Solitaire Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The acclaimed debut novel from Alice Oseman, the author of the 2021 YA Book Prize winning Loveless. Solitaire features the characters that inspired the beloved webcomic and graphic novel series Heartstopper – now a major Netflix series.
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 incredible debut novel by outstanding young author Alice Oseman is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and all unflinchingly honest writers.
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|Listening Length||7 hours and 15 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.co.uk Release Date||31 July 2014|
|Publisher||HarperCollins Publishers Limited|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 1,997 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
2 in Fiction on Loners & Outcasts for Teens
3 in LGBTQ+ Literature & Fiction for Teens
3 in Coming of Age Fiction for Teens
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 May 2022
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“I hate the phone. It’s the worst invention in the history of the world because, if you don’t talk, nothing happens. You can’t get by with simply listening and nodding your head in all the right places. You have to talk. You have no option.”
Tori is a very relatable character, not just for me, but for anyone who is or has been a teenager. Especially if you have ever felt like an outsider. She is a blogger and introvert which is something a lot of readers can relate too. However if this isn’t you, there is Michael who (outwardly, and at first) seems so cheery and positive. He was a wonderful character and friend. I really liked his personality. He grows throughout the book and we learn so much more about him and how he keeps a lot inside, which is a lot of peoples coping mechanism. Also, he could well have been bi or ace or any sexuality at all but he refuses to label his sexuality as he doesn’t see why he has to and that’s a really interesting choice.
There is wonderful rep in this book, not many labels are used so I can’t specify with confidence, however I’m pretty sure I spotted depression, anxiety and definitely homosexuality. Specifically, Tori’s brother has really struggled with his mental health and we watch as Tori herself slowly realises she might be struggling too. We see how her mental health effects her relationships with everyone and how they cannot possibly know what is going on inside her head. She tells everyone she’s fine because that is what is expected from her. Tori’s relationship with her parents played a minimal role in the book and I would have found it interesting to explore that more and see how it affected Tori’s mental health.
Whilst I generally enjoy plot driven books and find less enjoyment in the character development, with Solitaire, I was all in for the characters and only mildly interested in the actual plot. I wanted to know who was behind Solitaire, however, I felt the “pranks” they were pulling off were unrealistic which took me out of it slightly. They were dramatic and added an element of mystery to the book, but I feel like the real meat of the story had nothing to do with Solitaire.
Overall, I think this was a wonderful read with something for everyone that tackled a bunch of really tough topics really well.
I loved Tori's relationship with Charlie. They love each other so much but they're both really struggling. You can't always help someone else when you don't know how to deal with yourself, and that's a difficult thing to learn. Tori sees some signs Charlie isn't ok (and he sees them in her) but doesn't want to believe he isn't ok. It's heart breaking but also realistic.
I think its also important that this book showed that recovery isn't linear, you can still have bad periods while in therapy (as Charlie is) and it doesn't mean that you've failed. You're still worthy and loveable. I saw a parts of my teen self in both Tori and Charlie, and also in their school lives.
For me this book has such a focus on the characters, and so, I can definitely see why people wouldn't like it, because Tori would be hard to connect to if you didn't understand why she is the way she is. But for me, this book really made me cry and my teenage self would really have appreciated this book, and the lessons in it. Sometimes you just need to reach out to someone. They won't fix you, but they can try and help you fix yourself. Also sometimes it's easier to make yourself do something for another person. Again, not the best/healthiest coping mechanism, but I have done it a LOT in my life, and I finally realised I should be doing it for me, it just took a while.
Solitaire were really a secondary plot point for me, as I figured out who it was and why they were doing it early on but that didn't make it less interesting. It was intriguing watching Tori's experience of the pranks, seeing her learn how to feel something, and care about what was happening around her
There was a lot of development in her character done through parallels to Solitaire's actions so I enjoyed reading about them.
I had a very personal reading of this book, and so a lot of moments hit me quite hard. There's suicidal thoughts/feelings/actions, self harm, an eating disorder and bullying. They were hard to read about, and I cried multiple times reading this book. It wasn't an easy read and I can understand why Solitaire might not work for other people, but this felt personal and important to me. I'm not saying it 5 Stars because I didn't agree with everything in the book, and Tori was judgemental and sometimes awful - I know it's her character but still! But I really loved this book, and I have read it during a difficult patch, and connected to it on so many levels. I'm looking forward to reading more of Oseman's work, as this and Heartstopper have been a definitely hit for me!
By Paul Holbrook on 7 May 2022
OTHER THAN THAT READ THE BOOK ITS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING <3
By Jasmine on 8 May 2022
OTHER THAN THAT READ THE BOOK ITS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING <3
By Julia D. on 2 May 2022