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I Was Born for This: From the YA Prize winning author Paperback – 23 April 2018
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- Publisher : HarperCollins GB (23 April 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 000824409X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0008244095
- Reading age : 14 years and up
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 40,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Praise for SOLITAIRE:
‘The Catcher in the Rye for the digital age’ – The Times
‘The most honest and authentic account of modern teenage life that you’ll read this year… outstanding contemporary fiction with appeal to fans of John Green’ – The Bookseller
‘A very authentic, teenage voice’ – Sunday Times
‘Solitaire is an extraordinary novel … [Oseman] has captured her characters’ rage, humour and insecurity with aplomb.’ –The Financial Times
‘Oseman proves herself a clever, witty writer’ – Publishers Weekly
From the YA Prize winning author
From the Publisher
Praise for I Was Born For This
'A dark and funny look what happens when online fandom collides with real life in messy, bittersweet detail.' - Lauren James, author of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
'A diverse, tender, hilarious contemporary novel...read it.' - Melinda Salisbury, author of The Sin Eater's Daughter
'Alice Oseman is such a talented contemporary YA writer. Her characters are so nuanced and well developed and real.' - Katherine Webber, author of Wing Jones
'Her best book yet.' - Lucy Powrie, book blogger
'Alice Oseman's finest book to date.' - Elyssa, Waterstones bookseller
Collect all of Alice's stunning novels, beautifully redesigned
'The Catcher in the Rye for the digital age'” The Times
'Keenly intelligent. A smart, timely outing.' Kirkus
I Was Born For This
'A diverse, tender, hilarious contemporary novel.' Melinda Salisbury, author of The Sin Eater's Daughter
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Top reviews from Australia
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The book is told in a duel-perspective, changing from Angel, a girl who is a huge fan of a band called The Ark, and Jimmy, a boy who is part of The Ark.
Angel is really into The Ark’s fandom and I loved that part of the book. I think it was portrayed so well overall, from the fan’s dedication, to shipping, to even uncalled for hatred for member’s girlfriends. As I was in the All Time Low fandom on Tumblr for a number of years, this mirrored a lot of what I experienced and saw (ironically, a side character was an All Time Low fan too, which I freaking loved). Angel wasn’t the kind that hated a girlfriend by default but she was into shipping Jimmy with his bandmate Rowan. It’s handled in a pretty realistic way. Although, I’m surprised Angel didn’t at all acknowledge people who would’ve been against the ship, since that would also be common. Also, even just a reference to either Jimmy or Rowan being shipped with the third band member, I think adding that would’ve been good too. I also loved how the book really validated online friendships. That’s something you rarely see in fiction and I feel like the book portrayed it really well.
Another thing about Angel I loved was that she did on the low end of average in school while trying hard. Not only that but she’s okay with it. The book doesn’t portray her not being an academic person as a bad thing. It also didn’t portray it from a lack of trying, since people who do try hard in their school and uni work and get average grades do exist. It was really validating and something really important to talk about since typically when character’s grades are talked about, it’s always high marks. So I really appreciated this book portrayed a character who tried and still didn’t excel highly, that’s the reality for most.
I really loved Jimmy at a character. He’s getting really anxious due to fame and pressure that’s been thrown onto him. He was already dealing with an anxiety disorder, and has been experiencing worse and worse panic attacks. His portrayal was interesting, one of the things he’s very adamantly against is claims of fans saying they ‘love him’ due to them not knowing him at all. That was a great input and it later prompts Angel to wonder if she loves Jimmy or just the idea of Jimmy, which was also done so well. Jimmy was an overall great character, and you completely understand his struggles.
I also loved his friendship with his band mates. Rowan his his best friend, which contributes a lot to the shipping of them. It was a really realistic friendship, they sometimes fought but they clearly still cared about each other. The third band member Lister, is kind of the third wheel since he’s only in the band because Jimmy and Rowan needed a drummer. But it’s clear that the three did have a certain connection.
