Get ready for some feelings (both in this review and in this book).
All of my reviews are made to be as spoiler free as possible.
Frances Janvier spends most of her time studying. When she’s not studying, she’s up in her room making fan art for her favorite podcast, Universe City.
Everyone knows Aled Last as that quiet boy who gets straight As. But no one knows he’s the creator of Universe City, who goes by the name Radio Silence.
When Frances gets a message from Radio Silence asking if she’ll collaborate with him, everything changes. Frances and Aled spend an entire summer working together and becoming best friends. They get each other when no one else does.
But when Aled’s identity as Radio Silence is revealed, Frances fears that the future of Universe City—and their friendship—is at risk. Aled helped her find her voice. Without him, will she have the courage to show the world who she really is? Or will she be met with actual radio silence?
First of all, this was a unique book! The story was different and refreshing, not cliche like a lot of YA contemporaries.
From the beginning, though, I realized that this book is probably for a very specific type of person. Like, as mentioned in the book, Welcome to Night Vale is a real-life sci-fi podcast similar to Universe City. But if I was not interested in the concept of podcasts, the premise of this book would not have appealed to me as much. (Or I don’t know, maybe that’s just me. I am not saying you have to like podcasts to like this book, so don’t worry.)
Regardless, what really made this book so good was the characters and their relationships with each other. It’s all about growing up, and being friends, and fixing broken relationships despite the other parts of life which seem more important.
I generally loved the main character, Frances, and her friendship with Aled. It felt very relatable, and because I kind of saw myself in Frances, I could tell where she was coming from even when she made some mistakes.
The first half was great, and I flew through it very fast. After a while, the book slowed down a little and things began to get more serious, but in the end, it was still a good book with an interesting message.
On a sad note: This book made me want to quit University for about a week, but maybe that’s just my fault (I would never actually do it, but I considered what it would mean for me). I actually felt sick after going through this book the more I thought about it, and I did not want to do my school work. I felt like everything didn’t matter. Like Frances, I plan on studying Literature for the next few years. However, unlike Frances, I actually have a reason for this, and I have a plan for my future: I want to be a novelist. And as much as I don’t like school, I actually do enjoy learning – it’s just the memorization and learning-about-things-that-don’t-matter-in-my-career parts which I don’t like. (Sorry if this feels a bit too deep, but I’m still feeling this way and I hope admitting it online will help.)
TW for mentions of child abuse, suicide, running away from home.
Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5), for being interesting and different
Happy reading, everyone! 😀