Read between: 20th-24th July
Published: February 26th 2016
Publisher: Harper Collins
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.
Review: Frances Janvier is head girl, straight A student- with a goal to go to Cambridge. She’s also a fangirl, a massive fangirl, of a Youtube podcast called Universe City, narrated by someone known only as Radio Silence.
Her life in and out of school could not be anymore different.
First thing I have to praise this book for is the inclusion of diverse characters, not only in ethnic backgrounds, but also in their sexuality. One is gay, one is bi, and one is asexual. Each one is individual and great, I loved all (but one) of the characters in the story. The variety wasn’t over done! It’s done in just the right way- the author clearly understands the balance and it really helped to avoid any confusion or mix up.
There were elements of the story that I managed to guess (who is who etc) but it didn’t ruin it for me. In fact, knowing what I did, I felt like I could understand the characters better, as well as understanding the story better too.
I LOVED Aled and Frances’ friendship- their love for odd fashion and Universe City made it nice to read. I felt like if they were real, I’d definitely get on with both of them! I also liked the inclusion of transcripts from Universe City. It made the story more immersive, like there really is a podcast like it out there. (Well there is- just not called Universe City. I can definitely see the inspiration from Welcome to Night Vale.)
The only character I really dislike is Aled’s mother, Carol Last. Although mother is a bit of an understatement considering how she treats her children. She’s a bitch. There’s no other way to describe her. I honestly couldn’t stand her and got really really angry.
Obviously, the story isn’t always happy- but when are they? Nobody is perfect. Friendships are broken, and then fixed again, and people got forgiven for mistakes they made in the past.
Honestly-I loved it. There are relatable characters, people I’d befriend in real life.
I’d definitely recommend!
Thanks for reading!