Radio Silence
This a previously-published edition of ISBN 9780007559244 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.

Radio Silence Details

TitleRadio Silence
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 25th, 2016
PublisherHarper Collins Children's Books
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, LGBT

Radio Silence Review

  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    Do not pity the dead, Harry, pity the living, and above all those WHO HAVE NEVER READ THIS BOOK.This book was like, the spiritual equivalent of eating a perfectly toasted bagel. It was so so good and so adorable and I feel so soft on every level of metaphorical interpretation. I honestly just want to SCREAM about this book and these characters forever and let that be my career. I swear I have such a obsessive personality and once I like something I invest my entire livelihood into it and forget Do not pity the dead, Harry, pity the living, and above all those WHO HAVE NEVER READ THIS BOOK.This book was like, the spiritual equivalent of eating a perfectly toasted bagel. It was so so good and so adorable and I feel so soft on every level of metaphorical interpretation. I honestly just want to SCREAM about this book and these characters forever and let that be my career. I swear I have such a obsessive personality and once I like something I invest my entire livelihood into it and forget how to have any other interests or know how to SHUT UP ABOUT IT!! Look, I don’t know how to say “I love this book” in a way that will make your heart ache as much as mine does and I hate being so clumsy with words but I REALLY REALLY WANT YOU GUYS TO READ IT. So like, [slides all of you a crumpled 10$ bill] please do! 'You may be very small but you are all very important in the universe.' This book was a show of unity to the millennial experience. And it’s not just the memes and the music references and the general sensation of nostalgia and loss and isolation, but just the feeling of closeness, like a warm and soft presence tracing on your back. Like someone reaching through time and space to grasp your fingers. Like you and the characters are ascending bodies to meet up a few miles above earth to chill.The accuracy is truly poignant. The characters talk about emotions and thoughts in so much depth that I would notice things about myself that I was completely unaware of. I honestly just want to paint the entirety of this book on my walls and post every quote on every social networking site and scream them from the rooftops and get a t-shirt with them on it and bathe in them and wow have I mentioned how much I LOVE THIS BOOK?? I feel like I haven't been clear enough.OK. THE CHARACTERS:✨ FRANCES JANVIER “When you get to this age, you realize that you’re not anyone special after all. It's like...this is all there is. This is the only special thing about me.” I relate to Frances because I too thought being 18 would be a lot more exciting than me legitimately considering whether 5pm is too early to go to bed. But here I am, an 18-year-old college student going on becoming emotionally a 40-year-old divorcee struggling to find unconditional acceptance and financial security. So guess what? I’d very much like to unsubscribe from adulthood.There was an undeniably unifying effect in the daily struggles Frances went through. Because nothing really says you’re a newbie adult like being too high strung, too stressed out and too anxious to be carefree no matter how bad you want to be carefree. Add in a good ol’ fashioned panic attack about your life decisions and the fact that every single move you make is extremely critical to what path you’re going to take for the next 5 or 10 years and you're all set! I don't know how much of this is universal but I seriously related to Frances so much. From how she felt like she's accidentally tricked certain people into thinking she had more potential than she actually does and directing her entire energy into trying to impress everyone. To finding out just how many different perceptions everyone has of you in their heads and how literally so scary and stressful that is. To discovering that your entire worth is being based on which major you choose and which college you go to, as if when you were created, you already came with a career label, than it is on being a decent person and trying to understand the concept of your place in this life. To learning that there’s really no such thing as living in the moment because the 'now 'does not exist when you’re constantly being pushed into the future. Point is, life woud have been much better if we were all just young wizards attending Hogwarts.Through Frances, this book tells you that the potential of anything exists in you. why live such a restrictive existence when you could LITERALLY be anything?? It's all about YOU and who you become and who you're going to become after that, kind of like an ombré of your own personality. Everything gets less intolerable when you realize no one is worth impressing and everyone is caught up in their own fragmented feeble senses of selves and it's time you stop staring at your potential in the eye and denying it! But mostly, it’s telling you that your struggles are valid. Your doubts are valid. your choices are valid. Your passions are valid. Your feelings are valid. YOU are valid. ✨ ALED LAST 'I see you in every fire that lights. In the end I wish it had been me who’d fallen into the Fire, though maybe that’s a selfish thing to say. The Fire that touched you must have come from a star. You were always brave enough to get burned in the Fire.” I care about 1 (one) boy and his name is Aled Last. I love him. He's one of those genuinely kind people whom you just want to hold you and tell you stories because they have so much art in their souls that is aching to come out and all you want is to see them shine like you know they can and maybe the world doesn’t deserve to see their creativity but god does it need to!Aled Last is the mastermind behind the amazing Universe City podcast that's garnered a lot of fans. Throughout this book, we accompany Aled on his (ongoing) journey as he realizes his potential and how vital he is to the things he cares about and how much he contributes to the things he's passionate about. As he begins to learn to not let anyone make him feel self-conscious about the different ways he expresses himself and stop oversimplifying the effect his existence has on every single thing he interacts with.Aled also struggles with extreme depression and the concept of accepting his friends' help vs. Feeling like he's blackmailing them into being nice or feeling sorry for him and also the feeling of stagnation that's often rooted in it. This book deserves so many thumbs up for not portraying mental illness as something you could simply 'beat' if you throw the right punch or easily 'overcome' with "it gets better" talks. So while Radio Silence does end on a brighter note for Aled, there's no sugarcoating that recovery is a long-term process.Aled's arc was also centered around his abuse and god was the need to retreat into this book and envelop him in millions of soft blankets so fucking overwhelming. And at times, so unbearable I had to physically put a distance between me and the book. It really amazes me how much this book manages to so accurately capture how having abusive parents can be really tricky. Because not only do you grow up measuring your strength by how much pain you can endure, you start to believe that abuse and neglect can coexist with love. You’re told that you’re loved even though you’re being abused. You’re continuously being guilt tripped for being fed and being provided a roof over your head, as if that’s not their responsibility as a parent, as someone who chose to bring you into this world, as if it’s not a part of the damn job description. Aled's journey to learning that abuse negates love, that calling her “mom” and him “dad” doesn’t mean they inherently know how to be that, that there's a power imbalance that should never be abused and that absolutely no child should be scared or feel unsafe around their parents, felt so personal to me. And I don't know what else to say except that I'm sending love and warm thoughts to everyone whose homes are places they're hurting. I hope the universe is tender to you all. Always. “We are going to bring beautiful things into the universe.” ✨ ALED AND FRANCES: PLATONIC SOULMATES “And I’m platonically in love with you.”“That was literally the boy-girl version of ‘no homo’, but I appreciate the sentiment.” I find the concept of platonic soulmates so fucking amazing. Finding someone who you feel complete with without having to worry about losing them to messy romance because they’ll be your best friend forever is a warm luxury everyone deserves. It's such a less selfish, much more equal, and always more rewarding kind of loving.I love how this book completely de-romanticizes the idea that romantic love is the end goal of all forms of love, that only it will transform you into the person you want to be. instead it's promoting friendship as an empowering and more freeing sort of love, that not only a romantic partner has the potential to motivate you into becoming a better person and show you the worth you don’t see in yourself, that person could be: your absolutely batshit crazy best friend, your runaway sister and this other girl who's always just so happy to skip class and drive them wherever and whom you've never even met before!! and I think that’s beautiful.Honestly though, their friendship made my heart grow at least ten sizes bigger. And you know when it’s sunny and dogs chill outside with their heads gently tilted towards the sun and they look so peaceful and feel so warm when you touch them?? that’s how they made my heart feel!✨ DIVERSITY/REPRESENTATION I think everyone's a bit bored with boy-girl romances anyway. I think the world's had enough of those, to be honest. Can we just collectively appreciate the fact that all the main characters are QUEER AF? All of them. And the discussions surrounding their sexualities were so incredibly well done I swear the only other time I felt this much loved and supported was when the bread was free at a restaurant!! (Frances is bisexual and biracial (British/Ethiopian). Aled is demisexual. Daniel is gay and is a South Korean immigrant. Carys, Aled's twin sister is a lesbian. Raine, France’s friend is Indian.)
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  • Alice Oseman
    January 1, 1970
    This is my second published book! I wrote it while I was at university, fuelled by how much I hated being there. It features:- a biracial, bisexual protagonist who believes her future lies in academia- her learning that sometimes there are other paths through life and learning to embrace her passion for art- the shy, mysterious creator of a science-fiction audio drama podcast- a friendship between a boy and a girl where they don't fall in love- a critique of the way the education system brainwas This is my second published book! I wrote it while I was at university, fuelled by how much I hated being there. It features:- a biracial, bisexual protagonist who believes her future lies in academia- her learning that sometimes there are other paths through life and learning to embrace her passion for art- the shy, mysterious creator of a science-fiction audio drama podcast- a friendship between a boy and a girl where they don't fall in love- a critique of the way the education system brainwashes teens into believing that if they don't get good grades, they're destined for failure and misery- almost all LGBT+ main charactersI really hope you enjoy it!
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  • Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
    January 1, 1970
    TW: mental illness, animal abuseThis was excellent and hit so close to home on many levels. Highly recommend the audiobook!
  • Zoë
    January 1, 1970
    This hit so close to home, and I loved it. A heartfelt book that I would recommend to any person who has struggled with mental illness, academic pressure, and figuring out your own path. New favorite!
