Melancholy, Quirky and Relatable – Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Summary: 

  • my rating: 5 stars
  • published by: Harper Collins
  • genres: contemporary, lgbt+
  • diversity: biracial (Ethiopian/White) and bisexual main character, demisexual side character, gay South Korean side character, Indian side character, lesbian side character (all on page)
  • content warnings: emotional parental abuse, alcohol use/getting drunk, depression, suicide mentions and themes, death of a pet. 
  • Links: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

 

Synopsis:
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

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Radio Silence is such a quirky book, it has so many elements and themes going into it it’s really hard to explain what it’s about without spoiling it. There’s friendship, pop culture, anxiety about university, complex families, loss, hope and love and all of it is tied together with this sad, melancholic tone, peppered with a little wry, dark humour. And ultimately all these elements came together to make one of the best books I’ve ever read. 

Radio Silence is a five hundred page book – I read it all in a few hours. I think that it saying something about how much I completely loved it. Frances, the main character, is a really interesting character and I really liked her kind of dry humour and how it drove the story. Her platonic friendship with Aled was one of my favourite things about this book, and I loved that from the outset she assures us that her and Aled do not fall in love.

I think this book has an incredible amount of charm and heart. It’s quirky but it feels really honest, and you can tell Alice Oseman put her absolute all into it.

The representation was well done, I thought. I speak for the bisexual rep and say I personally really liked it, and for the other rep I couldn’t identify anything that had up red flags (though of course I don’t speak for all rep). Aled is demisexual and that representation is #OwnVoices, as is the bi rep. I really liked how Aled’s sexuality was handled with the “explaining scene” of what demisexuality is. I think it was a good way to get the word into the book and Alice has a really interest video on her YouTube about why she chose to do that.

I just think Radio Silence is an incredibly unique book with a lot of heart. The teenagers felt authentic and I think that Oseman so cleverly wrapped so many themes together in such an interesting way. The addition of the podcast snippets and text messages also broke this up in a fun way.

Radio Silence is a tribute to fandom (the good and the bad bits), an exploration of University culture (the good and the bad), and families (the good and the bad). It’s a tribute to friendships of all kinds.  It’s about holding out hope, about grief and sadness, about finding yourself and new beginnings and about knowing it’s okay to occasionally say a big old “fuck you” to people who try and get you down.

I honestly could not recommend this book enough.

“I think everyone’s a bit bored with boy-girl romances anyway,” he said. “I think the world’s had enough of those, to be honest.”

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2 thoughts on “Melancholy, Quirky and Relatable – Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

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