and her friends.