  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    “People move on quicker than I can comprehend. People forget you within days, they take new pictures to put on Facebook and they don't read your messages. They keep on moving forward and shove you to the side because you make more mistakes than you should.” There’s something so authentically millennial about this book. It’s in the sense of loss. The exploration of detachment from parents and of abuse. The music choices - London Grammar and The 1975’s Chocolate are mentioned on the same page. Th “People move on quicker than I can comprehend. People forget you within days, they take new pictures to put on Facebook and they don't read your messages. They keep on moving forward and shove you to the side because you make more mistakes than you should.” There’s something so authentically millennial about this book. It’s in the sense of loss. The exploration of detachment from parents and of abuse. The music choices - London Grammar and The 1975’s Chocolate are mentioned on the same page. The diverse cast of characters and fact that literally every lead character is queer. The mention of memes. The exploration of the college experience. Or maybe it’s simply in the mood of the book, the desperate plea, throughout every page, to have someone listen. Maybe some will argue this dates the book, but I think it’s exactly the power of Radio Silence - that it feels real to the teen experience, both its themes and its current moments. I think everyone's a bit bored with boy-girl romances anyway. I think the world's had enouh of those, to be honest. 🌺 If you’re looking for a book about platonic friendship, you should read this. Frances and Aled have the best-written, most compelling friendship. And I love that every single driving relationship in this book is either platonic or queer. Like, guys, this is incredible. This book invented mlm and wlw solidarity and also platonic love. 🌺 While the focus of the book is Aled and his podcast, the amount of real depth put into these characters and the amount of thought put into their emotional journies is so fucking incredible. Frances' arc around wanting to be seen and her journey into university is amazing. And though he’s not even the narrator, Abel’s paralell journey around his own abuse is equally amazing. “When you get to this age, you realized that you’re not anyone special after all. It's like... this is all there is. This is the only special thing about me.” 🌺 The exploration of college pressures felt so authentic. And awesome. And raw. I loved how pro-living-your-life this book was!!🌺 The fucking diversity. When was the last time you read a book with a biracial bisexual lead featuring her gay demi bestie, his Asian maybe-boyfriend, and her found family of basically entirely queer characters? Because I know I never have. I think everyone's a bit bored with boy-girl romances anyway. I think the world's had enouh of those, to be honest. 🌺 Above all else, this is a book about a group of characters learning to love each other and themselves. There’s so much found family and the Skwad of five formed at the end of the book is literally?? amazing. I wish I could be as subtle and beautiful. All I know how to do is scream. I think the thing I loved so much about this book is how timely it feels. I know that’s a complaint many will have about it, and I appreciate that books with this many current references date quickly. But maybe that’s for the best. This is a book that’s going to speak to a lot of people. This is also a book that a lot of thirty-year-olds are fundamentally not going to understand. This is also a book that teens will not be talking about in ten years because none of it is of their time. But this is also the kind of novel I can picture being analyzed by some college class a hundred years from now discussing teenage society in the 2010s - a stunningly specific yet strangely universal story. It is one of the only books I have ever read that truly captures what it is like to be a young adult in this generation. And also, these iconic besties: Frances Janvier: HAPPY BIRTHDAY HOPE YOU'RE FEELING PARTY AF LOVE U LOADS U BEAUTIFUL MANCAN'T BELIEVE MY SMALL BUDDY IS A MAN NOW I'M CRYINGAled Last: why are you tormenting me with cringe messages like this Basically, sometimes a family can be you, your Very Platonic best friend, his boyfriend who he's very in love with, your lowkey ex-girlfriend who is also your best friend’s brother, and this girl who keeps ditching class to hang out with you and who you DEFINITELY should date. POLL IN THE COMMENTS who is who amongst the Three New characters who just showed up on Aled’s show!!! Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to read this and then tell me Marine Jupiter and Atom poll in the comments try to tell me who's whoBlog | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    “…please just call me Radio. Radio Silence. I am, after all, only a voice on a radio, and there may not be anyone listening.” Radio Silence is the best contemporary book I’ve ever read. Full stop. So, buckle in, because this is going to be a full-gush review, because this book was everything. And holy shit did it blow all my expectations out of the water. I normally give a brief synopsis about the book I’m reviewing here, but Radio Silence almost feels too personal for me to even type this re “…please just call me Radio. Radio Silence. I am, after all, only a voice on a radio, and there may not be anyone listening.” Radio Silence is the best contemporary book I’ve ever read. Full stop. So, buckle in, because this is going to be a full-gush review, because this book was everything. And holy shit did it blow all my expectations out of the water. I normally give a brief synopsis about the book I’m reviewing here, but Radio Silence almost feels too personal for me to even type this review, to be completely honest. But this is a book about a boy and girl and the different stages of their completely platonic friendship. We get to see them bond over a fandom, and we get to see them discover who they wish they could be. ➽ Frances - Bisexual, biracial (Ethiopian and white), head girl at her high school, and an artist. ➽ Aled - Gay, demisexual, creator of a up-and-coming podcast and Youtube channel.➽ Daniel - Gay, Korean immigrant, head boy at his high school.➽ Carys - Lesbian, Aled’s twin sister who has been missing for a while now. ➽ Raine - Indian, selfless angel, who is pan!And these five characters come together in this book and create something so beautiful that I don’t even have words for it. But this book can get pretty dark in certain places, so please use caution. Trigger and content warnings for talk of mental illness, implied depression, implied suicidal thinking, parental abuse, physical abuse, extreme invasions of privacy on social media and the internet, very hateful comments to a creator on the internet, and death of a pet. “This hardly qualifies as a distress call anymore—by gods, if anyone was listening, I would have heard from you by now.” First off, I want to talk about how people always hail Fangirl as the book they related to going into college, but I think Radio Silence does everything Fangirl does, but a million times better and more relatable. Both of these stories are about kids going into college, unsure of what they want out of life, both feeling like outcasts that can never truly be themselves. Both of these books even focus on fandoms and hidden identities. Hell, they even break up the mainstream story with stories from the fandom they love. The parallels are endless, and I’m not here to be negative about Fangirl, but I only thought that story was okay, where Radio Silence touched my heart and spoke to my soul. We live in a world where our society puts so much pressure on kids to go to college. And I’m going to be really real with you all for a minute. My college? My parents picked. They knew before I was born I’d go to that college. My degree? My parents picked because science degrees get you jobs. The job I currently have? Because of that degree, not because of my wishes or wants. And I’m very privileged to have the education I have had, to go the college I went to, and to have the job that I currently have. But those core parts of my life were picked for me, and they have and will continue to impact my life forever. And that’s not just a reality for me, that’s a reality for so many people I know. And I’ve never read a book that confronts that the way Radio Silence does. Radio Silence is a book about living your life for you. It’s okay to not know what you want, or who you even are, but you have to live your life for you. Society’s expectations, your parent’s expectations, your academic leader’s expectations, all of this can feel like the weight of the world on your shoulders. And it can be so heavy. Like, I promise, it feels so heavy sometimes still. But this is a love letter about making the weight not feel so heavy. And I swear to God, I turned the last page of this book and felt lighter. I truly believe books can have healing powers, and Radio Silence healed some of my wounds that I thought stopped bleeding years ago. “I was going to be happy. Wasn’t I? I was. Uni, job, money, happiness. That’s what you do. That’s the formula. Everyone knows that. I knew that.” I do think that Radio Silence is a story about becoming who you want to be, even if you don’t know who that person is yet, but I also think it’s a story about living with mental illness. Obviously, I’m not going to pretend that my experience is the end all be all, but mental illnesses are something you have to live with and fight with constantly. Aled is such a realistic character, and his mental illness is something that I think is so relatable to so many younger people (I want to say millennials so badly) and this book is going to mean so much to so many people. I honestly wish I could put this book into every single high school senior’s hands. Because school isn’t for everyone, and college isn’t for everyone, but validity and acceptance are for everyone. This book also shines a spotlight on how fucking toxic the internet, fandoms, and just human beings in general can be. The things people say to other people, especially the people they claim to idolize, not even thinking twice about how that’s another breathing, living, human being on the other side of the screen that is reading your hurtful words. You all, I could write an entire review on this part of Radio Silence alone. But instead I’m just going to encourage you to read this masterpiece of a book that realistically depicts it better than I ever could. But my favorite thing about Radio Silence is probably how it is one, gigantic, love letter to art. All kinds of art, all mediums of art, but this book is truly a celebration of art everywhere. The world we live in constantly tells us how art should be a hobby, not a career, but when I sit back and think about the people who I admire most in the entire universe? Well, they are all artists. Instead of constantly belittling art and not encouraging ourselves to pursue it as a mainstream dream, Radio Silence comes along and makes you feel so hyped and excited to celebrate art and creators everywhere. This book is an honest to God gift to the world, I swear it. My second favorite thing about Radio Silence was the depiction of friendships. The beautiful and light parts, the really ugly and dark parts, the comfortable parts, the hard parts, the selfish parts, the selfless parts, all the realistic parts. When I got a few percent into this book, I knew the author had to be around my age, because this book feels so real. I mean, every element of this book feels really real, but the friendship between France and Aled specifically felt really real to me. Frances and Aled’s friendship felt so much like me and a person I miss with all my heart’s friendship. But I wasn’t as good of a friend, like Frances was, but this book really made me wish that I would have been. “People move on quicker than I can comprehend. People forget you within days, they take new pictures to put on Facebook and they don’t read your messages. They keep on moving forward and shove you to the side because you make more mistakes than you should.” My third favorite thing about this book was Frances’ mother. Holy shit, talk about mom goals. Just thinking about how much better of a place this world would be if more parents were like Frances’! Especially when she is contrasted to Aled and Carys’ mom in this story. Unconditional love, support, and acceptance is such a powerful force, especially being wielded by a parent who has a child unsure of who they are. But that force can be just as powerful in the hands of good friends, too. Overall, I don’t feel like I’m the same person after reading this book. And I know I will cherish it forever. This is easily the best book I’ve read for Pride this year, and easily one of the best books I’ve read in all of 2018. This book literally took a piece of my heart and I will never ask for it back. I can’t wait to read everything else that Alice Oseman creates. “I wonder—if nobody is listening to my voice, am I making any sound at all?” Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch Buddy read with Alexis at The Sloth Reader, May at Forever and Everly, & Lily at Sprinkles of Dreams! ❤
