UK Publishing Date: 25 Feb 2016. 400 pages.
“Hello. I hope somebody is listening…”
It had been a pretty poor week for YA books for me or at least it was until I picked up Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. It left me grinning like the Cheshire Cat. The book equivalent of Pretty in Pink.
Frances is a bit of a boring swot. She is good at everything. All her grades are A’s and she is the Head Girl at her school. Her whole life so far has revolved around getting a place at Cambridge to study English Literature. There is a lot of pressure to get this right, most of which she puts upon herself.
School Frances is dull and intense and always doing the right thing. The real Frances is a bit of a fangirl who obsesses about an online podcast called Universe City featuring the enigmatic and asexual Radio Silence. She has books of graphic designs and fan art that she has drawn and posted online to complement the series.
Although this is a teen book it does have a much wider appeal, tackling all kinds of issues including both internet and familial bullying, racial and sexual diversity, loneliness and the sheer number of life changing choices that people are faced with at this time in their lives. Teens who are bombarded with a message that they can only be successful by going to university and following a specific predetermined path.
Oseman has created a a great ensemble of characters including Frances’ Mum who is just fabulous. This is a brave and funny book that you can’t put down. Unlike many teen dramas this book isn’t about hearts and flowers. It is about accepting yourself for who you really are and not compromising because that is what is expected of you. It is heart stoppingly brilliant and Alice Oseman is a real voice of her generation.
Supplied by Net Galley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.