This Winter (A Solitaire Novella #0.5) by Alice Oseman
A story that shows the other side of the holiday season.
Goodreads: I used to think that difficult was better than boring, but I know better now…
I’m not going to think about the past few months, about Charlie and me, and all of the sad. I’m going to block it all out. Just for today.
“Happy Christmas, ” I say.
The festive season isn’t always happy for Tori and her brother Charlie. And this year’s going to be harder than most.
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I have loved Solitaire and the other Solitaire novella Nick and Charlie, and this one did not disappoint to relight my love for Oseman’s characters. This novella is the story of Christmas in the Spring household told from perspectives of all three children.
Due to this novella being set before Solitaire you only get snippets of each character’s personalities which is fine if you have read Solitaire, but if you are going in blind then the hints about Charlie and the tension between the Spring family will make you want to pick up Solitaire to understand what has happened.
I loved how Oseman decided to tell the story of Chritsmas , a time for joy and family, from three different points of view. This helped add to how we found out about the family drama and saw how it affected every individual instead of just one narrator.
Christmas stories tend to be happy and I’m not saying this novella was depressing, but it told the truth about how some families don’t spend Christmas together and sing songs and act like the perfect family from an advert on TV. No, this novella told it how it is, or at least can be for some. The annoying family members who pry into your personal life, those who don’t know when to stop talking. The drunk aunts and uncles. The arguments between parents and children. The bond between siblings. This novella is not a sugar coated young adult contemporary, but an honest Christmas tale.
However, the reason why I gave this novella four stars not five was simply down to length. I understand novellas are short but I do feel Oseman could have expanded on the story more and included each child’s point of view more than once. The lack of a fifth star is purely down to wanting more from the author as I feel a few more parts could have added to the novella a lot more.
Let me know if you have read anything by Alice Oseman, and check out my interview with the author here.