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  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, wow, I did not expect to be entirely absolutely utterly IN LOVE with this book. I mean, I am a dragon??? This is a contemporary??? What is going on with this universe. But this book totally took my entire heart and it was so freakishly relatable I had moments where I was like "Excuse me, dear author, STAHP READING MY MIND THIS IS GETTING WEIRD". So that was amazing. And just....ajfdskaldfads. I have feelings. I have like nine feelings. What is going on with this universe.#VulcanCaitBreaksD Okay, wow, I did not expect to be entirely absolutely utterly IN LOVE with this book. I mean, I am a dragon??? This is a contemporary??? What is going on with this universe. But this book totally took my entire heart and it was so freakishly relatable I had moments where I was like "Excuse me, dear author, STAHP READING MY MIND THIS IS GETTING WEIRD". So that was amazing. And just....ajfdskaldfads. I have feelings. I have like nine feelings. What is going on with this universe.#VulcanCaitBreaksDownI BARELY EVEN KNOW WHERE TO START. The characters?? Okay let's go with the characters. HOLY MELONS they were adorable. It's narrated by Frances, who is stressing out over her last year of school and preparing to get into Cambridge. She's like so so freakishly relatable I cannot even. Like she has "two selves". At school everyone knows her as Frances-The-Clever-Destined-For-Uni-Workahlic. But at home she's secretly a MASSIVE DORK and wears like crazy epic clothes (we're talking Monsters Inc leggings kind of thing) and she's a huge fangirl and artist for this podcast called Radio Silence. She has exactly 0 friends, also. UNTIL THIS BOOK OF COURSE. INTRODUCING THE BEST FRIENDSHIP STORY OF EVER. Like it shouldn't be this mindblowing to have a book that focuses JUST on friendship. But it is. Frances accidentally befriends the creator of her favourite sci-fi podcast: Aled Last. Now excuse me while I become a squish. They are so amazing. They are not romantic. (Frances is bisexual, but still she's not attracted to Aled. And Aled is asexual and likes boys.) THEY ARE NOT ROMANTIC. LIKE WOW. They just had a lovely platonic beautiful friendship that just...ajfdkslad. It was precious. They were SO NERDY AND DORKY TOGETHER. The dork levels were SUPER BIG in this book. I am talking: they were on tumblr, Aled is an anonymous youtube star, and they love nerd shows and fangirling and like SERIOUSLY IT WAS SO SO COOL.SMALL LIST OF RELATABLE THINGS:• the whole "I have different personalities depending on who I'm with so I don't know who I am" scenerio that Frances faced...I think that is really really relatable for a lot of introverts?? Like we try to "fit in" when we're out and about but actually we just want to stay home and geek out over one of our obsessions interests.• And what teen doesn't haven existential crisis like biweekly?? Pfft. You know it happens.• the whole "I'm scared about my future what if I'm not clever enough for what I want to achieve" fears because HELLO THAT'S SUPER APPLICABLE• the whole struggle to make friends. Ugh, Frances. You and me, sister.• food is like really awesome• everyone agrees• I agree twice so that's like double confirmation• stressing out so much and getting super bad anxiety because LIFE AND FINISHING SCHOOL CAN BE LIKE THAT• nerdy clothes; like seriously they're awesome• the struggles of the internet (like this just felt SO REAL to me because Aled's podcast ends up getting hatemail and it's horrible and while I have not experienced that, I have been attacked on the internet. It's horrible. Especially if you have anxiety. So like, wow. This book like SO GOT IT. I just felt like cry/flailing. Both. All at once.)And can I just say Aled is my precious little anxious ball of marmalade? Because I really love him. I COULD SQUISH HIM. Like Frances was a 100% awesome narrator who I loved too. But I just....ajfdkslad Aled went through so much and I just related to him and just AFJDKSALD ALED.Also diversity WIN here. Frances is biracial Ethiopian/white British. Aled definitely has anxiety (probably depression). Basically everyone is queer. And definitely everyone is a huge geek. (Shhh of course it's diverse to be a geek.)And shout out to Frances' mum. WHO WAS AWESOME. Finding epic parents in YA books isn't like...easy. I mean, if you've got a magnifying glass you can find a few. And maybe some powerful wizard locating charms, a manhunt, several traps, and a prayer -- sure then you can find some. But, ahem, that aside. It was absolutely LOVELY to have France's mum be (A) supporting, (B) geeky too, (C) wear a unicorn onesie, and (D) get in on the plots to help the kids out when they needed it. And like Frances texted her mum her location and like, dude, thank you.The whole book was just SO REALISTIC?! They stopped being characters and just were amazingly real people.OMG IF I SAY "REAL" OR "RELATABLE" ONE MORE TIME, HIT ME WITH A FRYPAN. I'M ANNOYING MYSELF HERE.(But seriously, that's how much it impressed me.)Plus it does have a plot!! I mean, it's 500 pages and I do think that's too long for a contemporary. But it's not just about highschool and deciding what to do with your future. It's about being yourself and figuring out WHO THAT IS. It's also about creating art and being a fangirl, and then there's the mystery of "what happened to Aled's sister who just ran away from home one day" coupled with Aled's abusive mother. Then there's like random sleepovers and discussions and midnight math sessions and SNACK BREAKS and just -- ajfdklsadfsd.How does this book win for characters AND writing AND plot?!? It's wizardry. That's it. It's officially: wizardry. I basically will bEG you to read this book. It is absolutely amazing and HIT ME IN THE FEELS and I may or may not have felt like my soul was fracturing 2 or more times. All these emotions omg. Ridiculous. This is such a stupendous book and a definite new favourite of my ever.
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  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    The easiest five-star-rating I gave this year to a YA book. I was going to say to a book, forget the YA thing, but ‘‘Kings Rising’’ got a five stars from me the moment I finished reading the first sentence. Damen & Laurent forever and ever.The friendship between Frances and Aled is definitely what I liked best. Or maybe not. It’s hard to pinpoint the most impressive thing about this book, honestly. The pacing is fabulous (such short chapters!), the atmosphere is great, the humour is upliftin The easiest five-star-rating I gave this year to a YA book. I was going to say to a book, forget the YA thing, but ‘‘Kings Rising’’ got a five stars from me the moment I finished reading the first sentence. Damen & Laurent forever and ever.The friendship between Frances and Aled is definitely what I liked best. Or maybe not. It’s hard to pinpoint the most impressive thing about this book, honestly. The pacing is fabulous (such short chapters!), the atmosphere is great, the humour is uplifting, the characters are very much three-dimensional… Not so easy to choose the winning element. I don’t know if I’m biased or not, though. Frances and I have so much in common that I do wonder if I would have liked this as much if we had been less similar. Probably. I can be an idealist in this context, can’t I?Frances and I are both nerds who prefer studying to hanging out with friends at parties. We’re both independent chicks who know what they want and aim as high as possible. And we’re both bisexual, maybe? She has things a little bit more figured out than I do. Good for her.Aled is adorable. I loved how his presence in the story added mystery. Obviously, this is not a mystery novel, but with Aled comes a lot of questions. He made me quite curious. Frances and I both. Ha-ha, maybe I should start saying ‘‘us’’. Keep dreaming. I do prefer to think that if she were a real person, we’d be the best of best friends. But everyone wants the exact same thing when they find a character they adore, no? In the beginning, ‘‘Radio Silence’’ is very light—almost as light as ‘‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’’—but then everything gets more intense as we get to learn more about Aled, his mother and his sister. If you go through my ‘‘favourites’’ shelf, you’re going to realize that there aren’t a hundred contemporary YA novels to which I’ve given 5 stars. But my inner self would start screaming at me like a possessed woman if I even think for a second of choosing the ‘‘really liked it’’ option instead of the ‘‘it was amazing’’ one.Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • ✨ jamieson ✨
    January 1, 1970
    Me: time to talk about Radio Silence!*clears voice*Me: ARRRRRRRRGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ I cannot, literally cannot emphasis to you how much I freakin adore this book with all my heartRadio Silence is a book I've seen promoted around, especially by my friendos Amelie and Tasha and I expected to enjoy it but what I didn't expect was to fall down a radio silence hole never to be seen again “In Distress. Stuck in Universe City. Send Help. PLEASE READ MY REVIEW I WANT PEOPLE Me: time to talk about Radio Silence!*clears voice*Me: ARRRRRRRRGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ I cannot, literally cannot emphasis to you how much I freakin adore this book with all my heartRadio Silence is a book I've seen promoted around, especially by my friendos Amelie and Tasha and I expected to enjoy it but what I didn't expect was to fall down a radio silence hole never to be seen again “In Distress. Stuck in Universe City. Send Help. PLEASE READ MY REVIEW I WANT PEOPLE TO READ THIS BOOK this is one of those books that is about a lot more then it seems. At the most basic level, it's about this girl called Frances who is secretly obsessed with this fairly lowkey youtube podcast called Universe City. When she finds out the creator of it, Aled, is the guy who lives across the road from her she ends up becoming really good friends with him and the two's worlds kind of collide. This book is about Aled and Frances friendship, and the podcast Universe City, but it's also about a lot more. It's one of those books I kinda think should be gone into without knowing too much because I think the brilliant thing about it is how much depth it has underneath it's surface. Hello.I hope somebody is listening. This book made me incredibly emotional. It's one of those books that makes you happy and sad and a bit of both at the same time. I quickly found myself really invested in the lives of every single character. This is a character driven story and the characters are so so well written, rich people. The emotion and care put into each character is so obvious and I genuinely love every single character so much. The character growth is phenomenal and the book I think to compare the characters (as in, their richness rather then their personalities) is The Raven Boys. I absolutely adored these characters and it's hard not to become invested in their lives and feel the emotions they do. “I'm sending out this call via radio signal - long out-dated, I know, but perhaps one of the few methods of communication the City has forgotten to monitor - in a dark and desperate plea for help" Another thing I loved about this was the exploration of the various themes. The big theme centres around University and some of the expectations or culture surrounding university. I think these discussions were incredibly well done, and I liked that Alice Oseman offers a new perspective - that not everyone needs to or wants to go to university and that is perfectly okayGeek Culture and how each character dealt with it is one big theme. I personally really related to the whole "closet geek" thing Aled and especially Frances had going on. I think this book explored both the good and the dark sides of fandom “Things in Universe City are not what they seem" Alice Oseman writes teenagers so well. Every character in this book talked, felt and read like a real teenager of their age. I think the teen culture was so accurate ... memes, facebook, texting and getting drunk in a random ass field all came up and I was here for it. I recently made a post about things I want to see more of in YA Books and to my absolute delight this book honestly hit every single pointI mean the bit where she texts her mum a crying face and her mum texts back a thumbs up, four salsa dancing girls and a four leaf clover? relatable af. Speaking of her mum, Frances' mum is honestly one of the best YA mums ever and I freakin love her. The relationship between Frances and her mum is soo well done and I just loved that relationship was so strong and important. I also loved though that on the other end of the spectrum we have Aled's mum, who's