My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
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.
This is gonna end up rambly and incoherent and probably personal. Just letting y’all know what you’ve signed up for.
So…I knew I was gonna like this book. I mean, it has an average rating of 4.2 on Goodreads, and I usually trust Goodreads. But I didn’t know that I would LOVE it, so much so that everything else ever written would feel wrong and incomplete and unimportant somehow.
I had picked this book up in the afternoon yesterday and had
read devoured about 150 pages. I didn’t want to put it down but I had to…because real life demands time. It was super easy to read and extremely addictive. I picked it up after midnight again, because I wanted to read a few pages before going to sleep (don’t ask me what a sleep schedule means!) and I just couldn’t put it down. I had read the rest of 250 pages before I realized it was 4:45 am…and I had to sleep, and wake up in the morning and study and finish my assignments. But, I could not freaking sleep! Alice Oseman, I totally blame you for stealing my sleep. I woke up at 12 pm and started thinking about this book again. I haven’t stopped since. I have since recommended this book to every freaking person I know in real life. If hydras could read, I would recommend it to them too.
Okay, this isn’t the best piece of literature, but this is SOMETHING. And this is important, relatable and SO FREAKING AMAZING. I just loved it.
I don’t want to blather on about it anymore. Let’s actually talk about what I liked about this book. I have no clue where to start, but let’s start anyway. I won’t summarize this book for you all, because I typed the summary thrice but failed to say what this book is about…I didn’t know I sucked ass at this summarizing thing. No wonder my teacher was always disappointed. Anyway.
I always did work when I got home because whenever I wasn’t doing schoolwork I felt like I was wasting my time.
The first thing I loved about this book was that it was incredibly relatable. I had read a book called You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman a few months ago –it is about the school-related anxieties of students and the flaws in the education system that exist globally (not really). I had liked it and had found it relatable. And now, I’ve read Radio Silence. I found it incredibly true, as I’ve already said. It talks about the pressure students feel about school and grades, and if that’s as important as we’ve made it seem. I used to feel this pressure too when I was in school and university. Whenever I spent some time doing something I loved, I used to worry about my grades and how I could spend that time instead on my books. I still feel anxious about my exams, my projects, and assignments, so much so that I feel nauseated. I know a lot of people go through it, and I hadn’t read about it in any book before I read You Asked For Perfect and now, Radio Silence, and that’s why I found it relatable.
Also, it talks about how everybody only
wants gets to study what others tell them to, even if that’s not the right thing for them to study. I had studied business and accountancy in high school just because everybody who had better than average grades had opted for these subjects, and I had better grades than a lot of people. But, I had actually wanted to study humanities and psychology. I didn’t get to, and that is because you didn’t need to get good grades to study these subjects in my school. It sounds really amusing to me now, because I feel like these are the subjects that actually make sense to me. Anyway, the bottom line is, I didn’t get to study what I wanted to! At school, at least. And that’s why this book spoke to me.
I could also relate a lot to the main character of this book, Frances. A lot of people don’t know about her real self. She’s crazy (in a good way) and not at all boring, but everyone thinks she is boring. In fact, that’s why I relate a lot to her. I don’t think any of my friends know much about me– I keep my favorite music, books, movies, and even this blog a secret. I keep a lot from them, just like Frances, until she meets Aled Last. And I think I know a person who is Aled Last for me.
Another thing that makes this book relatable is the use of social media. This book is described as The Catcher in the Rye of the digital age. And it really depicts what our relationship with social media is like. The characters talk to each other on Facebook, watch videos on YouTube, save notes on Evernote, use Twitter and blog on Tumblr. The use of smartphones and laptops and all these apps is so relatable. I really haven’t seen it in any of the books except maybe in one or two? But this one is the best among all of them.
Another thing I loved about this book was the fan culture. I am a fan, and I guess a lot of us are. And seeing what fandom does was so refreshing in this book, but somehow scary too.
I also loved the fact that this book did not have romance. I am super tired of seeing 17-year-olds falling in love because when I was seventeen, I was busy figuring out what I wanted to do with my life for the next three years. I had no time for falling in love. This is the first time probably that I’ve read a book where two people who spend a lot of time with each other don’t wind up falling in love. It doesn’t happen in real life. It just doesn’t. I am best friends with my best friend. We haven’t fallen in love and will never fall in love. So, it doesn’t really happen as often as books and movies say it does. This book is all about platonic love, and that’s why I loved it.
Other than that, this book has diverse characters. There are so many characters who are of color (Korean, Ethiopian, Indian, Nigerian [?] and probably more) and so many who belong to the LGBT+ community (they’re gay, bisexual and demisexual). The characters also suffer from anxiety and depression. There were multiple occasions where we were told how some characters got stress pains and chest pains, had insomnia, trouble remembering things, were feeling and making themselves isolated. I do wish there was a mention of therapy, though.
I also loved the parenting of Frances’s mother– she’s the best parent on the planet. There are so many amazing scenes where she exhibits her amazing and badass parenting skills. I am in awe of her.
The writing was really simple and I could read the whole thing easily. The plot was engaging. The subject matter really made the book stand out, and the way it was treated was really admirable.
I don’t really know if I’ve mentioned all of the points I wanted to. I just want to tell you all that this book is the most amazing book I’ve read in a long time. It was so good to finally find a book that was super amazing. I was in bits when I finally put it down. It was just so good. I totally recommend it to everyone reading my review. Just go and read it.
So, do you guys think you’ll read this book? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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[art by alice oseman)