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Solitaire
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Solitaire
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From the critically acclaimed creator of the Heartstopper series comes a vivid, clever, and heartfelt portrayal of what it's like to be a teenager today. Alice Oseman's stunning debut novel...
From the critically acclaimed creator of the Heartstopper series comes a vivid, clever, and heartfelt portrayal of what it's like to be a teenager today. Alice Oseman's stunning debut novel...
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  • From the critically acclaimed creator of the Heartstopper series comes a vivid, clever, and heartfelt portrayal of what it's like to be a teenager today. Alice Oseman's stunning debut novel Solitaire—which the Times (London) called "The Catcher in the Rye for the digital age"—is perfect for fans of Melina Marchetta, Stephen Chbosky, and Rainbow Rowell.

    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 exams 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 is trying to do, and I don't care about Michael Holden. I really don't.

About the Author-

  • Alice Oseman was born in 1994 in Kent, England. She completed a degree in English at Durham University in 2016 and is currently a full-time writer and illustrator. Alice can usually be found staring aimlessly at computer screens, questioning the meaninglessness of existence, or doing anything and everything to avoid getting an office job. Find out more about Alice and her books at www.aliceoseman.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 19, 2015
    Sixteen-year-old Tori Spring likes her brothers, her best friend, and that’s about it. According to Tori, her fellow teenagers are mostly “soulless, conformist idiots,” and adults aren’t much better. But when the new term starts, Tori meets Michael Holden, an oddball she finds oddly interesting, and Lucas Ryan, a long-lost childhood best friend (in Year 12, boys can transfer in to Tori’s British all-girls school). She also hears about a website called Solitaire, which traffics in small-scale pranks that escalate into danger. Tori is clearly depressed (her younger brother has an eating disorder and has survived a suicide attempt that Tori feels guilty about), but debut author Oseman wants her crankiness, disdain, and confusion to be charming, which isn’t always the case. While the book’s climax, when Solitaire’s leaders are unmasked and relationships are cemented or mended, is chaotic and predictable, Oseman proves herself a clever, witty writer, and she effectively shows how angry or sad “nice” teens can be, as well as how the internet has infiltrated pretty much every aspect of life. Her sophomore effort will be worth watching for. Ages 13–up.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-Sixteen-year-old Victoria "Tori" Spring is the personification of angst, slowly slipping, day by day, into the depths of despair. On a good day, she can convince herself she feels nothing. Her best friend has become preoccupied with boys; her brother, Charlie, is recovering from an episode of mental illness and attempted suicide; a former childhood friend has suddenly resurfaced with expectations that she can't fulfill; and her mother cannot tear herself away from the computer long enough to notice Tori's decline. Then, there's Michael Holden, the crazy new student who refuses to let Tori alienate herself from him the way she is doing with everyone else. He forces himself into her life at the same time as a bizarre prank is unleashed to instigate rebellion among the students at Higgs. Solitaire.co.uk delivers messages via blog posts and by commandeering the schools' computers and PA system, touting a rallying cry of "Patience Kills." Strangely, all of its enigmatic messages seem to bear some resemblance to episodes in Tori's past. When the pranks begin to turn dangerous, Tori convinces herself that she's the only one who can put a stop to it. Told in the first person, Tori's wry voice and dark humor provide a counterpoint to her descent into depression. Nineteen-year-old author, Oseman, opens a frightening window onto life as a teen in today's world, summed up by Tori's sardonic remark, "It's funny because it's true." A fascinating debut from an author to watch.-Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    January 15, 2015
    This debut novel evokes a classic to present a girl searching for something true.Tori Spring is a disaffected teenager: She can almost never finish a film in one sitting, she's smart but can't care about school anymore, and she dislikes her friends but is unwilling to forgo their company. About the only thing she cares about is her brother Charlie, who's recovering from an eating disorder. When a mysterious blog called Solitaire starts triggering pranks at her school, Tori isn't too interested, even if strange new boy Michael Holden tries to make her be. Tori's too trapped in her head, too convinced the whole world sucks, to care about Michael's overtures of friendship or the arrival at her school of an old friend, Lucas. But when Solitaire's pranks cross lines and people start getting hurt, Tori will be forced to discover if the world has anything good in it. Like Holden Caulfield, Tori is looking for something that isn't phony, but while the story more or less achieves its goal of evoking a modern-day, English The Catcher in the Rye, it's still not very engaging. Only Michael and Charlie are likely to engage readers' sympathies, while Tori's unpleasantness makes it hard to see why Michael and Lucas are so fixated on her. Still, Oseman's novel will be popular with those who worship Holden. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    March 1, 2015
    Grades 8-11 Why do you want to be friends with me? Tori implores her erstwhile new pursuer, Michael, pushing him away with the self-deprecating cynicism that defines her. I'm probably the least funny person since Margaret Thatcher. Welcome to sixth form, the last two years of high school, at Harvey Greene Higgs Grammar School in England. Amid the angst of getting through each day, Tori questions whether or not to conform to the expectations of school and society. Add the intensity of changing friendships, swirling family crises, and a mysterious blog called Solitaire, and it's no wonder our droll narrator is in an existential funk. Solitaire has the whole school in thrall with its odd prognostications, and its anonymous creator seems to be the force directing a string of jarring pranks undercutting the administration. Who is behind it? Intrigue, suspense, and a fairly spectacular, if melodramatic, climax will appeal to teens asking the big questions. The obvious nod to The Catcher in the Rye provides another pull to readers who will enjoy parsing the parallels.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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