emotionally abusive and controlling and I think showing that aspect of parenting was also really well done too. Aled's mum is fucking awful but I personally thought the exploration was done quite well. Another thing I adored was the friendships. First of all, there is a purely platonic friendship between a girl and a a boy and it's emphasised right from the start that they're not going to fall in love. They're just a platonic girl and guy friend. The friendship between Aled and Frances is honestly amazing. I just found their friendship so pure and so well done and I absolutely freakin loved the scenes of them just hanging out, making cool art together and enjoying eachothers company. “I cannot tell you who I am. Please call me ... please just call me Radio. Radio Silence. I am, after all, only a voice on a radio, and there may not be anyone listening" REPRESENTATION Another big area I want to cover is representation.The main character Frances is bisexual, as well as British/EthiopianAled is demisexual and also implied to have depressionDaniel (Aled's kind of but not really boyfriend) is gay and a South Korean immigrantAled's twin sister Carys is a lesbianRaine, Frances other best friend is IndianThere is a m/m romance, and I wouldn't call it a romance but there is also f/f representationThe general discussions around sexuality were, in my opinion, done so well. One thing I loved about Frances' bisexual representation was that she figured out she was bi through the internet which was totally relatable, and also that she's very outright with her sexuality and it's never under fire or cheapened or misrepresented. As an OV reviewing I personally found the bisexual rep to be incredibly well done. All this representation is on the page (except Aled's depression though this is heavily implied/coded)This is honestly one of the most phenomenal contemporary books I've ever read and I KNOW I just said that about The Hate U Give but I think I somehow ... also loved this even more then that and I fucking loved THUG. Every element of this was just so incredibly appealing to me. The solid m/f friendship, the parents in the story, the relationship between Aled and Daniel. The podcast, Frances worry about school, the pressure on the kids regarding school, the teenagers hanging out, the little mystery element over who is February Friday, and what happened to Carys. I read this entire 410 page book in one day and then sent an embarrassing "Im crying because I love your book" to Alice Oseman's tumblr so safe to say I really really really really loved this and honestly can everyone just stop what they are doing and read it right fucking now?? trigger warnings: parental abuse (emotional, hair cutting being the most physical), alcohol use/getting drunk, depression and suicidal implications “I wonder - if nobody is listening to my voice, am I even making any sound at all?" ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ me upon finishing thissome more quotes I loved“And I’m platonically in love with you.”“That was literally the boy-girl version of ‘no homo’, but I appreciate the sentiment.” “I think everyone’s a bit bored with boy-girl romances anyway,” he said. “I think the world’s had enough of those, to be honest.”my playlist
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  • kat
    January 1, 1970
    hello hi nobody is allowed near me while i marinate in the awesome that is this book. that is all. RTC✨
  • Ariel
    January 1, 1970
    I wish I'd read this as a teenager. Alice Oseman so delicately and personally delivers a story about enjoying creativity and seeing life as having more options than solely "go to University."We follow Frances, a girl who is dead set on going to Cambridge... even though she doesn't really seem to understand why she got on this path in the first place or remember why it matters so much to her. It's always been her plan, so it must have been the only good option, right? When she gets involved in a I wish I'd read this as a teenager. Alice Oseman so delicately and personally delivers a story about enjoying creativity and seeing life as having more options than solely "go to University."We follow Frances, a girl who is dead set on going to Cambridge... even though she doesn't really seem to understand why she got on this path in the first place or remember why it matters so much to her. It's always been her plan, so it must have been the only good option, right? When she gets involved in a YouTube podcast that she loves, through making meaningful relationships and valuing art in a new way, she starts to understand that there isn't one right option.I think Alice Oseman was the perfect person to write this book... she wrote it while still in University, at a school she chose because of its academic qualities, pursuing a subject she chose because it seemed like the clever thing to study. I really felt while reading it that she uniquely understood the subject and that having a someone who had been gone from high school for too much longer wouldn't have felt so authentic.I loved the use of technology (a YouTube podcast, Tumblr fan art, Twitter direct messages galore!) and I enjoyed the characters and growing story. My only criticism is the pace of the book, feeling that it was too long and could have been a bit shorter with a bit more plot. But hey, that's just me. Oo! And one more thing that just occurred to me: I was really interested in reading about a mixed race character (being mixed race myself) and I thought the representation was... insignificant. I'm glad she made the character more diverse, but I also didn't feel that anything was done with it. It was never really mentioned, it wasn't a part of her character or story, so I feel very neutral about it.I really enjoyed this and I look forward to reading more from Alice soon!
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  • Nat
    January 1, 1970
    “Hello. I hope somebody is listening.”Radio Silence has been on my wishlist for ages, so I figured the time has come to pick it up. And wow was time right.We follow Frances Janvier's final school year. 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.Frances is obsessed with Universe City, a YouTube podcast show about a suit-wearing student detective looking for a wa “Hello. I hope somebody is listening.”Radio Silence has been on my wishlist for ages, so I figured the time has come to pick it up. And wow was time right.We follow Frances Janvier's final school year. 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.Frances is obsessed with Universe City, a YouTube podcast show about a suit-wearing student detective looking for a way to escape a sci-fi, monster-infested university.“Nobody knew who made the podcast, but it was the voice of the narrator that got me addicted to the show – it has a kind of softness. It makes you want to fall asleep. In the least weird way possible, it’s a bit like someone stroking your hair.”That's what I thought when I listened to my first podcast episode: it makes you want to fall asleep (in the best way possible).Oh, and Frances is also mixed-race & bisexual.This review contains mild *spoilers*.When Frances meets Aled Last, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom.“I never told anyone about Universe City,” he said, glancing back at me. “I thought they’d think I was weird.”There were a hundred things I could have said in reply to that, but I just said:“Same.”Same here, too.I also loved how they slowly became good friends, it's one of my favorite things to read about in books:“Just before he left, as we were standing in the doorway, I said:“Where did you get your shoes? They’re so nice.”He looked at me like I’d told him he’d won the lottery.“ASOS,” he said.“Ah, cool.”“They’re …” He almost didn’t say it. “I know they’re weird. They were in the women’s section.”“Oh. They don’t look like women’s shoes.” I looked at his feet. “They don’t look like men’s shoes either. They’re just shoes.” I looked back at him and smiled, not quite sure where I was going with this. He was staring at me, his expression now completely unreadable.“I have a coat from Topman,” I continued. “And I tell you what, the men’s section of Primark is the best for Christmas jumpers.”Yes! Thank you for addressing this in writing.And for a second there I was troubled that this was going to become a love story, but I needn't have worried.“I just sort of want to say something before we continue.You probably think that Aled Last and I are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and I am a girl.I just wanted to say –We don’t.That’s all.”I felt so surprised (in a good way) when she addressed the reader. I even had that Robert De Niro moment:But I just... I loved how well-developed and real the friendship between Frances and Aled was:“Our friendship had become this:(00:00) Frances JanvierHAPPY BIRTHDAY HOPE YOU’RE FEELING PARTY AFLOVE U LOADS U BEAUTIFUL MANCAN’T BELIEVE MY SMALL BUDDY IS A MAN NOWI’M CRYING(00:02) Aled Lastwhy are you tormenting me with cringe messages like this(00:03) Frances Janvier¯\_(ツ)_/¯(00: 03) Aled LastWowthank u tho luv u (✿♥‿♥)(00:04) Frances Janvier”THAT was cringe m8(00:04) Aled Lastthat was payback "Literally cry-laughing over their messages.Speaking of... the humor in this book was right up my alley.“There was a huge Facebook event for the post-exams night happening at Johnny R’s on the same day, which everyone in sixth form had been invited to, but I didn’t really want to go. Firstly, everyone was just gonna get drunk, which I could do perfectly well by myself in my lounge while watching YouTube videos instead of having to worry about catching the last train home or avoiding sexual assault. Secondly, I hadn’t really spoken to any of my school friends apart from Raine very recently, and I think if we were in The Sims, our friendship bar would almost be back to nothing.”I don't know why, but that Sims reference made me crack up for days....On a more serious note, I went into this book thinking that Frances was asexual (not bisexual), so that was a mistake on my part. But Radio Silence talked about really important topics in such an inclusive way, I loved it.“Like, it’s one of the reasons that I got so into Universe City in the first place. Because Radio falls in love with all sorts of people, boys and girls and other genders and … like, aliens and stuff.” I laughed and he smiled too.“I think everyone’s a bit bored with boy-girl romances anyway,” he said. “I think the world’s had enough of those, to be honest.”True!!!Also, the pop-culture references were written in such a smooth way!! There was talk of Harry Potter, Youtubers, Twitter (including tweets)... and again, the instant messages between Frances and Aled were hysterical.Social media was just handled in a really well way, both the positive and the negative aspects. I mean, when some people in the fandom were acting like literal detectives trying to expose someone online, it was scary. Not gonna lie.Messing with the privacy of a person who clearly wanted to remain anonymous? Not cool.“It was disgusting. People who knew Aled in real life had taken stuff from his private Facebook. They’d listened in on my conversation with Jess and quoted me. What was this? Who did they think I was? A celebrity?”I'm very glad Alice Oseman included this.Also, on a completely unrelated note— can we take a minute to appreciate Raine? Because I loved it whenever she showed up. She just said whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. Incredible.“Is that an ‘Oh my God you look absolutely ridiculous’?” I said, getting into the passenger seat, “because that’s an understandable reaction.”“No, I mean I didn’t know you were so … pop punk. I thought I was gonna have to corrupt the nerdy one, but … you’re not actually a nerd, are you?”She appeared to be being genuine.“This is real, this is me,” I said.She blinked. “Did you just quote Camp Rock at me? That’s not very pop punk.”“I’ve gotta go my own way.”“Okay, firstly, that’s High School Musical …”Ha! She took my line about Camp Rock!!Also, quoting old Disney Channel movies in books? Yes, please.Truly though, Lorraine Sengupta had my heart because her lines were the absolute best. She's a sunshine angel.Oh, and as I mentioned before about asexuality... I was really glad that it did end up being included when Aled mentioned that he's demisexual!I pretty much adored everything about Radio Silence, and my only tiny (really tiny) complaint being that the word 'literally' was used one too many times for my liking. I enjoy using it too, but while reading I prefer seeing it in moderation.Also, I just wanted to mention that this book had so many great recommendations for music artists (London Grammar, Nero, Madeon...). And yet I still somehow ended up listening to this next song on repeat because I'm obsessed with Phillipa Soo's voice. (Every single time she sings “I wrote to the General a month ago,” a piece of my heart cracks.)*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Radio Silence, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!* This review and more can be found on my blog.
