Review: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

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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.”

I’m having trouble reviewing this book because I loved it so much. I think I have trouble reviewing my favorite books because I have trouble finding the flaws! Sometimes I talk about my one or two minor issues, but I cannot think of a single problem I had with Radio Silence. Sure, I could rave on and on about what I loved but that point I would just say, “Read the book! It’s that good!”

There are so many incredible aspects of this book and I don’t even know where to begin. It’s very diverse. It’s authentic. It’s raw. It’s a love letter to the teenage millennial experience. Frances and Aled represent the epic platonic friendship that every person should have. Alice Oseman managed to authentically capture the millennial teen experience, but with a dark edge. Most of the characters all deal with issues such as abuse, depression, anxiety, sexuality, and academic pressure.  One reviewer said that at one point, the characters stopped being characters and they just became people. Radio Silence did not have to try hard to be a book for teens.

In fact, I think this was better than any John Green book I have ever read. Everyone says John Green gets teenagers… No, he gets teen emotions. He makes his characters and stories very emotional because as a teenager, your emotions are heightened. Therefore, John Green’s prose is very emotional and flowery. It makes readers feel things. What makes Radio Silence so powerful is that she let her characters bleed their hearts on the pages without even trying to. She let them be teenagers, rather than theming being the idea of them. It also helps that Frances was around 20-22 when she wrote this book, meaning she isn’t so disconnected from what it was like to be a teen. Seriously, more teenagers and young twenty-somethings should write books about teens! I don’t get why sixty year olds still write for teens, TBH. I mean, someone has to write those books. Adults write children and middle grade books all the time, right? But there is something so specific and unique about the teen audience that can’t be generalized the same way children books are written.

Anyway, this book was simply amazing. Just do yourself a favor and read it.

Rating: 5/5 stars

You can find this book at all these places!! Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble

I made a list of major and minor characters because I don’t know what else to say.  This is why I review books for fun. Sometimes my reviews will be rambling and incoherent. At the end of the day I review books for myself and I just hope my readers can make sense of my thoughts most of the times.

Main Characters

Frances Javier is half-Ethiopian bisexual teenage girl whose major goal is to get into Cambridge by achieving academic success. She also thinks she is the reason behind Carys Last’s disappearance.

Aled Last is the brother of Frances Javier’s friend, Carys Last, who disappeared over a year ago. Through pure serendipity, they develop a friendship of their own. I’m not going to explicitly state his sexuality because that question is part of his journey and I want the readers to experience that journey.  His main interest is a podcast he makes called Universe City. It’s also a play on words: Universe City and University. You’ll understand when you read the book.

Minor Characters:

  • Carys Last – lesbian, twin sister of Aled
  • Daniel –  A gay, South Korean immigrant
  • Raine – Indian

This review and this review both explain better what this book is about and why it matters. And this review as well. Ahhhh.

 

Let’s Chat 

Have you read this book yet? Do you plan to? What’s another diverse YA contemporary that you think most people would relate to?

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