Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Radio SilenceWhat if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?
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…
Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.
It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.
Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.

I had high hopes for Oseman's second novel. I'll admit that I didn't entirely get the hype for Solitaire but I did like it and her writing style, so was looking forward to what she could come up with next. And what she did was incredible!

Radio Silence tells of Fran, a studious and quiet girl at school but mad and bright at home. She was really great, very easy to like, with her crazy patterned leggings and giant jumpers, and her fangirl obsession with a fringe podcast. By a weird twist of fate, Fran meets the genius behind Radio Silence and finds a best friend in Aled. The two of them were so cute, so perfect together but with no romantic feelings; it was one of the great portrayal of male/female friendships I've ever seen. They were perfect together and definitely in love but platonically.

What I especially loved about this story was this incredible diversity without being pushy about it. The mad bunch of characters were all weird or had their quirks or their loves but that's just the way life is, no one is the same and it wasn't shoved down our throat that they were all different, it just... was. And I loved that.

Along with the amazing diversity was the realistic portrayal of school; I thought it really captured the need to succeed in school and exams, but of course there is more to life than that. Fran, as a studious bookworm who flies through exams, has always used this to mark her success but its her art that she really feels passionate about. And then there's Raine, a school friend who completely tanks exams but can't do better and the school is no help for her deciding her next step.

I absolutely adored this, I cannot sing its praises enough. With great characters, extra content with the podcast transcripts, and a realistic and relatable subject, I think Radio Silence had just flown to the top of my all time favourites.

Published 25th February 2016 by Harper Collins. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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