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  • Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
    January 1, 1970
    *4.5/5I honestly can’t tell you how long it’s been since I stayed up too late, not even realizing what time it was because I was so desperate to finish a story. Brilliant.
  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    "Everything's better under the stars, I suppose. If we get another life after we die, I'll meet you there."4.5/5 starsA girl pretending to be someone else entirely. A boy who can peel away her layers. A friendship so deep they'll never want to lose each other. And secrets that could destroy it all.I've you've read Solitaire or Radio Silence you'll know that she's one of us. Movie and book nerd, internet and 90's kid, passionate procrastinator, feminist, possibly awkward. Which is the main reason "Everything's better under the stars, I suppose. If we get another life after we die, I'll meet you there."4.5/5 starsA girl pretending to be someone else entirely. A boy who can peel away her layers. A friendship so deep they'll never want to lose each other. And secrets that could destroy it all.I've you've read Solitaire or Radio Silence you'll know that she's one of us. Movie and book nerd, internet and 90's kid, passionate procrastinator, feminist, possibly awkward. Which is the main reason her writing is so close to my heart. It's highly relatable and highly sarcastic. No wonder I read this in a day. This was even better than her debut novel.There's many more reasons this book made happy:•I just love the characters, especially Frances' mom. She's the best. And even though you won't like the evil Mom-next-door, she's someone you'll recognise from your non-book life.•Thumbs up also for talking feminism, diversity, and sexual identity.•CAMEOS. I NEED MORE NICK&CHARLIE IN MY LIFE PRETTY PLEASE.The only thing I can criticise - and where I had to take away half a star - is the clichéd drama. But that shall be forgiven. 99% of books have that moment where you roll your eyes because of some big misunderstanding, where you know that if they'd just talk, it could be sorted out in a minute.Now, how long will I have to wait for a new Oseman book?Find more of my books on Instagram
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  • emma
    January 1, 1970
    Look at me posting it up!!! Find this review hereeeeee: https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...---------What. Is. This. Book.Like...how do I review a book if I don’t know my feelings on it? AND HOW DO I DECIDE WHAT MY FEELINGS ARE IF I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS?Okay. Let me go with the old classics and start off by stating what I know: a synopsis and the few concrete opinions I have.So in this book we follow Frances, a studying machine who is a huge fangirl of a podcast (for a podcast? What is the Look at me posting it up!!! Find this review hereeeeee: https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...---------What. Is. This. Book.Like...how do I review a book if I don’t know my feelings on it? AND HOW DO I DECIDE WHAT MY FEELINGS ARE IF I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS?Okay. Let me go with the old classics and start off by stating what I know: a synopsis and the few concrete opinions I have.So in this book we follow Frances, a studying machine who is a huge fangirl of a podcast (for a podcast? What is the proper grammar for “fangirl”). She then finds out that a total dweeb named Aled is the one making it, and they become friends and whatnot and are wildly successful and drama ensues or whatever. Aled has a lot of family drama. Things go down.That’s the story, morning glory.Now let’s get to the real treat: my opinions. How exciting.Most importantly, this book is SO EFFORTLESSLY DIVERSE. Frances is bisexual. Aled is asexual and gay. (This is technically something that is revealed later on in the story, but I don’t like treating sexuality like a spoiler generally. Ace representation especially is SO RARE and v important. So I’m not going to, like, hide that from you guys. It’s not even a huge reveal. It’s just character growth and recognition and whatnot.) Frances is also half-Ethiopian and has a single mother, as does Aled, I think. It’s all just very good. All YA should be as easily inclusive as this. It makes for a much richer story.Wow. How…earnest. Shiver.There’s also no romance in this book which is just...profoundly refreshing. But also kind of weird in this context? Because it seems very romancey at times. It just doesn’t end up that way. So I’d like more of this, please, but also less romancey even than this.The last good thing is that I read it in a day.FURTHERMORE.I did not really love or very much even like this book.I know. I don’t know how many reasons I have for it. This book and I just didn’t click. And even if there are things about it that are really very good, and even if generally I would recommend this book to those that are interested, I’m not going to make myself give this a rating that doesn’t feel true. I didn’t love the writing style. And overall I guess it just felt really strange to me. I felt so odd about marking this as “contemporary” because it DOESN’T FEEL LIKE THAT AT ALL. It’s so unrealistic as to almost not take place in our world. The way the characters act, but also just the way that people act as a whole...it felt like fantasy or magical realism. I don’t know. The plot jumped around a lot which, you know, didn’t exactly help to GROUND me in the magical world of steampunk whimsy in which we find ourselves.Plus reading about England is always slightly weird. It’s like America, but not! (Insert a million angry British people in the comments.)And “Universe City,” the podcast Aled makes/Frances obsesses over, is really just a copy of Welcome to Night Vale. It says it’s inspired by, but it’s really the same thing. And Welcome to Night Vale is a lot cooler and more exciting and interesting. This is so weird and choppy but I’m still REALLY TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY I DIDN’T LIKE THIS. I’M SORRY.Okay. I took a two week break to reflect. I vacationed, I sat on beaches, I looked out train windows onto rainy landscapes with my head resting on my hand, other tropes about thinking. And I think I know what it is.It’s...the characters.There’s a lot of insta-friendship, which always feels uncomfy. And everyone treats each other sh*ttily (I love making the word sh*t into an adverb) and do things that people would just like, never do. Everyone is flat, and if they’re not flat then they end up acting totally unrealistically and then that MAKES them flat and I don’t get it!!!!! I am so screaming into the void right now and even the void is like you’re not making any sense!!!!!!This is the worst review I’ve ever written. AND STILL I DON’T LIKE THIS BOOK.Bottom line: Yeah read this if you want to. Literally don’t listen to me at all. I’M DELETING MY ACCOUNT BYE
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  • amy ☂︎
    January 1, 1970
    💭jus thinking..... can you take legal action against fictional characters?? because carol last needs to rot in jail for the rest of her life i've literally never wanted to fight a nonexistent person more, like i’ve hated a lot of characters but you really take the cake CAROL anyways i liked this book a lot but i feel let down because of the hype it received. (thanks for nothing goodreads asshats! stop hyping books. disappointment is imminent when you have sky high expectations). regardless a bea 💭jus thinking..... can you take legal action against fictional characters?? because carol last needs to rot in jail for the rest of her life i've literally never wanted to fight a nonexistent person more, like i’ve hated a lot of characters but you really take the cake CAROL anyways i liked this book a lot but i feel let down because of the hype it received. (thanks for nothing goodreads asshats! stop hyping books. disappointment is imminent when you have sky high expectations). regardless a beautiful story which definitely tugs at the heart strings. plus i loved that literally EVERYBODY is gay in this.you’re not getting an actual review bc i‘m a lazy bitch today 😇rating: ★★★½
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  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    What a PHENOMENAL book. Wow. Wow wow wow. WOW.
