Author: Alice Oseman
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss
What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?Review by Nara
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.
Radio Silence was quite the pleasant surprise. Focusing on the story of Frances Janvier, a high achieving final year high school student and her struggle to meet society's expectations, the novel gives a very realistic and relateable view of young adulthood.
I actually loved how there was no romance, and a specific chapter early on in the novel dedicated to explicitly stating that there would be no romance between Frances and Aled throughout the whole book. This was really refreshing to see in a contemporary; I feel like I could count on my fingers the number of contemporary YA novels that I've read that don't have any romance involving the protagonist.
The novel was quite well paced with relatively short chapters. I started the book late-ish at night and was just going to read a couple of chapters, but that snowballed into 2am when I had a 7am start the next day. Ah well who needs sleep when you have incredible books; I would gladly sacrifice another night's sleep to experience a book as good as this one.
I saw a bit of myself in Frances, specifically in terms of her introversion. I think she was definitely more introverted than I am, but I will also sometimes have days when I can't be bothered going to parties, or days when I don't really want to socialise with anyone except my best friends. In fact, all the characters were realistically portrayed and relateable in some way.
Overall, a refreshingly honest look on graduating from high school and the fears the future may hold. Would highly recommend.