Radio Silence by Alice Oseman is a book that should be required reading for young adults everywhere. It follows a girl, Frances Janvier, who meets a friend, Aled Last, in unlikely circumstances. They quickly get close and become inseparable. When their friendship is threatened, they are both forced to go through some serious self-discovery and confront their unique pasts.
This book follows a high-achieving main character who is driven almost exclusively towards her academic success, and in her process of self-discovery, she’s forced into questioning academic institutions and the weight they put on grades over everything else. Her friend, Aled, is a shy creator of a science-fiction podcast. Their friendship is written beautifully, and you quickly become attached to the both of them as a reader.
The representation in this novel is incredible. There are a handful of LGBTQ+ characters and Alice Oseman did a beautiful job of touching on the topic of sexuality and working through that. The cast of characters is also very racially diverse, and it’s brought up continuously, which makes it difficult for the reader to unintentionally whitewash characters in our minds. It also does a wonderful job of representing mental illness and the ongoing battle that trauma brings for people. There is a character to relate to for everyone.
Everybody can relate to some element of this book. You will almost certainly find a character to relate to, and the numerous interconnected plotlines which all touch on different subjects make it easy to find a space for you to learn something about yourself and your unique experience through reading this.
TRIGGER WARNINGS: depression, suicide ideation, outing of a character, abusive mother, animal abuse
Originally Published on www.bandersnatch.ca Vol.50 Issue 02 on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020