  • may ➹
    January 1, 1970
    you know those books you feel like you were put on Earth to read? this is it. this is one of those bookswow. I feel like this book was written about me, and written for me. I love everything about it and you all are missing out if you haven’t read this masterpiece// buddy read with gay driver & cortical reader
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  • Brianna
    January 1, 1970
    “Radio’s trapped in Universe City. And someone’s finally heard him. Someone is going to rescue him.” I know last time I read this, I said “RTC” and I did try (really, truly tried!!) to write a review. But it felt impossible to talk about how much I love this book and how much it means to me on a personal level. I’ll attempt that review again and hopefully be back with it soon. In the meantime, I’ll just say I’d give this book more than 5 stars if I could❤ “Radio’s trapped in Universe City. And someone’s finally heard him. Someone is going to rescue him.” I know last time I read this, I said “RTC” and I did try (really, truly tried!!) to write a review. But it felt impossible to talk about how much I love this book and how much it means to me on a personal level. I’ll attempt that review again and hopefully be back with it soon. In the meantime, I’ll just say I’d give this book more than 5 stars if I could❤️
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  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    *minor spoilers*Frances is a nerdy British-Ethiopian teen who is obsessed with a small podcast called Universe City. She's split between being her "school self" and real self. One self is at the top of the class, set on getting into Cambridge, and a workaholic... and the other self does Universe City fan art on Tumblr and has no true friends. One night Frances meets a quiet, anxious boy named Aled who turns out to be the creator of Universe City. He's the younger brother of a girl Frances kissed *minor spoilers*Frances is a nerdy British-Ethiopian teen who is obsessed with a small podcast called Universe City. She's split between being her "school self" and real self. One self is at the top of the class, set on getting into Cambridge, and a workaholic... and the other self does Universe City fan art on Tumblr and has no true friends. One night Frances meets a quiet, anxious boy named Aled who turns out to be the creator of Universe City. He's the younger brother of a girl Frances kissed last year, so that leads into a deeper part of the plot with family problems.It was so wonderful to find a story where the main character doesn't end up in a relationship. Don't get me wrong, I obviously adore a good love story. But YA contemporaries that have a strong guy + girl friendship and let the main character remains single are so rare. When the two characters were still just friends at the end I kept staring at the book likeThe characters seriously felt more like people I'd know in real life than fictional characters, too. Everything was so well done! The writing was solid, the parents were fully formed characters, the dialogue was hilariously real, there was a ton of diversity, and there was a realistic range of sexualities. Frances is bisexual, Daniel and Carys are gay, and Aled is either asexual or demisexual. Plus, all of the situations were super believable... like the messages that Aled and Frances got via Tumblr about Universe City sounded TOTALLY real. The author really knows how fandoms can spiral out of control. OH, and major shoutout to the random Vampire Weekend song that was thrown into the story. White Sky is the greatest -- 5 extra stars for that.Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.
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  • jessica
    January 1, 1970
    i absolutely tore through this. i am so surprised at the ease and quickness in which i finished this. most likely because the pacing was on point, the storyline was good, and aled. oh my gosh. aled was so innocent and wholesome. i honestly kind of wish the story was told from his perspective. but this was a much needed fun book to read after my emotional weekend (see previous review). 4 stars
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  • ✨ jamieson ✨
    January 1, 1970
    “And I’m platonically in love with you.”“That was literally the boy-girl version of ‘no homo’, but I appreciate the sentiment.” I have already done a full review of this book the first time I read it and if you're interested in reading that you should do so. It'll give you my in depth thoughts on this book and explain why I LOVE IT SO MUCH. This is a reread, because I fucking love this book so much. So I'm just gonna do a dot point review TO EXPRESS MY EMOTIONS. Thanks🌟 first of all this book i “And I’m platonically in love with you.”“That was literally the boy-girl version of ‘no homo’, but I appreciate the sentiment.” I have already done a full review of this book the first time I read it and if you're interested in reading that you should do so. It'll give you my in depth thoughts on this book and explain why I LOVE IT SO MUCH. This is a reread, because I fucking love this book so much. So I'm just gonna do a dot point review TO EXPRESS MY EMOTIONS. Thanks🌟 first of all this book is the best. the banter, the memes, the internet culture. oh boy i die for that shit !!! you can tell alice oseman is a teenager herself because IT'S SO AUTHENTIC🌟 FRANCES. MY GIRL. MY LOVE. I relate to her so much. Especially when she's talking about schoolwork. I just see myself so much in her and it part makes me happy part makes me cringe🌟 the platonic friendship between Aled and Frances is so pure. Need me a friendship like that. I love them so much. The bits of them hanging out writing art is my fave bit of this book🌟 Okay this made me so much sadder the second time. Everything with Aled hit me a lot harder in this one. And Brian, god I nearly cried on the damn train🌟 ALED AND DANIEL ARE TOO GOOD FOR THIS WORLD, TOO PURE🌟 It was interesting reading this after going back and reading Solitaire, there's so many cool tie in references🌟 RAINE SENGUPTA COULD HIT ME AND I'D THANK HER🌟 I super love the first half of this book, I don't like the second half as much. But oh god the first half. I'd die for it🌟 ALED IS SUCH A NERD LMAO BUT I LOVE HIM🌟 the bit of them drunk in the field .... thats happened to me exactly like that its like reading a memory🌟 I really would love to listen to Universe City. It sounds so fun🌟 FRANCES MUM IS SO FUCKING NICE I LOV HER🌟 I love it at "she tries to talk to me at the post office" every time🌟 Also can Aled's mum .. *draws from cigarette* choke🌟 honestly this is kinda melancholy and sad, but it's also hilarious and uplifting. the dichotomy of life🌟 ICB ALED LAST HAVE I MENTIONED THAT🌟 I JUST LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUUUUUUUCHHH
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  • Claudia Ramírez
    January 1, 1970
    They were all so precious I love them all.
  • Leore
    January 1, 1970
    ‘Hello, I hope somebody is listening...’ I loved this book. There were just so many good things about it I hope to include as much as I can in this review.I’ve had this book on my TBR for a long while because I loved the cover (purple hardback one, I most definitely read books depending on their covers, I know I should stop okay) but what really pushed me to pick it up from the library was seeing paperbackdreams non stop talking about it on her YouTube channel. Check out her videos if you have ‘Hello, I hope somebody is listening...’ I loved this book. There were just so many good things about it I hope to include as much as I can in this review.I’ve had this book on my TBR for a long while because I loved the cover (purple hardback one, I most definitely read books depending on their covers, I know I should stop okay) but what really pushed me to pick it up from the library was seeing paperbackdreams non stop talking about it on her YouTube channel. Check out her videos if you have a chance, she properly gushes her heart out of how much she loves this book and if my review doesn’t convince you to read it, her videos likely will.CHARACTERSWhat was especially good about this book was that it’s main focus wasn’t actually romance, but it was family and friendship based and this is kind of a rarity in contemporary now. The friendship between Aled and Frances and even Raine, the Last family with Carys and Aled... I could go on. I thought Carol was written well too which can be a difficult character to write about but I think it can really help readers who might find themselves in similar situations and realise that it’s not their fault.THE WRITINGSO captivating and addictive. Loved it. Alice Oseman really knows how to write in a way that keeps you captivated and not want to put this book down. I was submerged into this book and any distraction just frustrated me that I had to remove myself from the world Alice created for a moment. ‘YOU CAN SUCCEED EVEN IF YOU AREN’T ACADEMIC’This is so important, and should definitely be a topic discussed in more books coming out nowadays, especially YA. Some characters in this book begin with the lifelong goal of going to university and become successful by having a high-paying career, all because of the pressures society is putting on them to ‘study, or you won’t make it.’ Listen up people! YOU CAN STILL GET A JOB AND LIVE WELL WITHOUT A DEGREE. I love the way the book included this and also how it came across as natural when a character changed their mind. It’s normal, life is short, just do what you want.DIVERSITYThere was so much inclusivity and diversity in this book. From gay, asexual, bisexual characters to characters of colour and single parents.DISAPPOINTMENTSThe story was very unrealistic. Since it’s meant to be a contemporary it’s meant to be realistic for the most part and some bits just weren’t. To the finding out who was behind Universe City and it being someone you know in real life, to a whole scene around 20-30 pages before the end of the book involving Carol, Aled and a train. No spoilers obviously but if you’ve read it you should know what i’m talking about. Hopefully.Overall, I just really really loved this book and think even if YA is not your preferred genre, this one might be worth a try... it did have a kind of sci-fi element to it.This book also reminded me a lot of C.G.Drews’ ‘A Thousand Perfect Notes’ so if you like this one or vice versa, I think you’d like the other.I will definitely pick up another Oseman in the future, this one was absolutely lovely.4.5 stars!Warnings: abuse, (and maybe animal abuse too) alcohol, depression, anxiety
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  • ALet
    January 1, 1970
    ★★★ /5Personally, I really enjoyed the themes and ideas this book put forward. This book explores the pressures that teens face. Going to university and trying to persuade your life goals in this way is one of most important things in our society and this book changes it.I liked that it focused on a boy-girl true friendship with no romance. It was very refreshing and nice to read about.Sadly, I wasn’t a fan of the plot. I am not a huge contemporary fan and the plot wasn’t an exception. I found i ★★★½ /5Personally, I really enjoyed the themes and ideas this book put forward. This book explores the pressures that teens face. Going to university and trying to persuade your life goals in this way is one of most important things in our society and this book changes it.I liked that it focused on a boy-girl true friendship with no romance. It was very refreshing and nice to read about.Sadly, I wasn’t a fan of the plot. I am not a huge contemporary fan and the plot wasn’t an exception. I found it to be repetitive and sometimes useless. But details such as podcast brought the story to life, and made it a little more enjoyable. The writing style was fine, I liked how simple it was.Although I didn’t like few parts of the book, but I still recommend it, because it was important and refreshing read.
