Author: Alice Oseman
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: 25th February, Harper Collins Children's Books
Pages: 400 Pages, Paperback
Rating: 5/5 CUPCAKES!
Source: Thank you to LoveReading4Kids for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?
Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.
But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.
Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…She has to confess why Carys disappeared…
Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.
It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.
Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.
I was spellbound by this book, to put it in the most simple of words. I was captivated with the writing, the characters, the plot and the significant statements that were woven throughout. I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book, but I certainly didn't imagine falling as hopelessly in love with every little detail of this sublime novel as I did and I can definitely see Alice Oseman quickly become an all-time favorite author.
Radio Silence is about Frances Janvier, the girl on the exterior showing herself to be a study machine, her time taken up by revision. homework and Oxbridge prep. However, nobody knows that once the door on the outside world is closed, Frances sits in her room in Disney print leggings creating fanart for one of her favorite Youtube channel - Universe City. There is a School Frances and a Real Frances and Frances isn't quite sure how to merge the two, or even if she wants to. Until she befriends Aled. A shy, extraordinarily clever boy - who happens to be the creator of her favorite thing in the entire universe. As the two strike up a breathtaking friendship, Frances begins to understand who she really is and who she wants to become. However, when the trust between Aled and Frances is broken, she is left reeling. Frances knows that to win back the thing she loves most and the one who handed Frances her wildest of dream she will have find the courage within her to overcome her demons.
Holy. Cow. This book was incredible. I loved absolutely every single thing about it, but let's talk about what I loved most: the characters.
The characters in this book are so genuine, so complex, so beautifully flawed. Their personalities were so brilliantly vivid...it's the type of book that once you're finished, you feel like the characters are real enough to call them up and talk to them about the most remarkable of things.
Our main character, Frances, is one you will absolutely love. The amount of times I could relate to her was actually amazing. She was so real. She was awkward, she went on Tumblr, she was a fangirl that obsessed over her favorite Youtube channel, she ate pizza in patterned leggings and sweatshirts while watching reruns of old shows with her mother. That was the real Frances. Then there was the Frances that was put on display for the rest of the world. Stressed, obsessed with getting the highest grades, a study machine. And she was both of the those things, but we learned who she really was as she did. I also loved how much I could relate to her about her fears and worries about her future, she put so much pressure on herself and I just understood because I am exactly the same. I absolutely loved Frances and I know if she wasn't fictional, we would be great friends.
Then there was Aled who I also loved...I actually loved every character in this book, except Aled's mom, she was hell personified. Aled was also so complex. I loved how shy he was and how he was also a genius and so, so creative. I loved how brilliantly complicated he was and how kind he was and funny and I JUST LOVE HIM SO MUCH.
Then there was also Daniel, Raine and Carys and I just loved all the characters. Especially Daniel. He had subtle humor, he was complicated and real and I loved him!
I'd also like to applaud the author on how diverse this book is. Frances is half British, half Ethiopian and Daniel (Aled's best friend) is Korean. Some of the characters are gay or bisexual or even asexual and I appreciated that the author didn't label this book. I appreciate that this wasn't a book labelled diverse or specifically about diversity, it had it's own story line and other important matters and it just happened to contain diversity. I think the author did this perfectly.
The friendship between Frances and Aled was one with such significant strength it could rival the magnitude of power of gravity between the earth and the moon. I loved how they helped each other through the dark times that ravaged them and their sanity, I loved how they helped each other discover who had the power to truly be, I loved the deep conversations and the silly ones, the moments where they held each other whilst the other cried and the moments where they were laughing and drawing and creating art. Radio Silence contains one of the best platonic relationships I've ever had the pleasure of reading in YA. It was real, it was beautiful, it's exactly how friendship should be.
Another thing I adored was the spectacular mother-daughter relationship in this book. Absent parents, abusive parents and non-supportive parents are a trope that plague YA books so I was definitely applauding Alice Oseman for writing such an excellent relationship between a mother and a daughter. Because, newsflash, not all teenagers hate their parents.
I absolutely love the author's writing style as well. I loved how accurately she captured being inside a teenage girl's head. I loved how every single emotion the character felt, I felt. I loved how it felt like Frances was sitting next to me, relaying her story. I loved how every thought and every anxiety was laid bare. The author managed to perfectly relay the voice of a girl on the brink of her future and the worries she's plagued with. The accurate depiction, capturing a teenager who is trying to identify who she is, blew me away. Radio Silence is one of those books that will make you realise how magical reading is. To breathe in the thoughts, the workings of the mind, of another. Truly spectacular. I also loved the humor, the modern slang and the pop culture that was perfectly captured. Tumblr, love of pizza, Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother, Skrillex...there's so much one knows in here, which made it feel all the more real - like these characters are living and breathing in the real world.
Lastly, I loved the messages conveyed throughout this book. That the belief that university and good grades, a job and lots of money will equal happiness. I loved how it emphasized the utter importance of being who you are, living the life that will bring you a plethora of happiness, of how vital it is to not allow yourself to be trapped by society's absurd demands.
"Uni, job, money, happiness. That's what you do. That's the formula. Everyone knows that. I knew that."
Radio Silence is a profound, evocative read that emphasizes the importance of staying true to yourself, of being the creator of your own destiny...of allowing yourself the freedom to exist as only you can: as you. The sensational sentiments that echoed through this book combined with riveting writing, a beautiful friendship and a phenomenal main character, Radio Silence is a book that will resonate with everyone. It's a stellar read that you'll fall completely in love with.
I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!
I thought Radio Silence had some brilliant quotes! Here are a couple of my favorites!
"'You're an idiot,' said Mum, when I relayed to her the entire situation on Wednesday. 'Not an unintelligent idiot, but a sort of naive idiot who manages to fall into a difficult situation and then can't get out out of it because she's too awkward.'"
"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 anyore. 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."
"'Are you wearing that?' he [Daniel] said. I looked down. I was wearing my batman onesie.
'Yes,' I said, 'Problem?'
'So many,' he said, turning around. 'So many problems.'"
"'Everyone's different inside their head.'"
"Everything's better under the stars, I suppose. If we get another life after we die, I'll meet you there, old sport..."
"'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...'"
"He smiled and looked away. 'Sometimes I think we're the same person...but we just got accidentally split into two before we were born.'"