Title: This Winter (Solitaire #0.5)
Author: Alice Oseman
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ, Novella
Release Date: November 5, 2015
A short story, based on characters from Solitaire – praised as ‘The Catcher in the Rye for the digital age’ The Times
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.
The Spring family is going to have a difficult time at Christmas this year. Charlie has just returned from treatment for an eating disorder. Tori wants to make sure he feels included in the holiday, but everyone else makes a big deal out of it. Meanwhile, their little brother, Oliver, just wants to play Mario Kart. The Spring siblings have to figure out a way to get through this tough holiday.
When I first picked up this book, I didn’t realize it was part of the Heartstopper series. I’ve only read the first graphic novel in that series but I loved it. This edition of the book also included some illustrations of the characters that looked like the graphic novel.
This story had a brief look at mental health and disordered eating in males. Usually in fiction, disordered eating is only portrayed in female characters, though it could happen to anyone. I appreciated this unique look at this disorder.
The difficult holiday that the Spring siblings experienced was so relatable. There are often relatives at holiday events that ask inappropriate questions or make hurtful comments, like they did with Charlie. Sometimes the best thing to do in that situation is to just remove yourself, which is what Charlie had to do.
This Winter is a great Christmas novella!
What to read next:
Solitaire by Alice Oseman
Heartstopper, Vol. 1 by Alice Oseman
Other books in the series:
Have you read This Winter? What did you think of it?