Review: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

25322449Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Genre: 
Contemporary
Published by: Harper Collins
Pages: 403
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★★

We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Radio Silence was one of our most anticipated releases of 2016. After Solitaire made it to the top of our favourites list in 2015, we couldn’t wait to see what Alice Oseman would write next. Solitaire established her as an author that understood teenagers and what they went through on a daily basis, the struggles and the successes. Radio Silence continues this trend, and includes messages about doing what you really want to do, regardless of what others expect from you and sometimes what you think you’re future should be, isn’t what it will be, and that’s OK. After reading, we’d consider Radio Silence a necessary read for any teenager stressing about university and school expectations. Basically, the book asserted that everything is normal, and completely fine, which is exactly what teenagers need to hear.

We went out and bought copies of Radio Silence, before we received copies from the publisher and this is definitely a book I’m happy to own more than one copy of!

Because we loved Radio Silence so much, this review will be a list of everything we loved and why we loved it. Different to usual, but a gushing review is always a pleasure to write.

R E A S O N S   T O   L O V E  R A D I O   S I L E N C E:

  • The friendship between Frances and Aled:
    A boy-girl friendship where there is zero romance or sexual tension. Whereas Solitaire hinted at a romantic relationship between Tori and Michael, there are no grey areas when it comes to Radio Silence. Friends are there to be friends, and friends only, which is really refreshing. Frances and Aled aren’t friends at the beginning of the novel, but watching their relationship develop, and have its peaks and troughs was super realistic and enjoyable to read. They fight, but they care about each other, and there’s something so genuine about their connection, you can’t help but fall in love with them.
  • The sheer amount of diversity:
    Although there was sexual diversity in Solitaire, Radio Silence takes it to the next level and it’s perfect. For one thing, not all of the characters are white. Frances is bi-racial, and other secondary characters are POCs. In YA, there’s normally one character that embodies diverse representation, but in Radio Silence, all had something that made them unique and diverse. Also, Frances is bisexual, and Aled is demisexual, so there’s literally a character on every part of the sexuality spectrum and it’s handled really well.
  • Frances’ Mum:
    She deserves a whole bullet point because she was fabulous. She reminded us of the mother from Easy A, so if you loved that, you’ll love this mother and daughter relationship.
  • The use of social media:
    Throughout the book, Frances is checking her Twitter and Tumblr messages, and the book is called Radio Silence, because that’s the name of a character in an online podcast, on YouTube. We think even AmazingPhil got a little mention, so this book is definitely connected to fandom culture and the consequences of putting yourself out there online. We really like when books include this as an element, because it’s what we’re doing right now: writing a blog post, fangirling about something amazing and for authors to be aware of how relevant that is to young adults is GREAT.
  • THE PLOT:
    This seems like a really broad reason to love this book, but Radio Silence accomplished so much in 400 pages, and effortlessly at that, because it didn’t feel like a mess of plot points. Our personal favourite strands of the story:
    – The question of teenagers’ futures outside of university (moral gold)
    – Carys’ disappearance! (This was exciting as heck)
    – Contrasting parents (those who understand their kids and those who don’t)
    – Podcast transcripts (It was a nice to be able to read what Frances was listening to)
    – UK version of a road trip (adding a road trip to a book is always a good idea)
    – Friends who care about their friends (enough said)
    – The mystery of February Friday (literally heartbreaking)
  • The cameo appearances of Tori and Becky, and mentions to Nick and Charlie:
    Solitaire and Radio Silence happen in the same universe, and this is the best thing ever.
  • It’s SO accessible:
    The writing style is really easy to get into, but there are some really beautiful moments too. Everything’s straightforward, but Frances’ voice is very strong. Radio Silence proves how talented Alice Oseman is at her craft.

And with that, the fangirling must be reined in, otherwise we’d talk about this book forever. We couldn’t recommend it enough, to EVERYONE. Alice Oseman: thank you for another book that’s added to our favourites list. You’re a gem.

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