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  • Xandra (StarrySkyBooks)
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. That was a good book, friends.You can read the full, spoiler-free review on my blog!First of all, this book was unique! The story was different and refreshing, not cliche like a lot of YA contemporaries.RATING: 4.5 stars (out of 5), for being interesting and differentMY THOUGHTS:From the beginning, though, I realized that this book is probably for a very specific type of person. I was not interested in the concept of podcasts, the premise of this book would not have appealed to me as much. Wow. That was a good book, friends.You can read the full, spoiler-free review on my blog!First of all, this book was unique! The story was different and refreshing, not cliche like a lot of YA contemporaries.RATING: 4.5 stars (out of 5), for being interesting and differentMY THOUGHTS:From the beginning, though, I realized that this book is probably for a very specific type of person. I was not interested in the concept of podcasts, the premise of this book would not have appealed to me as much. (I am not saying you have to like podcasts to like this book, so don’t worry.)Regardless, what really made this book so good was the characters and their relationships with each other. It’s all about growing up, and being friends, and fixing broken relationships despite the other parts of life which seem more important. I generally loved the main character, Frances, and her friendship with Aled. It felt very relatable, and because I kind of saw myself in Frances, I could tell where she was coming from even when she made some mistakes.The first half was great, and I flew through it very fast. After a while, the book slowed down a little and things began to get more serious, but in the end, it was still a good book with an interesting message.On a sad note: This book also made me want to quit University for about a week, but maybe that’s just my fault (I would never actually do it, but I considered what it would mean for me). I actually felt sick after going through this book the more I thought about it, and I did not want to do my school work. I felt like everything didn’t matter. And as much as I don’t like school, I actually do enjoy learning – it’s just the memorization and learning-about-things-that-don’t-matter-in-my-career parts which I don’t like. (Sorry if this feels a bit too deep, but I’m still feeling this way and I hope admitting it will help.)TW for mentions of child abuse, suicide, running away from home.
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  • chandler ainsley ♕
    January 1, 1970
    "if you like it, then it is brilliant."shit y'all. i'm honestly at a loss for words when it comes to this book. as with many books, i was influenced by another person to read this one. specifically by kat of paperbackdreams on youtube. if you watch her, you'll understand the expectations that i had going into this.it wasn't at all what i expected. i didn't know much about the plot going in, purposefully. but i didn't expect a book about a girl in her senior year of high school & a boy with a "if you like it, then it is brilliant."shit y'all. i'm honestly at a loss for words when it comes to this book. as with many books, i was influenced by another person to read this one. specifically by kat of paperbackdreams on youtube. if you watch her, you'll understand the expectations that i had going into this.it wasn't at all what i expected. i didn't know much about the plot going in, purposefully. but i didn't expect a book about a girl in her senior year of high school & a boy with an anonymous youtube channel to be so stark and poignant. there was a lot to love. the format of the book, despite the (sorry) lack of plot lent itself well to binge reading. every chapter ended with SUCH. QUOTABLE. LINES. the idea that just because something is "typical" it doesn't have to be the right choice for you. the characters felt real, lovely, and so so imperfect. and the relationships were impeccably nuanced. all things that i need in books.PLUS! the boy/girl friendship and NOT BANGIN rep was fantastic.the only reason i couldn't 5 star this is because i'm old. truly. there was just a certain level of disconnect from the characters' struggles given that i'm already out of university and in the real world. i felt myself remembering some of that "what am i going to do with my life" angst that i had back then but it's hard to truly relate 5 years later. but that's not a bad thing. books are not written solely for me to relate to. and i still felt the beautiful sentiment that this book had to offer. go read this, especially if you're in high school. you'll find yourself wishing frances & aled were your friends too.
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  • Malanie
    January 1, 1970
    “And I’m platonically in love with you.” I feel v guilty about how long it’s taken me to write this review, because I loved this book. But in my defense, I’ve been watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, eating cookie butter, and rereading The Foxhole Court series. So, can we really blame me right now? By :) no :) means. Overall, I finished this book in two days & let me say I was put through the emotional turmoil of my life. I both adored and hated these characters! (excluding Frances, she is the “And I’m platonically in love with you.” I feel v guilty about how long it’s taken me to write this review, because I loved this book. But in my defense, I’ve been watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, eating cookie butter, and rereading The Foxhole Court series. So, can we really blame me right now? By :) no :) means. Overall, I finished this book in two days & let me say I was put through the emotional turmoil of my life. I both adored and hated these characters! (excluding Frances, she is the exclusive person I loved entirely without any hate.) So, my review is basically going to be a rant about how beautiful platonic love is, how much I relate to Frances, and what a complex jerk Aled turned out to be. WHOOOOOOOOP. Plot High school student Frances fulfills the “studying forever” niche and school is her entire life; but she doesn’t actually *like* academics. When she’s with friends she feels alienated, like she’s basically tolerating people you call “friends” so you can sit with them at lunch. As far as close, dear relationships, all she has is her mom. (which is not a bad thing because her her mom is v cool! Another example of books ft. awesome parents). Her one major passion in life is a YouTube podcast called Universe City. She draws fan art and listens to every show. She’s my level of fangirling, except I have no talent whatsoever. c: c: Then she meets Aled, the boy who lives across the street. They relate to one another hard and become friends! Some would even sayyyyy………*best* friends, but that phrase is never explicitly used. Instead, Aled’s like “I’m platonically in love with you” or “I feel like you are me” or Frances says “you’re the closest friend I’ve ever had.” I really loved this element: This story is not a romance whatsoever. Instead, it’s the story of two people developing a deep platonic bond. Aled continuously screws up said bond. BUT IT’S OKAY. Because I got my platonic love rep and I wish that more books gave us this. Imagine a society where instead of just marriage/dating being normal, people shared their lives just as intensely with best friends? I’M SORRY I JUST LOVE PLATONIC INTIMACY. But (this is not a spoiler) Aled turns out to be the creator of Universe City. When the world finds out who Aled is, it means Frances + Aled’s friendship is threatened because Aled is mean person sometimes Characters Frances MY GIRL Frances is awkward & a people-pleaser & doesn’t know how to be herself in social situations. I have never felt more connected to a character in my life. The resemblance was uncanny??????? I COULD NOT FUNCTION. Frances is also v quick to blame herself for things that are actually not her fault at all. She’s loyal, secretly a giant geek, and invests her energy into building a platonic bond w a boy!!!!! Frances outright says that she doesn’t get involved romantically w Aled, but their relationship is just as intense as any romance. Why didn’t anyone tell me this book existed????? I’VE BEEN ON THE HUNT FOR BOY/GIRL FRIENDSHIP STORIES. I thought you all were my friends ;_;Also, Frances is a biracial & bisexual. This filled my heart w joy, bc I haven’t read this representation for a female character *ever*. It was a giant moment for my little ol’ heart. Aled I’m not here to drag Aled through the cold wintry snow, thus making his face uncomfortably cold, exacting my revenge for how he treats Frances. That’s absolutely not what’s happening. In fact, I’m going to start with positive things about him! ✨ He’s gay! This one of the best things a person can be c: c: ✨ He’s demisexual! THIS REP IS SO RARE??????? I search high and low for my demi rep, and Aled launches into an entire explanation of what it means, which closely resembles my own demisexuality??????? My cheeks hurt from how much I smiled during this scene slkdjflsdkjfldksj✨He’s v creative. He writes & 100% produces a popular lowkey podcast. & just when I thought I was impressed, he whips out a gorgeous guitar and performs the ending song. Excuse me, God, why did you give all the talents to Aled when they should’ve been more evenly distributed, it’s only fair. But even though Aled has many positive characteristics, he’s a crap friend to Frances & a crap boyfriend to Daniel. There’s a scene toward the end in which he insults and demeans Frances for things she hasn’t done, and he never apologizes for the mean, horrible things he says to her. Frances, however, is constantly apologizing and asking for forgiveness, even though she’s an innocent angel. Then, his poor Korean boyfriend, Daniel, is constantly given the ghost treatment???????? I understand that Aled is awkward af. But the way he treats his loved ones made me want to….spring forward and push him into the pool of disappointment. Aled cannot blame being an introvert/being scared/having a tragic childhood when he's actively being mean & disrespectful & an asshole. Frances and Daniel let him get away w a lot of drama & I would’ve been over it a LONG ass time ago. In conclusion Even though Aled was annoying sometimes, and broke my heart, I mostly loved his relationship with Frances. I wish they would’ve explicitly acknowledged that they were one another’s best friend!!!!!! But they are still a dynamic duo. I can’t wait to read more Alice Oseman, I hope the friendships stay strong????????If you loved Radio Silence, I recommend Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe | 💜TWITTER 💜| 💜BOOKSTAGRAM💜 |💜BLOG 💜|
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  • Romie
    January 1, 1970
    I honestly never thought that picking this book up would mean finding a new favourite book only 3 days into 2018. And yet … also why did I wait so long? To think I could have read this little masterpiece a year ago is absolutely mind-blowing. I’m the worst.I read this book with one of my best friends and in a way it reminded me of us. Of our friendship. Maybe that’s why this book is so special to me, because it felt like reading about my life.Frances is someone who, since the moment she learned I honestly never thought that picking this book up would mean finding a new favourite book only 3 days into 2018. And yet … also why did I wait so long? To think I could have read this little masterpiece a year ago is absolutely mind-blowing. I’m the worst.I read this book with one of my best friends and in a way it reminded me of us. Of our friendship. Maybe that’s why this book is so special to me, because it felt like reading about my life.Frances is someone who, since the moment she learned what ‘clever’ meant, decided she would be clever. The cleverest person. Because we’re taught being smart, going to university, is supposed to make you happy. But she’s also this person who makes fanart for her favourite Youtube podcast, Universe City.Aled is the one behind this podcast, shy and soft boy who somehow doesn’t think he’s good enough. He struggles a lot with self-confidence, because having a mother who doesn’t think of you as worthy if you don’t get good grades will never help you. But friends can and will.When Frances and Aled meet and become friends, it’s like they’re finally able to truly be themselves. They don’t have to be this idea people have of them. They don’t have to hide behind a projection of people’s expectations of them. They’re allowed to be free.
