Frances Janvier is known at school as the smart girl – she is head girl, she wants to go to Cambridge, she studies constantly. However, she has a secret passion for a podcast called Universe City and creates brilliant fan art based around its world. When she is invited to work on the episodes, and meets the mysterious show creator, her life changes completely. With Aled, she can finally be Real Frances and the two form a close friendship unlike anything Frances has experienced before. But both Frances and Aled have insecurities and secrets, and things soon become complicated…
Radio Silence is a gripping read, with plenty of secrets and mystery. Oseman’s writing has improved greatly from her debut, Solitaire, and I really enjoyed this book. She skilfully weaves Facebook chats and podcast transcripts into the narrative, in a way that works. The pop culture references are brilliant, and she really shows the role social media and the internet play in her characters’ lives. Radio Silence is also commendable for the diversity of the characters, but this is done without defining any character by their race or sexuality. We see a range of different queer experiences, which is certainly important. At one point Aled says that people are tired of the typical boy/girl romances and one of my favourite things about Radio Silence is that there is no central romance plot. This is a book about friendship and about being yourself. It’s a book about creating, having courage and learning that it is okay to stray from the accepted path.