*ARC received from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review*
Frances only had one thing on her mind – study and make it into one of the UK’s elite schools. But when she finds out her friend Aled is the mysterious voice behind her all-time favourite podcast she finds a new sort of friendship in Aled and Universe City. But when it goes viral everything comes crashing down, and Frances has to confront her past.
I really enjoyed Radio Silence. Although I do tend to stray away from YA novels that attempt to mix in fandom into its plot because I often find it doesn’t use fandom as well as it could. But I really enjoyed how Alice used fandom to show the beauty and danger of the internet while creating a stable novel about choices, and whichever path you take doesn’t matter, so long as you decide the course of your future. Frances’ experiences felt so true to me, as someone who is currently in the position she’s in- the transition from college to university is scary. Frances has such a significant character development- from a quiet girl who doesn’t feel comfortable about talking what she likes to openly enjoy all the strange things she thought people would judge her for.
The supporting cast was also just as fantastic. They all had their own complicated inner lives. From Aled’s family dynamic to his relationship with Daniel. I also appreciate Alice for explicitly mentioning their sexuality, and doing into detail about what one meant, and the characters expressly call themselves, bisexual, demisexual and gay.
Radio Silence is obviously influenced by internet culture and fandoms and, more importantly, inspired by Welcome to Night Vale (if you haven’t listened to it, I recommend you do, it’s fantastic). And I liked that it showed the dark side of the internet fandom, and delves into the problems that arise from fandom. Theories and stuff are fun to make but when it spills into real life that’s when it becomes an issue. I feel like some people can go too far. Many people who are highly obsessed with their OTP do sometimes overstep on some occasions. There’s nothing wrong with shipping people but the issues comes from going so far that you take any piece of interaction to prove that these two actors are in love like their characters, despite them being in relationships.
Although I love it when books portray fandom as a great thing (as it does in RS) but I’m glad it doesn’t shy away from the fact that sometimes it can get too much. The Universe City fandom mirrors so many fandoms I’m part of now and or used to be. There is always a small percentage of people who tend to be too extreme where they often creep into the personal lives of their creators. In RS, the fandom attempts to doxx Frances and Aled, and it’s horrifying how real it felt. They stalked them online and off, and despite their attempts to stop them, it fails, and it’s horribly unfair that they had to suffer because some people just don’t know when to stop.
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published February 25th 2016 by HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks