- ISBN: 9780062335715
- ISBN: 0062335715
- Physical Description: 474, 13 pages ; 22 cm
- Edition: First U.S. edition.
- Publisher: New York, NY : HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2017.
- Copyright: ©2017
- Owned by the Most Libraries: 3 / 5.0
|General Note:||Nutmeg Award Nominee, High School, 2020.|
|Summary, etc.:||A studious girl and a quiet, straight-A boy start a controversial podcast together that challenges their courage and forces them to confront issues in the form of backlash and censorship.|
Nutmeg Award Nominee, High School, 2020.
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|Subject:||High schools Juvenile fiction
Podcasters Juvenile fiction
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Gr 9 Up-British teen Frances Janvier is a study machine, focused on doing whatever it takes to get into Cambridge. Her public persona is academic nerd, but in private, she is a rebel. Frances is a fan of offbeat podcasts, and her favorite by far is Universe City, whose agender main character (who is also the show's creator) goes by the name of Radio Silence. Frances has joined a fandom Tumblr account, using the moniker Toulouse, and occasionally posts sketches that reflect how she thinks the characters and settings might look. When she receives a message from the creator asking if she is willing to provide graphics for the show, she can't believe it. Frances is even more dumbfounded when she discovers that the mysterious Radio Silence is, in reality, Aled Last, who lives directly across the street from her. Likewise, Aled can't believe that his graphic artist, Toulouse, is Frances. They become fast friends and spend the majority of the summer working together on the podcast. But as the start of Frances's senior year in high school and Aled's first year at university approach, a revelation changes their close relationship. With their friendship in ruins and Aled miles away and spiraling into a dangerous depression, Frances must face long-buried fears and desires to find a way to save him. Oseman is a master at combining sardonic wit with angst to create believable characters and a compelling contemporary story that will resonate with teens. VERDICT A top pick for any YA collection.-Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA Â© Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Oseman (Solitaire) explores sexual identities, the weight of expectation, and the intensity and fickleness of fandom in a story revolving around a mysterious, Welcome to Night Vale-esque podcast called Universe City. Frances Janvier, a high-achieving but largely friendless British student, has been a fan of Universe City since its first episode, even creating fan art for the show under the online persona of Toulouse. Aled Last, the boy next door, turns out to be Universe City's creator, and, soon after each realizes who the other is, the two collaborate on the podcast and develop a much-needed friendship. Frances and Aled both identify as queer, and their intense friendship-as well as relationships with their mothers that couldn't be more different-are central to the story. Oseman gives Frances an honest, insecure, and occasionally meandering voice, as she considers the stresses, joys, and letdowns of her high school existence. Oseman vividly illustrates that the world and its technologies offer opportunities for connection and fulfillment that go far beyond traditional definitions of success. Ages 13-up. Agent: Claire Wilson, Rogers, Coleridge and White. (Mar.) Â© Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* I was study machine Frances Janvier. I was going to Cambridge . . . Uni, job, money, happiness. That's what you do. That's the formula, Frances mulls to herself as she spends an uncomfortable evening with friends, trying to relax and enjoy herself. Not that there's much chance of relaxation or enjoyment, ever. Frances is a superstressed British teen, and the only thing she really loves is drawing and Universe City, a mysterious YouTube podcast with a haunting voice and a story that echoes her pain. Anonymous narrator Radio Silence describes a bleak world, seemingly a university campus that he or she is trying to escape. When Frances is invited to add her online fan art to the podcast, the story moves into high gear. Turns out the creator is neighbor Aled Last, twin brother of Frances' former friend Carys. What emerges is an intense, highly engaging, well-plotted story of relationships, explorations into gay and bisexual identities, family trauma, a straitjacketlike education system, and, mostly, kids yearning to be their truest selves despite it all. Though a companion title to Oseman's Solitaire (2015), this story stands alone and features believable characters in a unique setting. Readers this side of the pond will enjoy the school system comparisons and identify with the stress their witty, cyberworldly peers undergo as they hang on for dear life.--O'Malley, Anne Copyright 2017 Booklist