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Radio Silence

Written by Alice Oseman

Key Stage 4 General Fiction

LoveReading View on Radio Silence

One of our Books of the Year 2016 | March 2016 Book of the Month

Frances’ life has been mapped out since forever. She’s set on reading English Literature at Cambridge and getting a good job. That’s the path she believes will lead to a happy life. But academic success isn’t all there is to Frances. She also has a secret side that loves wearing burger-print jumpers and creating fan-art for cult YouTube podcast, Universe City, although that remains firmly under wraps until she befriends Aled. Shy, clever Aled turns out to be the creator of Universe City. He loves her art, loves her style and, most importantly, he makes Frances “feel like I’d never had a real friend before”. Their friendship flourishes until Aled is outed as the podcast’s creator. Thinking Frances has betrayed him, Aled cuts all contact with her when he leaves for university. Then, while devastated at losing her best friend, the rest of Frances’ life also starts to unravel.

“Nothing good comes out of lying to people,” Frances remarks, and that’s one of the big themes of this big-hearted novel: being brave enough to face up to the truth, not least the realisation that sometimes the path you’ve mapped out for yourself isn't the right one. Frances and Aled’s friendship is a truly beautiful thing, and this is a seriously smart piece of contemporary YA. 

Joanne Owen

Radio Silence Synopsis

What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong? 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.

A YA coming of age read that tackles issues of identity, the pressure to succeed, diversity and freedom to choose, Radio Silence is a tour de force by the most exciting writer of her generation.

Radio Silence Reader Reviews

Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Kyra, age 17 - 'I was spellbound by Radio Silence. It is one of those books that will make you realise how magical reading is. To breathe in the thoughts, the workings of the mind, of another. Utterly spectacular.'
  • Edel Waugh - ''This is one of those books that you know right from the beginning is going to be awesome...[it]had it all ... inspiring broken characters , real life struggles that most people can empathise with and a memorable story . Loved this!'
  • Izzy Read, age 15 - 'Direct, Intriguing and a perfect example of platonic love with diverse and unassuming characters that seem as if they are living- Radio Silence is for someone who wants a change from the norm.'
  • Humaira Kauser, age 17 - 'I don't really know what to say about this book other than EVERYONE needs to read this book...because it is one of the best books I have read.'
  • Laura, age 17 - 'This book was amazing, I can't recommend it enough!'
  • Emma Hughes - 'I liked this book, as the plot has more than the average teenage novel, and I found the characters relatable. I definitely recommend it.'
  • Rose Heathcote, age 16 - 'This was such a good book! I love how it had such modern themes such as LGBT+ relationships. I recommend it to anyone my age who likes a good read.'
  • Lauren Coffman, age 16 - 'Radio Silence was a real page turner, and I would go so far as to say it was addictive. I would highly recommend it to anyone, I guarantee you will relate.'
  • Melanie Chadwick - 'It’s all about being true to yourself.'
  • Zara Kazi, age 17 - 'It was a good read.'
  • Chloe Shortall, age 19 - 'I haven't read a book that kept me this captivated in a long time. I would definitely recommend this book to teen readers, as well as young adult readers.'
  • Bronwyn Tucker, Year 11 - 'Radio Silence was an extremely entertaining book. It shows the true side of teenagers life. With the stresses with school, boys/girls and generally just the pressures of life. '
  • Jenny Duffy, age 23 - 'Radio Silence is a gripping read, with plenty of secrets and mystery...Her book is also commendable for the diversity of the characters, but this is done without defining any character by their race or sexuality.'
  • Phoebe Allan - 'A powerful read from the first page to the last. Gritty, current, emotional, thought provoking and hard hitting, Oseman leads you into the lives of Frances and Aled and all the calm and chaos that accompany them.'
  • Charnell - 'With strong friendships and dialogue that will have you laughing out loud, Radio Silence is a book so many people will be able to connect with. Be prepared to fall in love with Frances, Abed and Radio City.'

Radio Silence Press Reviews

Praise for Solitaire:

'The Catcher in the Rye for the digital age' The Times

'The most honest and authentic account of modern teenage life that you'll read this year... outstanding contemporary fiction with appeal to fans of John Green.' The Bookseller

'A very authentic, teenage voice' - Sunday Times

'Solitaire is an extraordinary novel ... [Oseman] has captured her characters 'Oseman proves herself a clever, witty writer'

Book Information

ISBN: 9780007559244
Publication date: 25th February 2016
Author: Alice Oseman
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 416 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 4
Topics: General Fiction, Sexuality / Relationships

About Alice Oseman

Alice Oseman was born in 1994 in Kent, England. She completed a degree in English at Durham University in 2016 and is currently a full-time writer and illustrator. Alice can usually be found staring aimlessly at computer screens, questioning the meaninglessness of existence, or doing anything and everything to avoid getting an office job. Alice's first book, Solitaire, was published when she was nineteen.

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