What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?
Frances is a study machine with one goal. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside. Then Frances meets Aled, and for the first time she’s unafraid to be herself.
So when the fragile trust between them is broken, Frances is caught between who she was and who she longs to be. Now Frances knows that she has to confront her past. To confess why Carys disappeared…
Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.
This novel is, hands down, one of the best novels I have read this year. It is very diverse, in terms of themes that it delves into – diversity, identity and freedom of choice.
The issues that the characters are experiencing are all very relatable and quite realistic – and sometimes in the world of YA novels, so many authors try to be unique and stand out from the rest, but in doing so creates unrealistic situations and over-the-top characters. But this… this novel is very engaging, relatable and unique in its own right.
Frances is a likable character, and is very relatable – especially for someone like me who saw studying as a life line, still do and only have one goal in mind, to get into University. I loved how she has a good relationship with her Mum. Frances is one of the most diverse characters I have ever encountered, in terms of racial and sexual identity.
Alice Oseman is very good in character building, especially with her other characters – namely Raine and Aled. I liked how Raine identifies her weaknesses and doesn’t let these get to her much and she does what she wants – Carys too was an interesting characters, especially as she highlights how University is the only option out there for school leavers – that there are also other programmes out there that will also give you an equivalent qualification. Aled, I felt extremely sorry for because of how clearly unhappy he is with his situation and his life with his overbearing, manipulative monster of a mother.
I really liked how the relationship between Aled and Frances is completely platonic, they’re in-love with each other, but not in the romantic kind of way and I thought that was really wonderful. It shows how plot for YA novels have to have romance at its centre, and that issues concerning teenagers, such as identity and freedom of choice are more important. That there are more options for young adults in the future rather than romantic affiliations that are not guaranteed to last – at least this novel is honest about the reality of the future.
Universe City is another aspect of the book that I really, really, really loved! This fictional podcast is very clever in delivering that University may not truly be for everyone, just reading the transcripts in the book made (still makes me) wish that it was a real YouTube podcast series, because it sounds so interesting and fascinating.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I highly recommend it!
Overall Rating: 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌓