Let’s Talk YA #5

Last month, the lovely Emma from Never Judge A Book By Its Cover and I launched Let’s Talk YA. You can check out the firstsecond, third fourth books I’ve previously recommended, all of which are incredible UKYA books that I think need to be shouted about more. Today, I’m discussing the brilliant I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman.

Content and trigger warnings for talk of suicide and not wanting to be alive, depression, anxiety depiction, panic attacks, talk of past forced coming out/outing, talk of past loss of a loved one, alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, abandonment, parental abandonment and assault (one scene where a fan performs an act of violence against a band member).

I Was Born For This Cover

Synopsis:

For Angel Ahmadi, 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.

Why I Love It:

Alice Oseman just gets being a teenager.

She creates such authentic dialogue and characters that feel like people I’ve known my whole life. The slang they use could be something I heard amongst my friends and she doesn’t shy away from the tough issues that teenagers often face. Her teenagers are troubled, flawed and emotionally complex, which is just such a nice change from the cliched stereotypes I often see.

She shows this prowess through the two main characters, who are so complex, relatable and brilliantly diverse. Angel is Muslim and she wears a hijab and says her prayers in the story, which was just so refreshingly normalised. Jimmy is a mixed-race trans boy and once again, seeing that diversity in a main character of a story was great. He’s also dealing with anxiety and panic attacks.

We also have an amazing supporting cast of diverse characters in this book, with two bisexual characters, mixed-race characters and just beautiful, seamlessly integrated diversity overall that I just love to see. It also wasn’t the sole focus of each character, which is so important I think.

Oseman was already a phenomenal author, but this book made her one of my favourites and a definite force to be reckoned with within UKYA.

Let’s Talk!

Have you read I Was Born For This or any of Alice’s work? What did you think? 

As always, please check out Emma’s blog for her recommendation and we will be talking on Twitter, so please get involved and use the hashtag #LetsTalkYA.

6 thoughts on “Let’s Talk YA #5

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