If you like that, try these … Radio Silence

Hi all!

Welcome to another post of If you like that, try these …, my weekly post series where I share book (and sometimes movie or TV show) recommendations based on a book I’ve read. A new post comes out every Thursday!

Today’s pick is …

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“I wonder — if nobody is listening to my voice, am I making any sound at all?”


30653843What’s it about?

Frances is in her final year of school and is a study machine with one goal: university. The only thing other than school that she cares about is a podcast called Universe City. Then she meets Aled, the shy genius behind the podcast, and he unlocks the door to the real Frances: the one who cares about more than just grades. For the first time, she experiences a true friendship and is finally having fun. But when the podcast goes viral, the trust between Frances and Aled is broken. And Frances has to confront her past, starting with the day Aled’s sister disappeared.

What are the themes/elements?

Anxiety, biracial protagonist (Ethiopian and English), coming of age, creative drive, emotional abuse, expressing your true self, fandom, friendship, following your dreams, life crisis, LGBTQIAP+ characters (bisexual, demisexual, gay, pan, lesbian), millennial book, parental abuse, podcasts.

So …

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What’s it about?

Letters to a Young Poet is a manifesto on the creative life, written in a series of letters to a young man named Franz Zaver Kappus, who had written to the poet Rilke, and asked Rilke for an assessment on his own poetry.

Why did I choose it?

The letters are full of advice about being honest with yourself, and living life the way you want to live it – and that means following your dreams. It’s all about finding the courage to pursue a creative career, which is something Frances really struggles with in Radio Silence. The letters are all about expressing your true self – which is something both Frances and Aled come to do in the novel, although so many people try to hold them back.


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What’s it about?

After a shoutout from a famous vlogger, Tash’s web series, Unhappy Families – based on Anna Karenina – goes viral. When she’s nominated for an award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom, another award nominee, has the potential to become real … but she has to figure out a way to tell him she’s asexual.

Recommended by Silvia

Why did I (Silvia!!) choose it? 

Tash Hearts Tolstoy is all about fandom and becoming a viral sensation – much like Radio Silence. It also features strong friendships, a relationship a lot like Aled and Frances’. Most importantly, Tash is heteromantic asexual, which means she is romantically attracted to someone of another gender but not sexually attracted. In Radio Silence, Aled is also on the ace-spec: he’s demisexual, which means he’s only attracted to people after he’s formed an emotional connection with them (it’s not stated if Aled is gay or bi or pan, just demi, so I won’t assume his sexuality here). It’s important to see sexualities from the lower end of the LGBTQ+ spectrum that are hardly ever represented, which both novels do so beautifully!


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What’s it about?

Ghost Girl follows the adventures of two teenage girls, Enid and Becky, two pseudo-intellectual friends who just graduated from high school, who spend their days wandering aimlessly around town, wondering what they’re going to do for the rest of their lives. As the story progresses, Enid and Becky make the transition into adulthood and find themselves drifting apart.

Why did I choose it?

The graphic novel is a little sad but it’s ultimately something so many millennials can relate to (despite this book being published in the 90s). Enid and Becky discuss university and whether it’s right or wrong for them, which Radio Silence heavily deals with, and also features a very strong friendship between the girls that ultimately fades away (which happens briefly in Radio Silence). It’s a book about transitioning from teen life to adulthood, and shows the diverse ways that can happen – much like Radio Silence. 


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What’s it about?

After dropping out of university due to a love affair with an older, married professor, Wilhelmina returns home to stay with her born-again-Christian mother for the summer. The same day she arrives home, a prehistoric monster surfaces, and Willie learns that her unknown father is still alive.

Why did I choose it?

While The Monsters of Templeton isn’t anything like Radio Silence — plot-wise — the book deals with issues of abandonment and growing up. It’s part coming-of-age part ghost story. Willie is desperately trying to figure out her life, which isn’t easy due to the difficult relationship with her mother – a little similar to the relationship Aled has with his mother. This novel features many mysteries, which Radio Silence also deals with. It’s also about owning up to your actions, which Frances has to do too.


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What’s it about?

Welcome to Night Vale is a series of community updates from Cecil, a radio presenter, about the news, announcements, daily life and advertisements for a small, fictional desert town in the US, called Night Vale, a place where the conspiracy theories are real.

Why did I choose it?

Alice Oseman announced that Aled’s podcast, Universe City, is actually based on Welcome to Night Vale! It’s creepy, strange, and super intriguing … just like the brief descriptions we get of Universe City is! Universe City is a series of radio announcements from a university that is under attack by an unknown force – and the agender radio announcer who has adventures with a motley crew of interesting people.


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What’s it about?

Cath is one of the biggest fans of the Simon Snow books (this world’s Harry Potter) and she’s one of the most famous fanfic writers: her massive fanfic work, called Carry On, is about Simon and Baz (the series Draco) falling in love. Her and her twin sister, Wren, love the books. But Wren has moved away from fandom, and as they leave for college, announces that she wants to move away from Cath, too. Now she has a burly roommate, two guys who seem to be into her, and has to worry about the father she’s left behind, all the while dealing with her severe anxiety.

Why did I choose it?

While Fangirl comes across as quite humorous, it’s actually quite depressing and sad (at least I saw it that way), which is the same feel I got from Radio Silence. Both Cath and Frances are very similar people, in that they hide the fandom parts of themselves from the world, they’re both creative, and anxious and a little lonely – but they really find themselves once they meet someone who changes their life. Both books are about struggling with school and fandom. 


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What’s it about?

Three best friends, Charlie, Taylor and Jamie, get the chance to travel to a convention in America when Charlie is invited there as a guest, after the success of her first movie. But Alyssa Huntington is a surprise guest, and Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought. And Taylor, obsessed with a book series, wants to meet her favourite author, and gets the chance to enter a fan contest – but also has to deal with her feelings for Jaime.

Why did I choose it?

Another book about fandom, creativity and strong friendships! Charlie is Chinese-Australian and is bisexual, and Taylor is autistic and anxious. The book deals a lot with the importance of friendship and putting yourself out there, which Radio Silence discusses too.  

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And there we have it: if you like Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, try those seven recommendations! 

Do you know of any other similar books or shows/movies that I didn’t mention? What books would you like to see me discuss next time? Let me know!




20 thoughts on “If you like that, try these … Radio Silence

  1. mia says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I’ve always wanted to read Radio Silence, and now that I know the fandom is based on Welcome to Nightvale, then I DEFINITELY have to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Silvia says:

    I really need to get into podcasts but they’re intimidating 😦
    anyway, I absolutely love this kind of post! I’m going to stalk your previous ones because I’ve failed to blog hop in the past weeks gslhshghg

    Liked by 1 person

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