Monday, 21 March 2016

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman // above and beyond all of my expectations

Title: Radio Silence
Author: Alice Oseman
Genre: Contemporary
Warnings: child abuse, mentions of suicide
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Book Depository
Ignore the blurb - it does not give you a fraction of the insight to what this book truly is - incredible.

Frances can see nothing beyond getting into university. Since she was a child, it has seemed to be the only option for her. She befriends Aled, the brother of her best friend who disappeared and the creator of her favourite radio show. Through their friendship, the art they produce goes viral. But Frances learns that there is so much more to Aled than meets the eye, and that his radio show may not be as far from reality as one would think.

My expectations for the story were relatively low. From my understanding of the blurb, this was another story where a girl meets a boy that unlocks her true self. But Oseman subverts this, which I first became aware of when Frances openly states to the reader that the relationship between her and Aled is not a love story.

The introduction did not reel me in at all. In fact, if it weren't for the easy reading, I might've given up. The language simply failed to suck me in, and it felt rather like a cross between Fangirl and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda which although I read and enjoyed, was not enthused to read again.

But as the story began to take shape and go down a different path, I became more and more engaged. I could relate to the characters on a personal level. They were emotional about fiction, but were also going through things I could identify with like university applications and the typical high school drama and stress. Oseman was excellent at really showing teenagers as much more than simply anger and the internet, and provided her characters with the self-awareness that made them feel incredibly real.

Radio Silence is a story about a cry for help being heard. It is about friendship, despite all of its complications. But most of all, it is about how even when life feels so utterly hopeless and everything feels like a dead end, there is still a path you can choose.
An ebook copy of this book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Read as part of the Diverse Reads Book Challenge and the LGBTQIA Reading Challenge - features a bisexual and mixed race protagonist with several other queer and POC characters.

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