Author: Alice Osman
Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Released: February 25th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Characters: Frances, Aled, Raine, Daniel Jung, Carol Last, Carys, …
Synopsis (Goodreads) :
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.
I’ve heard so many good things about this book, praises and more praises. Thus, I’m super excited for this book.
“I wonder- if nobody is listening to my voice, am i making any sound at all?”
― Alice Oseman,
Starting this book, I was struggling a little to grasp the concept at first but as the story went by, I started to enjoy the writing style and the whole idea of this book. It was fast paced and easy to follow through. All the small events that eventually built up till the ending was actually fun to read.
One of the things that really stood out for me was the characters. I really love how unique and strong each character was created in the book. They could be remembered vividly and this is the first time for me to really remember all the characters in a book. I love the main characters, Frances and Aled. I think they developed well throughout the book, the maturity was shown towards the end. I adored the side characters the most, such as Raine and Daniel. These two characters are Asians, I supposed, an Indian and a Korean. I love how badass, kind and loyal friend Raine was. She was not smart but she’s a true friend. Daniel was a studious person yet he was also a great friend and his determination was really inspiring. Also, there were the mums characters, Carol Last (Aled’s mum) and Frances’s mum. These two showed the opposite kind of mum and I really like how the author portrayed these two individuals. Aled’s mum was this psycho, controlling, a pusher and also mental. She was also abusive, as much as I could see. Meanwhile, Frances’s mum was supportive, cool, funny, caring, overall a great mother. I like the contrast, it is somehow very significant to me.
“People move on quicker than I can comprehend. People forget you within days, they take new pictures to put on Facebook and they don’t read your messages. They keep on moving forward and shove you to the side because you make more mistakes than you should.”
― Alice Oseman,
Besides, the messages of this book are really meaningful. Firstly, it shows the struggles of teenagers with expectations from the school and society plus parents. Also, the struggles of oneself to prove himself to the family. That alone is a strong message. Sometimes, all you need to do is to follow your passion and do what you love and maybe that’s the best path for you. Furthermore, as most of us know, this book has lgbtq+ element in it. This was shown more in the second half of the book, whereby this topic was mentioned and discussed with more depth and bolder.
Overall, I’d suggest this book to the teenagers out there. A really nice read. 🙂
Rating: 3.8 / 5 stars