The Phoenix

Review: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

In Radio Silence, Alice Oseman crafts a beautifully realistic story about a girl who changes everything in order to find who she truly is.

Radio Silence follows Frances, who has spent her entire life focusing on school and her education, with the goal of attending a university. She doesn’t even allow the regular hits of social status in high school keep her down.

However, everything changes when Frances meets Aled, the shy person behind her favorite podcast, Radio Silence. This is the key to Frances finding herself in a real friendship and being unafraid of the quirky bits that make who she is.

When Aled’s podcast ends up going viral, Frances’s world comes falling down as she’s stuck between who she is and who she needs to be. Frances and Aled both have to fight for their inner, dark secrets first before they can truly make amends with each other.

This book is brilliantly crafted, from the realistic characters and writing that transports readers into the world of the geeky but charming Frances and the timid, talented Aled. Something that stands out more than anything in this novel is the lack of romance. And by lack, I mean no romantic interest at all.

Oseman is even says flat out, “You probably think that Aled Last and I are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and I am a girl. I just wanted to say –We don’t.” This book demonstrates the importance of platonic relationships and how a young adult novel can be just as good without the cliches of young love.

The plot dives into multiple themes that are often ignored or pushed aside when it comes to young adult literature, such as the uncertainty of one’s course of study, dealing with the stress necessary success to secure a better future, and the constant search for of one’s own self and sexuality.

Almost the entire cast of the novel is part of the LGBTQ+ community, including our main character who is biracial and bisexual. There are multiple portions of the book where Frances talks about being uncertain of her sexuality as well as the fear of being honest about who she is. The story also expresses teenagers’ desire to be heard, though they constantly feel too small in the world to even try.

Alice Oseman has published two books, including Radio Silence. Her next novel, I Was Born For This, is scheduled to come out in 2018.

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