Read of the Week: ‘Solitaire’ by Alice Oseman

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The web is full of bloggers and vloggers alike, so it isn’t uncommon to see novels that center what happens when things in the virtual world go wrong.

Enter Solitaire, the newest – and most secretive – blog to pop up around local grammar schools, hell bent on taking over pep rallies and other equally lame school events. Somehow, Tori’s involved, and with the help of a new friend, she’s determined to figure out who’s behind the blog targeting her life and just what it is they have in store for her.

Solitaire stands out in the sense that it takes an online entity and makes it greater than just a virtual presence. We all have favorite food blogs and fashion gurus, but what happens when the content is malicious and there’s a mask over the face providing the information? I really love the way that Solitaire showcases how blindly some people will follow what they read on the web, even if they don’t know much about it, just because it’s interesting and entertaining and mysterious. So much can be said about this topic, especially when it comes to trusting someone behind the keyboard when we aren’t completely sure what all of what they’re capable of. This novel took that concept and brought it to new heights. Basically, It’s a lot like Heathers if it had been done in the twenty-first century. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but I swear there’s parallels there. Seriously, look into it.

I found the romance developmental but unexpected, and would have liked a bit more of it, myself. I enjoyed the fact that romance didn’t exactly bud but hit as a sudden realization after so much time spent focusing on friendship and friendship alone. Despite the insistence of it not being a love story, I’d like to object, because it isn’t just a romantic love story, but one of family and relationships with people in general. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be a trick, but anyone who works that hard to convince me that there isn’t going to be romance is obviously hiding something, and in this case, I was right. Ha!

Recently, I discovered that Oseman wrote the novel at the age of seventeen, and I find that incredible. I’ve heard so much trash-talking about young writers in book stores by readers, and even, established authors. I won’t go into detail, but anyone doubting themselves should pick up Solitaire and re-evaluate. This is a hands down phenomenal read and it was done by someone in their teens. Do you know what that means? Anyone is capable of being a great writer, despite age, and even more so, Alice Oseman has shown such promise. I admired this book so much, and to think that her craft is only going to grow further more has me ecstatic to see what she has planned next.

Fans of mysteries and madness will love all the chaos that unfolds in Oseman’s debut novel.

Rating: 9/10

Steph is 20 years old, born and raised in Miami, Florida. An avid reader and aspiring author, she oftentimes wishes she were a fictional character. The rest of her free time is divided between watching bad foreign films and partaking in Disney trivia. She can be contacted via Twitter (@Stephest21) or email : StephanieTYF@yahoo.com