Inside cover blurb:
You probably think that Aled Last and I are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and I am a girl.
I just wanted to say—we don’t.
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 radio silence?
This is really just one big love letter to Tumblr. Which I thought I would like, considering I am “Tumblr trash,” as my brother-in-law would say.
But for some reason, it just didn’t resonate with me. Maybe there weren’t enough of my personal fandoms mentioned- but don’t think I didn’t see Doctor Who, High School Musical, and Camp Rock in there!! Plus maybe a brief Supernatural reference.
A lot of this book is painful awkwardness and people not talking to each other because they’re insecure about themselves. The characters talk about how they have to be fake and boring for their school friends and maybe that’s part of why I didn’t connect with them much. Because they do come off as boring the majority of the time. The story of Carys and Raine in London together would actually be a brilliant buddy comedy though. Potential sequel??
And I kind of wish the entire thing were just composed of the Radio Silence show transcripts because oof, those were actually really beautiful.
Plus: Fandoms, a boy and a girl who (shocker) can be friends without being in love with each other (!), and the creation of a really fun imaginary fandom. It’s just too bad the show doesn’t exist in real life.
Minus: Lengthy with a very slow build, slightly whiny characters, the fact that I can’t actually listen to the Radio Silence show.
If you like this book, try:
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia- A very similar set-up (creator meets fandom fan) except the creator is the main character and there’s romance involved.