Nick and Charlie is Alice Oseman’s first novella and is a love story featuring Solitaire’s Nick Nelson and Charlie Spring. I really enjoyed this short story and think it’s the perfect addition to Solitaire.
Set a year on from where Solitaire ends, Nick and Charlie tells the story of the changes in their relationship as Nick prepares to leave for uni and Charlie prepares to be left behind.
I was interested to know why Alice chose to write about Nick and Charlie at this stage of their lives to which she replied, ‘I definitely chose to write Nick and Charlie at that point in their life because I wanted to write a realistic long-term relationship.
My goal wasn’t to write a romance or a fun adventure story – I wanted to really explore what it is realistically like to be in a relationship of that length when you’re that young. I find that stuff really interesting and actually not often written about! Realism is my one true love.’
Despite not being very long (120 pages), this novella was incredibly touching and emotional which was achieved by dual perspective storytelling. I really love dual perspective novels and I think that Alice did such a good job of writing both parts which were so faultless you’d never be able tell that she found it hard; ‘dual perspective was quite hard. I tried as hard as I could to make the voices very different, but this was especially difficult because since Nick and Charlie are so close, they actually speak in quite a similar way! In any case – I tried to make Charlie sound a little more eloquent and well-spoken, and Nick more colloquial.’
I think that so much of the reason why Alice’s stories are so believable and heartwarming is because she knows her characters so well. From her drawings on her art tumblr (‘drawing my characters REALLY helps me to visualise them and get into their heads!’), to her character blog for Tori, Alice’s creations play such a huge part in her life that she’s able to write about them as well as she could herself. It’s so easy to read Alice’s writing as you instantly feel that you know every character. I definitely recommend Nick and Charlie to anyone who enjoyed Solitaire, and if you’ve not already read Solitaire I really think you should!
Follow Alice on tumblr for more Solitairey stuff, and look out for something special this winter!