What 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.
You know those books that you just put off writing reviews for because you don’t think that anything you’ll ever say will be able to capture the love you feel for the book you’re trying to write about? Yeah? Well, that’s me right now. I’m not sure how I’m going to complete this review without collapsing into a sobbing heap because of how much I adore Frances and Aled and Universe City, but I’m going to try anyway. Wish me luck.
So I read this book months ago now, and every week, without fail, I’ve had the urge to reread it. But that would be terrible for my TBR, so I’ve had to resist. Radio Silence is one of the books that people had been telling me to read for ages, but because of that, it meant I hesitated in picking it up because I was scared it wouldn’t live up to my high expectations. Wow, I was wrong. This book exceeded my expectations in every possible way and I can honestly say that my life has changed because of this book. I am now complete and utter trash for Alice Oseman. Please don’t tell her I said that.
Radio Silence is one of those books you didn’t realise you were missing until you had in your life. I never knew that Frances’ and Aled’s story would touch me in the way that it did, and I’m so thankful to have those gorgeous munchkins in my life. I related so much to Frances in the way that she felt the need to be perfect at school and do all the right things and participate in the right extra curricular to get into a good course at uni. I, too, felt the same stress and worry she was experiencing during high school about our futures and how important university is. And I could definitely relate to her in thinking that my passions would never equate to a career. But we have to follow the things we’re passionate about, right? Oh, and did I mention she’s bi? That made me so happy!
And then there was my gorgeous little queer baby, Aled Last. I absolutely adored his creativity and style, and I just wish I had someone like him in my life. His friendship with Frances was utterly adorable, and I was pleased to find that there wasn’t any romance between them! That element was definitely refreshing. He’s also the first demisexual character I’ve read about before and I related to him so much, because, like him, I don’t feel a sexual attraction towards people I don’t know that well and have to form a deep emotional bond before I feel that way about them. Aled was just such a gorgeous human with a sensitive soul and I wanted nothing more than to see him happy in life.
Being a massive Welcome to Night Vale nerd, which, if you don’t know, is probably the best and weirdest podcast out there, I really appreciated the individuality of Universe City — Aled’s podcast — and the Welcome to Night Vale references. It was weird and wonderful, and just adored how this book was so centred around podcasts and fandoms. It felt like a homage to everyone who appreciates the weird things in life. All hail the almighty glow cloud. There was also a bit of mystery surrounding who parts of the podcast was addressed to, and while I figured out who it was for pretty early on, I loved this deeper element and found that it worked really well with the rest of the plot.
Radio Silence isn’t just about podcasts and high school — it’s about finding your passions and celebrating your sexuality and standing up for the people and the things that matter to you. I cried countless times adored every sentence on every page. Alice Oseman is such a talented author, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a little bit obsessed with everything she does. Since finishing Radio Silence, I’ve binged her webcomic, Heartstopper, and placed an order for her first novel, Solitaire. I just can’t get enough of her gorgeous characters and enticing narratives. If you’re looking for a sensational YA contemporary with a splash of weirdness and adorable queer munchkins that you’ll just want to hug, then I highly recommend picking up a copy of Radio Silence!
Have you had the chance to read this amazing novel yet? Have you read anything else by Alice Oseman? Are you a fan of Welcome to Night Vale? What are some of your favourite podcasts? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Gorgeous illustration of the characters from Radio Silence was created by the incredibly talented author herself, Alice Oseman. Find it here.
Check out Alice’s adorable webcomic, Heartstopper, here!
Here’s her Tumblr. It’s pretty cool.