Series: Solitaire #1
Author: Alice Oseman
Genre/Themes/Content Warnings: Contemporary Young Adult, Mental Health, Disordered Eating, Self Harm, Suicidal Ideation
Blurb from Goodreads
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 book has such inflated notions of itself but the execution is abysmal.
The MC Tori is supposed to be this sad and chronically depressed person that as a reader we are supposed to empathise with… But instead she’s just a judgmental jerk! Honestly there’s a difference between writing legitimate anxiety and depression versus general teenage malaise at life…
And sadly this book got both things wrong. *smh Solitaire*
Look I get what the aims were, but Oseman did not craft her MC well enough to actually truly convey the nuance of depression and of being introverted. The idea was great… Execution poor.
And for the tag line to say this is not a love story… ONLY FOR IT TO BE A LOVE STORY!!!
I cry laughing.
Like get over yourself already book. There’s nothing wrong with writing about love. Stop trying to shame the greatest of human emotions.
I’ve just discovered that Solitaire was written by Alice Oseman when she was a young teenager and it makes perfect sense. Because this feels so juvenile which is both sad and annoying because think of freaking Frankenstein written by an adolescent Mary Shelley and how deliciously layered that book is.
This immature drivel-fest just reinforces negative teenage stereotypes and my inner fifteen year old is not happy with that.
TEENAGERS ARE BETTER THAN THIS RIDICULOUS BOOK!!!!
Anyway there’s so much in this that irked me…
The unexplained hostility for Tori’s parents for one. Omg there’s this scene where Tori basically concludes that her mother loathes Tori with every fibre of her being because…
Wait for it…
HER MOTHER REFUSES TO IRON HER SCHOOL UNIFORM…
I mean right??? Terrible mothering definitely… Like social services need to get on that for sure…..
OMG TORI YOU ARE 17 YEARS OLD SO YOU CAN IRON YOUR OWN GOD DAMNED CLOTHES YOU USELESS ENTITLED MUPPET!!! I mean your poor mother has enough to be dealing with that she can’t suddenly just drop everything to iron your school skirt.
Gosh there were so many eye roll moments in this.
Wtf was that handling of her brother’s eating disorder and self harming storyline??? First up this book needs MASSIVE content and trigger warnings for both. Plus suicidal ideation. When will books come with content warnings as standard?????
But yes, the actual handling of all these topics was so sub-par. It felt quite sensationalist to me rather than carefully exploring these mental health issues.
This book was just too chock full of bland characters with *problems*. If perhaps Oseman had picked one of these mental health issues and properly researched and explained it then this book could very much have been a truly interesting exploration into teenage depression.
Also lol at the book trying to compare itself to The Catcher in the Rye in the closing stages… Solitaire freaking wishes it had the quality of prose, the delicate pacing of the narrative and the true authentic nature of Holden from Catcher.
I really didn’t like this book at all.
- The prose felt awkward.
- The characters barely more than pastiches.
- The mysterious identity of Solitaire laughably obvious.
- And the climax just plain ridiculous.
I borrowed this from the library but I own both Radio Silence and I Was Born For This that are also written by Alice Oseman.
In addition I currently have the first volume of Heartstopper also out on library loan… I pray that her writing has improved or else I’ve made massive errors in thinking that she’s a writer I could get on board with.