Make Some Noise for Radio Silence!

radio silence

Hearing about this all over the internet, I have to admit, I wasn’t sure this was going to be for me. It sounded a little like a typical contemporary YA, aimed at a not-quite-me audience, and trying to be something it wasn’t. Despite my reservations, I decided to pick it up annnnd BAM!

bam friends

This hit me like a ton of bricks! I could not have anticipated how much this book about fangirling over a podcast would hook me. Fascinating and nuanced and layered- it’s a proper coming of age story, with all that entails. And yet does none of this in the usual way!

Tuning in, the tone was instantly relatable and captured the tone of modern Britain. The writing simultaneously managed to be well written and also get the lingo down. The speech in particular was incredibly natural- like listening in on actual teens- like looking at a snapshot of people’s actual lives.

All the characters in this felt super real. There wasn’t a single weak link- there were so many lovable friendships and family relationships crammed into one book (Frances’ mum in particular is a Rockstar of a character!). And I loved the contrasting vibes I got from everyone- it was such an eclectic mix of people. Obviously, I was also a massive fan of the *online friendship meets real life* storyline- it just made me absurdly happy. And really liked how Aled wanting to keep his identity secret wove into other themes.

At the same time, this wasn’t just light and frothy all the way. This dealt with a TON of important issues. In fact, I was particularly impressed by how this handles the topic of abuse. What I especially liked was that it made a strong case for not knowing what goes on behind closed doors. The ass-umption is that Aled is privileged for going to a good uni and running a successful blog- but people don’t know what really goes on in his life. The exploration of this was handled sensitively, whilst not beating around the bush. I cannot express how much respect for this book for doing this justice.

I’m also glad that this doesn’t present uni as all sunshine and roses. Not that I want people to be put off, but too many books do that. Too often we are bombarded with the “best time of your life” line and that it’s the “be all and end all”- which can be hard to live up to. It is refreshing to tell some different stories for a change: plenty of people don’t go, many are rejected, lots of people hate it, some are pressured into doing subjects they don’t want to do, a fair few drop out/change courses (or go through a mixture of the above). Somehow, this book managed to explore a lot of those options.

And that’s just one of the reasons I think this is a seminal book for this generation. Everything from the highs and lows of fandom to being an anxious young nerd to coming to terms with who you are was given space on the page to develop. It really spoke to me on a deep and personal level- yet what’s most amazing about Radio Silence is seeing on Goodreads how many people found different parts relatable. As much as I felt Oseman was personally talking to me, tens of thousands of other people felt the same way. And that’s just brilliant.

While I’m not sure it will be for everyone, I can safely say this is an accurate portrayal of what it’s like to be a teen in the UK in the 21st century. I didn’t know it before I read it, but I legit *needed* this book. I’m all abuzz with excitement for Radio Silence- so let’s raise the roof and give it:

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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So have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

34 thoughts on “Make Some Noise for Radio Silence!

  1. I read it because Alice Oseman was coming to YALC London this year and it is one of my best reads this year! Everything you said is true and I like what you mention about uni not being so easy because yes, most of the college/uni stories kind of brush it under the rug!

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    1. Oh I’m so glad you liked it too!! I’m really glad you agree with me there!! And absolutely- I feel like it’s such an important thing to bring up in modern society. A lot of young people end up disillusioned and feel like they’re the odd one out- when it’s a remarkably common experience- so it was fantastic this book addressed that!

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  2. I agree with everything you say in this review!! All the dialogue feels so natural, the characters are wonderful, and it really does deal with incredibly important topics in the best way. I’m definitely one of those people that felt like this book was speaking directly to me, and it’s always so cool to find other people who felt the same way! Wonderful review!!

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    1. So glad you agree! Absolutely get what you mean on all those counts!! I really agree with you- one of the best things about this book is reading reviews for it and seeing how many people were personally touched by this story. It’s beautiful that a book could do that for so many people. Thank you!! ❤

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  3. It’s not a typical YA because I believe it belongs to a newly discovered readers’ segment; that of the New Adult. Often the setting for contemporary New Adult books is a college campus. Like those who read the books, the protagonists are away from home and the strictures of parents for the first time. New Adult subject matter is adult in theme but geared toward readers who (like the books’ protagonists) are encountering adult situations for the first time. As with the New Adult time in real life, key areas of the characters’ journeys to self-knowledge are job and career, first apartment, and finances.

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    1. No, it’s definitely YA. It’s a coming of age story and the main character is in high school. The interactions with uni are in the context of applying and speaking to people who are in uni (and getting feedback that it might not be everything she’s ever wanted). Sorry if I didn’t make that clear. But I know what New Adult is and this isn’t that.

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  4. YESYESYESYES!!!!!

    I am so glad that you loved it too! I see people picking it up a bit more nowadays than before and I couldn’t be gladder of it. Alice Oseman deserves all the love for giving us Radio Silence. Also have you checked out Heartstopper yet? If you haven’t then please, do so ASAP because it’s just wholesome and fun and just warm, okay?

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  5. OOOOOHHHHH This sounds soooo good! It’s definitely going on my reading list :DDDD

    Is the podcast element a bit like how they do Sadie? (Although it sounds like Sadie is very different but I AM HERE for more podcasts being woven into stories. I love how these are two different mediums being integrated)

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    1. Oh I really recommend it!!! It’s wonderful!! It had some extracts from the podcast (though it was very different to Sadie in terms of style), but I didn’t listen to it in audio form (I was on the fence about that- but then it came up on overdrive in ebook form so I decided to just check it out that way). I kinda wish I’d listened to it now- cos I really agree with you!! But it worked really well regardless!!

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  6. Radio Silence sounds amazing!! No weak links?! Set in the UK in the modern-day?? A blog is involved?! I’m so intrigued. I think it’s amazing that it seems to tackle important issues so well. Totally have to add this to my TBR x

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  7. Totally agree with everything you said! This is such a fantastic book and I love how many people relate to it. It’s definitely going to get a place on my favourites list this year! ❤

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  8. Ahhh, I hope you read other Oseman books. Solitaire is my absolute favourite, and Heartstopper is also really sweet. I also love that all the characters are in the same universe!! (Aled eventually shows up in Heartstopper, and Charlie’s sister is the MC in Solitaire) 💕

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  9. Even more excited to read this now and especially excited about the uni part – also, how different is the uni experience in Britain and in the US?! I feel like they’re two completely different experiences.

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  10. Oo, this one is already on my TBR. I am so intrigued about the blogging aspect & well-developed/lovable characters is so important. Can’t wait until I get to this one.

    Awesome review! 🙂

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