Author: Alice Oseman
Read: September 2018
September was a month of audiobooks for me. I love audiobooks. Sometimes, I just really don’t want to physically read a book. I usually listen to audiobooks while I’m doing something else, like cleaning or crocheting. Sometimes, I feel like when I’m sitting and reading a physical book, I feel like I could be doing something else more productive and that bothers me. So I turn to audiobooks because I can listen to a book and still feel like I’m getting something done at the same time.
Now that I’ve talked about my love for audiobooks, let’s talk about Radio Silence. This book surprised me. I read it for the Emojiathon and it was Spencer’s (Common Spence) host book pick. I had heard about it before, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I trust Spencer’s recommendations and I think Radio Silence is one of his favorite books.
So, when I say that it wasn’t what I was expecting, I don’t actually know what I mean by that. I didn’t really have expectations for it because I really didn’t know what it was about. I had never read anything by Alice Oseman and so I had nothing to compare it to. I skimmed through the synopsis, so I was basing this off of Spencer’s judgement.
Oh my goodness. I loved this book! I actually didn’t realize that this was set in the U.K. until I started the audiobook and realized that I wasn’t listening to an American accent. For some reason, I just assumed it was set in America? I don’t really know why, but I was so surprised when the narrator started talking. I had to stop and arrange my thoughts. It really threw me off for a bit.
Back to the book. It was amazing. I wasn’t sure where it was going for most of the beginning of the book. It’s definitely more character-driven, since nothing major really happens. And usually I don’t like those types of novels. I usually find them to be slow and too boring since a lot of them just feel like a day in the life, or something of that sort. But, Radio Silence had really great pacing! I wasn’t bored by it at all. I liked the main character, Frances. She’s a mixed race teenage girl. I’m not 100% sure what races she is, so I don’t want to say.
Frances is basically just a huge fan of this podcast, Universe City. She even draws fan art for it! She hides this part of herself from everyone in her life and acts like a completely different person at school. She tries to focus all her energy on getting into the college that she’s been working toward for years. But Universe City is a big part of her life, she spends all her free time listening to it. When she finds out that her new friend, Aled, is the creator of Universe City, she just can’t believe it. Frances is living the dream of every fan ever!
I love their relationship. I like that Oseman made it clear from the beginning that “this is not a love story.” Their relationship is purely platonic and though it’s not a romantic kind of relationship, I really liked the love that they had for each other as they got to be closer friends. It’s nice to read a book about friends sometimes. But, even though it’s not a romantic love story, I still think this is a love story. Frances and Aled start a friendship and their platonic love is the sweetest thing. It’s a love story between friends.
I love all of the representation included in the book. I think that all the main characters in this book are queer and Frances is mixed race. Though nothing is clearly stated until the middle, and more toward the end of the book, you can kind of tell from early on. I love how this book isn’t a coming-out story. Frances isn’t completely out, but she’s not hiding it either. Another character is demisexual and, though it’s not stated until the end, it’s handled really well. (I can’t really speak for that representation, so I’m just basing this off of what I thought about it.)
I ended up giving it 4.5 stars. I was kind of not okay with the ending while listening to the audiobook, but I plan on rereading it in physical form. I’m sure that I’ll rate it 5 stars after that! The audiobook kind of felt sudden and I was surprised when it came to the end, so I think that having the end in sight when I reread it will fix that problem.
How did you like Radio Silence? What did you think of all the representation included? Have you read anything else by Alice Oseman? Talk to me down below!