I am back again with another post of mini reviews! I have to say I am really liking this and I would love to know if you like it as well because if you don’t then a little bit of the fun goes out of it. Right?
In any case, this time, it’s all about Alice Oseman. I recently read almost all of her books and frankly, with one exception, I absolutely love her writing. The way her plot moves, her characters take center stage and how it’s all a bit more than just a romance at the end of the day and I love it. There’s much to say about her writing in general but I would try to keep it short because it’s a mini review and not a love letter to her.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?
Frances is been a study machine with one goal. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside. Then Frances meets Aled, and for the first time she’s unafraid to be herself.
So when the fragile trust between them is broken, Frances is caught between who she was and who she longs to be. Now Frances knows that she has to confront her past. To confess why Carys disappeared…
Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.
Engaging with themes of identity, diversity and the freedom to choose, Radio Silence is a tor de force by the most exciting writer of her generation.
Things I Liked:
- The sheer sense of relatibility with the characters in this shook me to the core, if I am being honest. There’s a little bit of me in almost every character and that’s why made this such a hard book to review. It almost felt too personal to put to words.
- The representation in this book though! Diversity, mental health awareness, self-love, acceptance, facing one’s demons.
- The friendships!!! They were pure and deep and just…it made me so fucking happy, ok? This group of people who learn to accept themselves and their friends as they are, that journey is so lovingly written.
- This book is almost a blessing to the introverts, I am telling you. You read it and tell me, it isn’t and we can debate over that.
- The last one…hmm…the last one is basically the entirety of the novel. It has so many themes and so much content to marvel over that I am just in love with the book and I can’t wait to read it again.
Things I Disliked:
- Umm…the fact that it ended? I want more of it.
I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman
For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.
Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.
Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.
Things I Liked:
- This book dealt with one of the most interesting and alarming themes, fan culture. I have been the kind of fan that is described in the book and frankly, I still am. The level of fannish things might have gone down a bit but there is a reason I could so easily relate to the characters in this.
- That brings me to this point, it also gives a point of view of the people fans of fangirling over. How it affects them in different ways and how it can mostly be harmful for them in the long run.
- It also gave such a good example of friendships in general both offline and online. How, sometimes, fans almost equate their fandoms to religion or the characters/ people to deities. It was an uncomfortable read, if I am being honest but in a good way. (Is there a good way to be uncomfortable?)
- It also talks about how many fans sort of depend on the fandoms to live their lives, or rather escape from the harsh realities of life. In the book Angel certainly is trying her very best to do just that, just to feel something, a sense of belonging that she doesn’t get to feel in her real life. Then there’s the diverse characters, with their own problems which seem very real and some of which we can even relate to.
- One of the plus points and also funnily enough, a minus point is the harsh reality of shipping real people together and sort of fetishizing m/m relationships? It’s a real thing and unfortunately, it’s shown in all its glory. It was important that people also see this side of the fandom but at the same time, it gave me a very, very uncomfortable feeling.
Things I Disliked:
- Apart from the point made above, I wanted to know more about Jimmy and his friendship with Rowan and Lister.
- This is spoilery so if you don’t wanna know skip this point. I just wanted more closure in general, by the end of the book, I can’t say I was totally satisfied with it? I mean, Radio Silence ended in open-ended sort of way too but with it, there was at least conclusion of sorts. Like the end of a chapter in their lives, in this book, I didn’t get that feeling at all.
And that’s it for today! Alice Oseman has become my auto-buy author since I read these two books and even though Solitaire wasn’t my favourite, I will definitely be looking out for more of her books because I think, she’s one of the rare authors who can truly include all the important themes and topics without making it muddy and unappealing. I should mention however that there are quite the number of content warnings as well as trigger warnings in these books and if you don’t think you are up to it then please, take care of yourself first and then think about reading them.
Content and trigger warnings: Depression, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, anxiety, alcohol abuse, parental abuse, physical abuse, paranoia, forced coming out, etc.