Now..this book took me by surprise. I first bought it because I love the look of the front cover and in general everything about this book from the cover design to the blurb to the little “this is not a love story” on the front cover. For some reason, it compelled me to reach for it and buy it. Now lets get one thing straight about this book, if you think because it said it wasn’t a love story that *thank goodness it’s not a love story* ahaha you’re wrong cause it is one. A beautiful one, mind you. But to be honest the main basis of this book is more to do with friendship and family and mental illnesses such as depression and bullying and the struggle with a character’s sexuality and how it affects him socially. The idea of social media especially blogs (lol what a coincidence) plays a massive role as well in this book with a secret blog that nobody has information about, posting images and creating events that are quite bold throughout the book (whether that’s a good idea or not, you’ll have to find out).
If you’re interested in this book then I strongly recommend for you to get out and buy it. I thought it was a wonderful read and I really felt a weird connection with the author as she tended to have similar thoughts to my own and dealt with situations quite similar to me in my own life. In order to not get spoiled if you have not read this book do not read any further but if you have then proceed and let me know if you enjoyed it and agree with me, or even better if you disagree with me at points.
So, just because I said that this was a book I really enjoyed and felt connected to, you probably think I’m going to sit and sing the praises of this book throughout the whole of this review, urging you to recommend it to people you know and so on and so on. I decided to say the things that I really did not feel worked in the story…major issues, at least in my opinion that is. First off the character of Lucas gets introduced and throughout the whole book there is no sense of character build up. It’s almost as if he is a flat character that is thrown in there as an escape route for when the realization of who Solitaire really is. Honestly I felt there could have been more of an interaction between him and Tori because he could have potentially have made such an impact on her, or at least given her another person to turn to when times got rough instead of having her constantly push him away. Also her “best friend” was as flat of a character as Lucas was because I rarely saw any connection between them except for the ending in which both she and Lucas redeem themselves by helping Tori out.
Michael Holden and Charlie have to have been my favorite characters, and I’m sorry to say but I even prefer them over Tori. I think that’s mainly because I feel like I relate to Tori a lot and Michael and Charlie remind me of people in my life so I just liked them instantly. Charlie was the sweet brother, struggling with people’s reaction of his sexuality and dealing with issues such as bullying and self-harm. I enjoyed reading his story-line…okay maybe enjoyed is not the right word but I was intrigued by his character and his relationship with Tori and Nick. That scene when Tori finds him in the kitchen after a fight with Nick was heartbreaking and I couldn’t bear to continue and yet I still did.
Michael Holden was an interesting character. He was quirky, fun and the only character apart from Charlie who really got through to Tori. I liked the scenes especially between them and the almost tug of war thing they had going on.
In relation to Solitaire, I felt like the book sort of put it on the back-burner. They were brought in as a side story that contributed mainly to Tori’s undoing or almost as if a way to push her to the decision that she attempts to make at the end (looking out the window and contemplating committing suicide). That was quite a shock as well. I can’t say I was as surprised as I make it seem cause that seemed to be the direction it was going but still I remember reading the scene of the fire and suddenly Tori was standing looking out the window. I think I read the paragraph before that 4 times.
Apart from these few notes I don’t quite have much to say other than I was pleasantly surprised. I recently found out Alice Oseman was 18 when this was published – sort of explaining to me the fresh voice and writing style that she has created. I am extremely glad to have read this as I felt a connection that I hadn’t felt in a long while to a book.
Language/Style: 8 points
Originality: 6 points
Characters: 7 points
Plot: 8 points
Giving this book a decent rating of 29 points out of 40. Not bad at all to be honest.
If you have read this or are going to read it, let me know what you thought of it and if you agreed or not ^^
Favorite Part: There’s a time and a place for being normal. For most people, normal is their default setting. But for some, like you and me, normal is something we have to bring out, like putting on a suit for a posh dinner.