Friday, June 12, 2015

Review: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Solitaire by Alice Oseman
Release Date: July 31, 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Mature Young Adult Contemporary

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 was super excited to get this book.  It had been on my list for so long, and I just knew I was going to love it.  And let me just stop there and interject that not everyone is going to like this book.  It's very different and quirky, at least to me, which isn't always a bad thing, of course, but a lot of people are not going to enjoy this type of story.  I have to admit myself that the book didn't live up to my expectations.

I had a really hard time liking the characters or being interested in the plot itself.  That's sort of a first for me.  Usually I don't have as many problems with plot as I might other things, but then again, if I had trouble with plot AND characters, that would tend to make reading a book difficult for me.  Most of them were complex and pretty well drawn.  It's not that the characters weren't likeable, exactly, except there were times that I just didn't like them. Yeah, I'm contradicting myself.  It's just so hard to articulate what didn't work for me.

There were times that I loved Tori very much.  Her narrative was snarky and sarcastic, which is something that I did like about the story, and what stands out for me.  Yet, it wasn't enough to carry the book for me.

It took me a long time to get into the story at all, a hard time following the pacing, and then the reveal was rather anti-climactic for me, which didn't help matters any.  The things that kept me reading were Tori's sarcastic narrative, my sympathy for her in not letting others know her, the themes to the story, and the authenticity of teenage life.  The author did an amazing job conveying that.

So not a total loss for me.  I just didn't like it as much as I anticipated that I would.

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