Book review – Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Caidyn's review (1)

Radio Silence


CW: parental abuse, animal abuse, suicidal ideation, depression, and cyberbullying

I’ll be straight up honest with y’all. (And, you’re thinking: Caidyn, when aren’t you??) But, I didn’t expect to like this book. I really didn’t. Yes, it’s queer. Yes, it’s got ace rep. Yes, it’s not very romantic.

But, here’s the thing, I don’t really read contemporary YA. Contemporary anything, really.

Yet, everyone kept telling me how amazing it was and that it’s just so great and blah blah blah. I finally decided to pick it up and give it a try since, you know, it’s Pride.

I really, really liked this book.

There’s only one con that I can think of and that’s that it really slowed down in the latter half of the book. I wasn’t a fan of how far it slowed down and that it got really depressing. Two characters dealing with depression and one having obvious suicidal thoughts. But, that’s it.

First, I loved the rep. The MC of this is Frances. She’s an Ethiopian-British bi girl struggling with school and what she wants to do.

Then, there’s Aled who’s definitely demisexual — demisexuality, for those who might not know, is a part of the asexual spectrum and is when someone only feels sexual attraction when they have a close bond with someone they’re romantically inclinded to — and questioning. I know some people say he’s demi and gay (as in, homoromantic, or only feeling romantically towards men), but it was never stated that he’s only into guys.

There are also wonderful side characters. Daniel, who’s a gay Korean immigrant. Carys, Aled’s sister and who’s lesbian. Raine, a friend of Frances and is an pan Indian woman.

Basically, the diversity was amazing. I loved how it was written and, honestly, the ace rep was perfect. It felt so accurate and I loved that romance just wasn’t the main point. I need more books like that, where romance isn’t a part of the story. It was in the background, but it wasn’t a huge thing.

And, I gotta love a questioning ace. I’ve been there and I felt the pain that Aled was going through as well. Just trying to figure out who the hell he is.

The plot is pretty basic. Frances loves this YouTube channel, Universe City, that’s basically like Welcome to the Night Vale. It’s her nerdy thing. But, Frances is, in a way, two people. She’s the person she is at school then she’s the person she is at home. And the split is slowly killing her. She became friends with Carys, but Carys ran away and only Frances knows why and blames herself for it.

Frances becomes friends with Aled, discovering his secrets, the good and the bad. I have to say, Aled was such a hard character to read. Mainly because I have his kind of coping skills. Something’s bothering me emotionally? Don’t talk about it. I have no problem telling someone when I don’t like what they’re physically doing, but I’m not good at confrontation on an emotional level. If that makes any sense. I usually wait until I can’t take it anymore and explode at the person. Which is, in a way, how Aled handles things.

This book was just so good on so many levels. I wish I could say more about the plot, but I’m worried that I’ll get into spoiler territory and ruin some of the reveals and different things. What I can say is that this book was excellent. It was such an enjoyable read and that I’ll definitely be reading Oseman more from now on.

Talk to me!
Have you read this? What did you think?
What Oseman book should I read next?

First Lines Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.

TW: suicide

My mother is a bird. This isn’t some William Faulkner stream-of-consciousness metaphorical crap. My mother. Is literally. A bird.

I know it’s true the way I know the stain on the bedroom floor is as permanent as the sky, the way I know my father will never forgive himself. Nobody believes me, but it is a fact. I am absolutely certain.

This is a book I’m currently reading, one that people really love. (Literally, it has a 4.2/5 on GR. That’s pretty high.) And it’s a gorgeous book. Seriously. It’s YA and I like it. Someone call anyone who can help or explain.

The book is…

The Astonishing Color of After

I’m not loving this book, but I am really enjoying it. There are elements that I don’t like but, to me, they’re very minor things that I just don’t think work for the story. But, they’re not bad elements. If you want a book that portrays the effect of suicide, the stigma of mental illness, grief, and the desperate need to discover more about your family history, I highly recommend it.

A man in a blue coat crossed the common, and Deborah craned her neck to glance through the window. No, not the recruiter; no need to worry. She turned back to her weaving; the broad room on the ground floor of the Sproat Tavern was empty and silent. Another row of fabric emerged as she worked her shuttle through the wool. 

I know that was pretty short but honestly, I’m just glad to briefly talk about this book. I first heard about it on Jackson Byrd’s Youtube channel. Go check him and his Ted Talk out, he’s a transman and his videos have a lot to do with him being trans. Which I like. This book came from a recommendations video in which he talked about books about trans people. 

Now, this is also a historical novel set during the Revolutionary War, but I love the idea of queer stories from history being told. It’s one of my favorite things. 

This book is…

Revolutionary by Alex Myers

revolutionary cover

You guys, this book sounds fucking awesome. Alex Myers, the author, is not only trans himself, but he is a descendant of Deborah Samson who is the protagonist of the book. Imagine writing a novel about someone who was part of your bloodline who disguised herself as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War. That sounds pretty fucking cool if you ask me. I’m excited to read it as I’ve had it on my shelf for awhile and sounds right up my alley.