If you put them together, they’re basically the same: same way to dress, same way to think, same way to talk … they were somehow meant to be friends. The best of friends.It’s a story that deeply touched me because I could relate so much to Frances and Aled, to their hopes, their struggles … while reading this book, it was like I was reading about myself. Frances is this small bisexual biracial — British-Ethiopian — baby and finding myself represented in her was the most wonderful thing ever. Aled is demisexual, best friend with gay British-Korean sweetheart Daniel, brother to badass and independent lesbian Carys. Have you ever heard of a contemporary this diverse? It made my heart melt.In this book, both Aled and Frances deals with anxiety which made so much sense to me, made me feel like it was okay for me to be feeling all these things. Aled also deals with severe depression. It’s not said this way, like it’s never stated that he’s suffering from depression, but as someone who has to deal with this, I know it when I see it. Does that make sense? Aled just reacted the same way I did, and I’m not saying it’s amazing that he has depression, but the rep in itself was amazingly done.I feel like I’m not doing justice to this book. I want everybody to pick it up because it spoke to my heart, made me feel understood and loved. This book got what it’s like to be a teenager or a young adult nowadays. It got the pressure people put on our shoulders to go to university and study, no matter what, even if you’re not good at it. It got it perfectly. It got the fears and hopes of our generation. This book is our generation in a nutshell.This book is a pure gem and I love it with all my heart.“Everyone's different inside their head.”
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  • emma
    January 1, 1970
    you may be very small but you are all very important in the universe. This book feels less like a physical bundle of pieces of paper and more like a late-night conversation with your best friend. It’s that moment of quiet understanding, of letting another person see inside your head and hold your thoughts in their hands and knowing that you trust them utterly and completely.I’ve been trying for a while to write a comprehensive review for Radio Silence that can function as a perfect electronic m you may be very small but you are all very important in the universe. This book feels less like a physical bundle of pieces of paper and more like a late-night conversation with your best friend. It’s that moment of quiet understanding, of letting another person see inside your head and hold your thoughts in their hands and knowing that you trust them utterly and completely.I’ve been trying for a while to write a comprehensive review for Radio Silence that can function as a perfect electronic manifestation of my unconditional love for this book, and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is simply not something I’m capable of. This is one of those stories that feel so valuable and precious that after you’ve finished, all you really want to do is hold the book to your chest and sit in a quiet room for a while and think.I usually try to include a bit of plot summary in my reviews, but I feel like any attempt to summarize Frances and Aled’s story would be too reductive. I think it’s better to go in free of expectations, because this is very much a character-centered book. It’s about weirdness and friendship and a podcast, and the existential sense of disillusionment that comes along with realizing that the entire perspective on education and achievement and individual worth that you’ve been fed your entire life is, for lack of a better word, bullshit.So rather than writing a well-organized, eloquently worded analysis of all of my thoughts and feelings on this book, please enjoy a list of all the reasons why this book means so much to me.Also, apologies for all of the run-ons. I forget how to vary my sentence structure when I’m emotional.THE WRITINGFrances’s voice is casual and close, personal and grounded. She’s honest and funny and awkward and so deeply relatable. Which isn’t even a word that feels like it can accurately convey how much I connected to her experiences, because we use it so often as a reflexively sarcastic response. But I mean it it in the sincerest way possible: so much of Frances’s experiences and perspectives reminded me of my own thoughts. (If they were a bit more elegantly phrased and had better-timed humor, of course.)UNIVERSE CITY I wonder sometimes whether you’ve exploded already, like a star, and what I’m seeing you is three million years into the past, and you’re not here anymore. How can we be together here, now, when you are so far away. When you are so far ago? I’m shouting so loudly, but you never turn around to see me. Perhaps it is I who have already exploded. Either way, we are going to bring beautiful things into the universe. The whole concept of Aled’s Universe City podcast is just so. fucking. cool. If you’ve ever listened to Welcome to Night Vale, there are some definite parallels—both feature an isolated narrator in an odd, ominous, science fiction-y setting. From the little snippets we get, Universe City feels like a more introspective. It’s bizarre and whimsical, a quiet window into someone else’s loneliness.So much of the current internet culture can be incredibly isolating—it’s hard to know for sure if anybody’s listening, or if what we do and say online has a real impact on other humans somewhere out in the world. And while this book does explore a bit of the darker side of internet fandoms, it’s also a testament to how stories and art can find homes in the hearts of an infinite audience of people who resonate with them.Also, it may or may not have taken me until the end of the book to figure out what the title actually meant. *facepalm*AND!! The fact that Alice Oseman is planning on actually making this podcast soon is sO AMAZING I AM PUMPED!!!!WEIRD, WONDERFUL, AND WELL-DEVELOPED CHARACTERSOne of my favorite parts of Radio Silence was that Oseman lets her characters be unabashedly weird. There are plenty of books that portray nerdy, quirky teen characters, but I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that really GETS what that’s like in the way that this one does. The teens in this book are allowed to be unique, they have random hobbies and obscure interest, but it never feels gimmicky or manic-pixie-esque. They just…..exist.Also, Frances’s mom is one of the most incredible parental figures I’ve ever read about in a YA novel. Seriously, name another book parent who watches Game of Thrones in a unicorn onesie AND gives solid life advice and unconditionally supports her daughter???My real family is great and everything BUT if I had to create a fictional one please let me be co-adopted by Frances’s mom and Starr’s parents from The Hate U Give.EMPHASIS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF PLATONIC RELATIONSHIPS I couldn’t quite believe how much I seriously loved Aled Last, even if it wasn’t in the ideal way that would make it socially acceptable for us to live together until we die. Frances and Aled’s friendship is THE best platonic relationship I have ever read about in a book. There’s something so unique and special about the way their characters connect, how when Frances and Aled are together something just clicks. Something that feels easy and happy and wonderfully weird.I love that from the very start, it’s made clear that this is not a story that centers romantic love. So often—in books and in real life—friendships are neglected and pushed to the side. They’re not idealized and prioritized in the way that romantic/sexual relationships nearly always are. Coming from someone who identifies on the ace spectrum (like one of this book’s main characters) this often feels isolating and invalidating. Radio Silence is a kind of love letter to platonic relationships (and a “fuck you” to hetero- and amatonormativity). It’s a reminder that a boy and a girl can have a meaningful relationship that never turns into a messy romantic extanglement. Even *gasp* when one of them is bisexual!!!SO, SO MUCH DIVERSITY “I think everyone’s a bit bored with boy-girl romances, anyway. I think the world’s had enough of those, to be honest.” Frances is biracial (English and Ethiopian) and bisexual, Aled is on the ace spectrum and in an m/m relationship, Daniel is British-Korean and gay, Carys is a lesbian, and Raine is Indian. And it’s never explicitly stated, but Aled struggles with depression throughout a large portion of the book.(If you didn’t know, Alice Oseman is also a brilliant artist! The above character sketch is from her Tumblr, and she’s done so many more lovely drawings of her characters!! AND if you haven’t checked it out yet, please please please do yourself a favor and go read her webcomic Heartstopper!!!)A lot of the queer representation was really personal for me, and I felt so understood while reading this story. I identify as bisexual, and I thought that aspect of Frances’s identity was so well-written. I really appreciated that her sexuality was both an important and casual part of who she is.There’s also this line, which is one of the most iconic and relatable bisexual epiphany moments ever: “I could do anything, though. I could get a septum piercing.” (I feel like inserting a picture of my face here would kinda break the flow, but last August I may or may not have come out to a bunch of people and then promptly gotten a septum piercing before fleeing the country to go live in China for a while. So.)As much as I connected to Frances’s discussions about her queerness, I think I connected to Aled even more. This is still one of only a handful of books I’ve read that use the words asexual and demisexual on the page, and seeing a character openly discuss his identity this way was a HUGE DEAL for me. Being ace is something that’s a lot trickier to define for me than being bi, but it’s just as significant a part of my identity. Still, it’s not easy to put into words, and I felt every word of what Aled was saying because it’s precisely how I feel.CRITICISM OF TRADITIONAL EDUCATION AND THE CULTURE OF OVERACHIEVING Being clever was, after all, my primary source of self-esteem. I’m a very sad person, in all senses of the word, but at least I was going to get into university. The way education systems are presented also resonated with a lot of my own experiences.I essentially was Frances in high school. And looking back, I feel like a kind of ridiculous proportion of my personality revolved around studying and obsessing over academics. I spent my last two years of high school putting myself through hell repeatedly to get an IB diploma. And I’m absolutely grateful that I had the opportunity to devote myself to my studies, as well as proud of myself for achieving it. In the years since my graduation, though, my feelings about that period of my education have become sort of bittersweet.When the time came for me to attend university……I almost couldn’t bring myself to do it. I didn’t really understand why I felt that way. I didn’t realize how intensely I’d burned myself out, and how toxic a competitive, traditional college experience would be for me. Like Frances and Aled, though, it took me a long time to fully understand that. It’s hard to accept that the image of success you’ve spent your life building up to is more of an illusion than a reality, and that it’s not possible or the right choice for a lot of people. It’s hard to let go of a goal you’ve dedicated so much time towards and made so many sacrifices for, to realize that choosing a different path isn’t the same thing as giving up. “I see you in every fire that lights. In the end I wish it had been me who’d fallen into the Fire, though maybe that’s a selfish thing to say. The Fire that touched you must have come from a star. You were always brave enough to get burned in the Fire.” All in all, Radio Silence has immediately become one of my all-time favorites. The wonderful queer rep felt like the written equivalent of a perfectly warm and fluffy steamed bun, and I absolutely loved the overarching concepts and themes Oseman managed to bring together. This the kind of contemporary that represents most accurately where I’m at in life—existential and somewhat adrift, mostly an adult but still trying to adjust to a future that isn’t quite what I expected.Content warnings for: parental abuse, depressionThis review was also posted on my blog.---------------------my christmas present to myself was staying up until 3am to binge the rest of this book and I have no fuckin ragrets. ---------------------I would just like to say that as a bi girl with a septum ring I approve of the representation of bi girls with septum rings on book covers seriously though, everyone I know is in love with this book so I am VERY excited
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