One thing I didn’t love was that it dragged at times. It’s mostly character driven so it made it a little dull at times. I also found the duel-perspective to be a little whiplash-y at times before the mid way point. It was used well at some points though.
I overall really liked this book and I’m looking forward to more from this author.
Top reviews from other countries
The dual-perspective novel is told from the points of view of Angel – a diehard fan of music group The Ark and The Arks frontman Jimmy. We see the daily workings of life in a famous band and just how the lack of ordinariness can impact on your mental health. Furthermore, we see it from the more common perspective of just what it is like to be a fan.
It is at this point that I really need to extend my gratitude to Alice Oseman. You see, I was that fan. There is a line in a movie called Almost Famous and a girl who happens to be known as a “band aid” someone who is in the music set but not a musician say something along the lines of “to love a silly little piece of music so much” – I have been there. My band weren’t seen as particularly cool and were often mocked for what others perceived as fake rock but by god – nearly 15 years on since that band broke up I can still remember those feelings. What Oseman didn’t do – even though she could easily have taken this route – is that she didn’t patronise the fan. Yes, it must be overwhelming and at times frightening for the famous person who cannot see what it is that makes them so special but for a fan it is the feeling of belonging. Belonging to a culture, a group of fans or just even belonging to the band. I thank Alice Oseman for not belittling feelings that I once had – and to some extent still have.
Besides all of this, there are layers of plot that are explored sensitively but have a verisimilitude such as LGBT issues, transgenderism, religion, parental relations.
Overall, I Was Born for This is a book about growing up. It is a coming of age story and those are my favourite kind. Couple this with the music element and I was one happy bunny.
I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman is available now.
When I first heard that IWBFT (forever titled 'book 3' in my heart) was tackling 'band fandom', I was excited because of how under-explored that theme is. Usually the furthest we get is a mention of 'fangirling', but having 'fandom' as a whole explored in depth is rarely done, and I knew that if anybody could do it and do it well, it was Alice- I wasn't disappointed! I especially appreciated the relation between fandom and (heavily implied) mental health issues; we hyperfixate on things like bands, books, tv shows because they let us escape from our negative thoughts and feelings, and Angel's relationship with The Ark's fandom really shows that.
The book takes place over a week, and it definitely reads as fast paced- no spoilers but during the ending I literally couldn't stop reading because I was that anxious about what was happening. My favourite aspect of IWBFT, my favourite aspect of all of Alice's books, was the depth of her characters who I unsurprisingly love with all my heart. The characters are lovable, and funny, and above all, humanly flawed. Alice has a way of writing personal relationships that make them so real, and I can't help but have emotionally charged reactions to them.
I could sit here and type an essay about all of the different relationships in the book because I love them all but instead I'll focus on (for me anyway) the two most important: the quiet understanding between Angel and Jimmy, and Rowan, Jimmy and Lister. There's an unspoken connection between Angel and Jimmy, and a certain calmness to them together that I can only really describe as comforting. (view spoiler) Then the boys. The love they all have for each other is so pure and whole, and the gentleness in the way they interact - soft touches, gentle words - just makes me feel so warm inside. Reminds me of my own best friend and I am definitely here for this deconstruction of toxic masculinity.
I could say a lot more and who knows, I might actually right an essay length commentary closer to the release date, but for now I'll leave it at this; I Was Born For This has everything we've all grown to love about Alice Oseman's work -naturally diverse, uniquely quirky, authentic relationships - but it's also completely its own work. Refreshing and wonderful and I already want to read it again, so if you haven't already added it to your list you should definitely keep an eye out when it's released on May 3rd.
I could just relate to so many things in this book, and what a incredibly well written portrait of fandoms and the people involved in them. I seldom see such a positive description of teenagers just really really liking something and where the author is not being disparagingly about it.
And the internet friendships! Again, this was also looked at in such a positive light, which was just the best! I met one of my best friends over the internet and this books just speaks to me so so much.
All in all, just another incredible book by Alice Oseman, probably her best one to date.