Title: Radio Silence
Author: Alice Oseman
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books (25 Feb 2016)
Blurb: What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?
Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.
But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.
Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
She has to confess why Carys disappeared…
Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.
It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.
Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.
Goodreads Rating: 4.44/5 stars
I’ve been meaning to get on with this review for days but never got around to actually doing it, mostly because I was busy with family/work, but also partly because I loved every bit of this book and didn’t know where to start??? But here I am finally, typing up this review, and of course, starting with my absolute favourite thing about this book: its 100% accurate portrayal of Internet culture in this day and age.
Every detail relating to Internet culture in the book was – as the Internet says it – on point. This book might as well have been written about me, everything was so familiar; the fandoms (‘Troylerphandoms’ is a Tumblr username in the book), pop-culture, Internet slang/language, our typing style, Harry Potter, High School Musical and Camp Rock references, you name it. It was amazing to finally read something that isn’t the result of half-assed attempts at Googling “how millennials do the Internet thing in 2016”, which, let’s be real, seems like what a lot of writers do these days when trying to write convincing Young Adult novels (and failing miserably at that). So, thank you, Alice Oseman (who, by the way, uses Tumblr, so that explains her Internet fluency), for representing Internet culture correctly.
Secondly, let’s talk about diversity. If you’re looking for a diverse read, then this is definitely the book for you. It has characters that come from different backgrounds and are diverse in various ways. For example, the main character is biracial (White and Ethiopian) as well as bisexual. Also, there are other characters who are gay, demisexual and agender, so yeah, those are some diversity goodness to look forward to. Ooh! And mental illness, too. How could I forget about that?
The plot of the story was also pretty well though-out, with mysterious events that kept me reeled in throughout the story. The mystery surrounding their past was intriguing and Alice Oseman did a great job at keeping her readers glued to the book, trying to figure out what happened in the past.
Honestly though, my favourite character would have to be Frances’s (the main character) mum. She was so supportive towards Frances as well as her dreams and hobbies and just an all-around sweetheart. How often do you find mums like that in YA books? Speaking of characters, I am so happy that this book focuses mainly on the friendship between Frances and Aled instead of the usual boy-girl romance you see in most YA books. At the beginning, readers were assured that Frances and Aled were not going to fall in love. To be honest, I was prettttttty sceptical about it because I’ve read several books that have assured me that something’s not gonna happen and then bam! It. Fucking. Happens. But in this book, Frances and Aled’s friendship was strictly platonic, and it didn’t seem forced, like the author was specifically trying to avoid YA tropes. It made sense, because each of them had love interests from their pasts and everything worked out just fine in the end. Also since we’re on the topic of relationships, I love that Alice Oseman chose to shine the spotlight on a brother-sister relationship instead of a romantic one for a particular part in the book (that I shall not reveal because it might spoil the book for those who have yet to read it).
So yeah, overall, I loved this book to bits because of its accurate portrayal of the Internet community, diversity, and great storyline. Oh, also because Aled Last is a Ravenclaw. Duh.
I was sent an ARC upon request via Edelweiss in exchange for a review. Special thanks to Edelweiss, HarperCollins Children’s Books and Alice Oseman. This is my honest review.