Radio Silence by Alice Oseman


Frances Janvier spends most of her time studying. When she’s not studying, she’s up in her room making fan art for her favorite podcast, Universe City.

Everyone knows Aled Last as that quiet boy who gets straight As. But no one knows he’s the creator of Universe City, who goes by the name Radio Silence.

When Frances gets a message from Radio Silence asking if she’ll collaborate with him, everything changes. Frances and Aled spend an entire summer working together and becoming best friends. They get each other when no one else does.

But when Aled’s identity as Radio Silence is revealed, Frances fears that the future of Universe City—and their friendship—is at risk. Aled helped her find her voice. Without him, will she have the courage to show the world who she really is? Or will she be met with radio silence?

There were a lot of things I liked about this book: the diversity, the characters, the emotions those characters made me feel. But I didn't like it as much as I wanted or expected to.

First of all, it's way too long. I can't think of a particular section I would cut out, and it read quickly, but it should and could have been 100 pages shorter. And, while I liked the idea of the characters, I didn't feel that connected to them or the story as a whole. I think that there were a lot of inclusionary characters, just there to check off so the book could be categorized as diverse. I don't think that they were probably constructed or well rounded. They were all very flat and inconsistent.

Also, the second half dragged so much and I found myself constantly checking to see how much longer I had to go until it was finished; and it was overly dramatic. It particular, the drama between Alend and his mother, Carol, really had my eyes rolling. She became this villain who was unrealistic and artificial. It was drama for drama's sake, and a reader should be able to spot that from a mile away.

Again, I think this story could have had some wonderful aspects that are important to include in YA and in fiction in general, but it was missing a lot.*

*Note: On 7/6/17, I updated this review after giving the book more thought, and dropped my rating to two stars.

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