Wednesday 27 June 2018

BOOK REVIEW | 'I Was Born For This' by Alice Oseman (****)

Hey guys, and happy Wednesday! Today I am excited to be bringing you another book review, this time the wonderful Alice Oseman's I Was Born For This! Oseman has been a huge name in YA for a while now, however this is actually the first book I have read written by her, and it's safe to say that now I cannot wait to read her other two books!

I Was Born For This follows Angel Rahimi, who pretty much lives for superstar boyband The Ark. For Angel, The Ark are everything, and she's pretty sure that she wouldn't be able to live without them. When she gets the opportunity to travel down to London to meet her long-time internet friend Juliet, and more amazingly, see The Ark perform live, Angel can't believe her luck.

Jimmy Kaga-Ricci always dreamed of being in a boyband. The Ark has given him everything: money, fame, stardom. But for Jimmy, sometimes this life is a bit too much to handle. Jimmy feels like everything is spiraling out of control, and he begins to miss the calm life he once had. When Jimmy and Angel meet in crazy circumstances, they discover that they may be able to help out the other in more ways than they previously thought...

I was lucky enough to receive this book from Nina Douglas, in exchange for an honest review :)

Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...

For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.

Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.

Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.

I loved loved loved this book! The first thing I immediately noticed was the incredible diversity in I Was Born For This. I know that in an ideal world, characters in TV shows and books and films would all reflect the diversity of our world but, unfortunately, that is not always the case. It is clear that Oseman made a conscious effort to make her book enjoyable and relatable for everyone - people of all genders, religions, and sexual orientations were part of this book. And of course, this makes the story a lot more interesting as well. Why would you want to read about characters who were all the same?! The writing was so sparky and fresh; it is one of those YA page-turners that make you feel so happy that you never want it to end.

I have never read a book about a boyband before, and this was definitely something different for me. I loved the fact that we got both Angel and Jimmy's perspective - and especially with Jimmy, I was enlightened to a side of fame that I hadn't thought that much about before. I thought it was really refreshing for 'celebrity' to be portrayed in this way. Oseman explored the idea that everyone lives with mental health issues, no matter how happy they might appear to be. I think Jimmy's point of view was incredibly sensitively written, and he had so many layers to his character that I enjoyed uncovering as the story went on. 

Angel was a fantastic character - confident, funny, compassionate - all while living with her own worries and insecurities. Yet again, Oseman stayed away from a simple characterisation here, and the result was a brilliantly realistic female character who knew what she was passionate about, and didn't shy away from it. I love that Angel and Jimmy collided in the novel, as I think there are so many things that are similar about them, but not in any obvious way. 

More than anything, this book is about loving something and being passionate about loving it, all whilst being true to yourself. For me, Oseman perfectly captures what it means to be a fan, and how it can be the most wonderful thing in the world, yet only if you can still feel enough love for yourself and the people around you. 

Check out Alice Oseman here:

Until next time :)

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