Book Review: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

solitaire

“There doesn’t have to be a rainbow for it to be beautiful”

I’ve had this book sat patiently on my TBR shelf in my room – I bought it ages ago because I fell in love with the blurb. I mean a cynical teenage blogger, a mysterious group of prankers and the assurance that it ‘is not a love story’? I had to have it.  I finally read it though after however many months it’s been. And you know what? I wish I’d read it sooner.

Being thrown into the story right from the beginning there was rarely a dull moment; the plot was interesting and engaging. I loved some of the pranks pulled by Solitaire as they ranged from the childish to the stupidly dangerous. The fact that until the last chapters of the book the entire identity of the group is an utter mystery I thought was done so well. Even I didn’t guess that ending – and I watch Sherlock on repeat!

The levels of relatability (is that a word?) are beyond measure; with many of the characters perfect examples of the stereotypical people we all know as well as multiple references to some brilliant books, films and Tumblr pages.  Some of the themes and ideas that were predominant in the book could not have been explored in a better way. The use of language and the ordinary manner in which these themes were developed has such an impact on the reader.

 The story was definitely driven by characters and I think that worked so well. Initially I was a bit unsure on my feelings towards Tori, our protagonist  – I couldn’t believe that anybody could hate absolutely everything. However as the story went on and the characters were developed I began to understand her a bit better as well as some of the things she was going through. Basically I ended up just loving her, her strong opinions and her honesty that come across. Her contrast with Michael really made the story that little bit more special. He was so peculiar but in the best way, of all the characters he was definitely the one that intrigued me the most.

“But books–they’re different. When you watch a film, you’re sort of an outsider looking in. With a book–you’re right there. You are inside. You are the main character.”

It’s just such an honest and thought provoking story that will leave you questioning social issues of our age.  I definitely recommend it!

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