Solitaire by Alice Oseman


*All reviews I write are spoiler free*

I won this book in a giveaway from MaximumPopBooks on twitter, which I’m very grateful for!

I’ve recently been in a contemporary mood, which is strange for me since I normally hate contemporary, so having this book around was quite handy.

Let’s talk about Solitaire!


Title: Solitaire

Author: Alice Oseman

Publisher: Harper Collins

Series Status: Standalone, but has two short stories/novellas

Number of Pages: 392


(From back cover, see slightly different version on Goodreads)

“I don’t ever remember not being serious. As far as I’m concerned, I came out of the womb spouting cynicism and wishing for rain.”

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year 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 wouldn’t say I had high hopes going into this book, since I’m not one for contemporary novels. I was a bit wary of it, but dove in anyway.

All I remember thinking when I started the book was how much it made me cringe. To be fair, quite a lot about contemporary books makes me cringe, but just…ugh. It was so stereotypical, with most teenagers having blogs (tumblr), reading fanfiction and saying corny phrases. If I gained £1 for every time the phrase “it’s funny because it’s true” was used, I’d be able to buy a few more books to add to my collection. I felt like I just rolled my eyes constantly throughout the first hundred pages or so. As a teenager myself, I can say hardly any of the stereotypical stuff that happened in this book has actually happened in my life. Sure, that might be because I’ nothing like any of the characters in this book, but I think it’s more to do with the fact that the “stereotypical” stuff only happens to a select few.

I did find it becoming less cringe-y the further I got into the book. I felt like it was replaced by this “mystery”, and Tori just trying to amble through life without caring for anything. I did find myself getting caught up in the story, because lots of problems were hinted at and I wanted to know more. I wanted to know what was wrong, what caused all this. It proved to be a quick read, with Tori’s voice and way of telling the story being quite straightforward.

I’ve seen a lot of people claiming this book is “honest” and “real”. I don’t necessarily think it is. To me, it just seemed like quite a sad look on teenage life. Yes, of course some of the stereotypical elements can be relatable, but really this book seemed a bit dull, and left me feeling down when I finished it. I mean, the book does deal with mental health, so that might have been the point, but I didn’t feel like I understood any more than before.

This is a book that seems to have a “moral of the story”. The sort where really meaningful scenes happen, and people come to realize that friendship and happiness is more important than education. Granted, the ending did surprise me slightly, but I didn’t really feel any emotion towards it. I was more bothered by the fact that I still have unanswered questions.

It wasn’t a bad book. I was quite interested through the middle and end. I’m just glad that it was a quick read, because I feel like more things bothered me than not.

Rated 2.5/5 stars

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This book does seem to be a love/hate type situation when it comes to reviews, so if the book does intrigue you, still give it a go!

[Order from Amazon]


Share your thoughts!

Have you read this book?

What did you think?

Is it on your TBR?

Maybe you plan on reading Alice Oseman’s newest book Radio Silence?

Let me know!



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7 thoughts on “Solitaire by Alice Oseman

  1. I definitely know what you mean with this book… I was expecting a lot more. Solitaire was actually the first book I ever reviewed, and I reviewed it really over-enthusiastically because I was too scared to give my honest opinion haha. There were aspects I related to (I am a massive introvert, and Tori reminded me a lot of me when I was 17, except that I was a lot less snarky than she is…), but I totally agree with you on all the stereotypical stuff… it’s weird though, because Alice Oseman was actually a teenager when she wrote the book, so you’d think that aspect of it would seem really authentic (but it really doesn’t!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, that’s what I was thinking! I heard that she was 18 when she went to the publisher with this, so I thought it’d be really relatable…but just…no. And I don’t understand how. Maybe she did go to a school that had the stereotypical tropes, or maybe she just didn’t know how to fill in the gaps. Either way it surprised me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess every school has its stereotypes, but not to that extent… people are more complex than that. I’m sort of curious to see whether her new book falls into the same trap, but I don’t really want to buy it and be disappointed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I won this in the Maximum Pop giveaway as well! I did like this book, but not every part. I can definitely relate with Tori with the ‘hating everyone’ and ‘feeling everyone is fake’ bit. However, I thought she was way too mean. Michael Holden was definitely my favourite because he was just so brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

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