Friday, 10 October 2014

Review - 'Solitaire' by Alice Oseman

Harper Collins

Synopsis (from Amazon) - 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.

My Review - First, can I preface this review by saying that never would I have expected this from a nineteen year old!

I really enjoyed Oseman’s writing style, witty, sophisticated and relatable. Not only that but her writing was genuinely funny in places. I really enjoyed the plethora of cultural references, I mean the book opens with a genuine debate about the relationship between Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy! What more do you need to know?

The characters in this book were also rather enjoyable to read about as well. I especially liked the way that the secondary characters were very well fleshed out, they were not they simply to accompany the protagonist, but actually served the plot and were well rounded, interesting characters. I really like reading about Michael and Lucas and Tori’s brother, and Becky was also a great character. I enjoyed reading about the characters interactions, especially Tori's and Michael's. I really liked their relationship, it was fun to read about, and I thought it was realistic and well written.

I will admit that I found Tori rather hard to like at times,I certainly couldn’t relate to her, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. She may have been unlikeable but I think that was the point, a main character doesn’t always have to be someone you like or relate to, as long as they are interesting and we can see them progress throughout the novel. Tori certainlyt fulfils this. I thought that she was such an great character to read about. Never have I read a book where the main character suffers with depression and social anxiety, and Oseman tackles the subject so well, so tactfully and with such understanding. Having known people who suffer with these conditions, it was plain to me that Oseman had really thought about what she was writing about, and she did it with such skill.

One of the main things I liked about the books is the representation of the LGBT community. A fairly prominent character, Tori’s brother, Charlie, is in a same sex relationship and I thought it was amazing. I just love the way Oseman dealt with the subject, so effortlessly and sensitively, and worked it into the story seemlessly.

So overall, I would utterly recommend this book to anyone, it’s such a fascinating and enjoyable read.

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