Review: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Solitaire

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.
I am a firm believer that in order to write a big, meaningful, deep book they must have experienced things in life. It's not enough to be young and have your world view built by the literature you have read, no matter how 'unique' and well read you are. For this reason, I was not surprised in the least when I found out that Oseman wrote this book when she was seventeen years old. It had all of the potential to be a great, deep, thought provoking read, instead it fell flat for me. I felt like the characters were unlikeable and not real to life, I particularly disliked Tori, I get her - I was a mopey teenage girl too - but all her issues just made it seem like Oseman was trying too hard to make her different. I can't help but feel like Tori isn't a 'flawed but likeable character', she's just bitter, messed up and unredeemable in my eyes. She was just a haughty, pessimistic bitch... I just really hated her, and I don't feel that way about main characters in books.

And to be honest, there are a lot of authors out there writing problem books with mopey teenage girls that actually are likeable that I feel like Solitaire falls short. I can't help but think of My Heart and Other Black Holes - Aysel was a mopey teenage girl I can get behind. Tori is not.

I feel like this book was mostly made up of Alice Oseman trying to push her pop culture references on us, but it isn't even in a fun way. I just felt like the hipster and tumblr and Harry Potter and Catcher of the Rye and... No. I just feel as though Alice Oseman's own hipstery-ness was thrust upon us.

This book could have been fantastic, and it probably would have been if Oseman had written is five years later, but I feel like the characters and the convoluted plot is the result of Oseman's inexperience and lack of exposure to the world. I don't say that as a self righteous adult - I am only twenty one myself - but I wouldn't write a book because I feel that I wouldn't be able to do the real world justice. 

I did however really like Michael, he was a redeeming quality in this book. There was also some well written dialogue and witty, dry humor - Oseman is not in any way a bad author, but I think she bit off more than she could chew with a plot so involved and characters that are meant to be deep but don't deliver so well...

I'm not saying don't try teens, but with the exception of a few fantastic names in YA lit (Kody Keplinger, Sarah J Maas), it is really difficult to get the depth that an adult has in a book.

Overall Rating: D

Book released 30th March 2015 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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