This month I’ve actually decided to revise my TBR slightly and finally make time to participate in The YA Room’s book if the month: I Was Born For This by the talented Alice Oseman
If you don’t know who or what The YA Room is, they’re a book club in Melbourne, Australia (and also on Instagram, twitter, etc.) run by two girls who organise book meets once a month at Dymocks on Collins St. To discuss the book of the month. This month we’re reading I Was Born For This by Alice Osman and it is everything people beg for in a book.
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.
This novel boasts so so so much diversity; images of realistic family and friend relationships – both positive and negative; raw emotions and fake images; transgender and gay representation; Muslim, Italian, white, Asian, and a mix of these nationalities. You’ll experience Angel and Juliet’s parent’s high expectations; lies between friends and family; nostalgia especially if you are or were a fangirl of any band; and oh so much darkness that you’d be scared the tunnel never ends.
As usual, I didn’t read the blurb before diving into this book and instead went in blind, which I do not recommend for this book unless you like jumping into puddles of unknown depths; because that’s what reading this book felt like.
I updated all of my thoughts on Goodreads but became very speechless towards the end of the book so this review will definitely be a flush of emotion and nostalgia, and a different structure than normal.
Page 6: I’m 2 official pages in and I love this book already for 2 reasons:
1. Joan of Arc mentions!
2. Cultural diversity!
I don’t talk about it much, but I love Joan of Arc and her story. Her history and the fact that she is a young badass woman who leads armies and people feared her! I cannot believe her story isn’t told as a part of the school curriculum. I even read a book on her when I was in high school and it empowered me as a woman to hear that she, someone of faith and youth was able to achieve such wonderful things. I’ve always wanted to write a Joan of Arc retelling but I’m scared I’ll mess up.
This is totally off topic, but I’m only two pages in…
Page 24: Ooh multiple perspectives!
I love the insight into the band life and how it’s portrayed in such a realistic manner. All I could think about was One Direction and that’s how they were probably feeling when hordes of girls would track them down, stalk them, scream at them, and everyone knew their every move.
Page 205: Oh shit!
1. This is the fastest I’ve read. Ever! I read 100 pages in one hour!
2. As soon as I said one more page, the chapters became so much shorter. I really could not put this book down, and every time I did I wanted to pick it right back up again.
3. Shit just went down, and to be honest it really cannot be far from the truth of what happens in the life of a boy band. I really love the insider view into boy band life and how convincing it is with all the real and raw emotions that the boys felt being the most famous people in the world, and “loved” by millions. All the true fan things that Angel did were fully confirmed by my experience in the One Direction fandom. The fan/band comparison is quite interesting as they both have conflicting stories, but both encounter very real scenarios that are quite possible in a real-life situation. I’ve read my fair share of fanfictions and this is like a very advanced, convincing and in-depth fan fiction that really brings me back to my 1D fangirl days.
Page 225: I made it halfway, and I’d like to say that although I did predict how they met, this hadn’t ruined my reading experience. I loved the raw and unfiltered emotions of Jimmy when he has every right to feel scared in front of a fan.
The encounter between the two protagonists was a real turning point of the novel with that moment being where many conflicts began, though it wasn’t clear how at the time.
Page 295: At the rate, I was reading, I thought I’d have to have this review posted tomorrow.
This is the part where the conflict begins, not only for the characters but for the readers in terms of morals. Both Angel and Jimmy have difficult situations they need to react to which can be morally conflicting for the reader to agree with the choices of the protagonist.
I am listening to One Direction while writing this because of all the nostalgia.
Page 362: Looks like the review will be posted tonight…
I had a thought of what might be happening when I closed the book at this point, and I was scared out of my mind. I didn’t want anything to happen to my boys. The story had begun to take a dark and suspenseful turn; I’m even shaking and anxious, worried about what is to happen next.
Page 400 – Final Thoughts: Well damn. I haven’t read a contemporary that good in a very very long time. This book had all the elements of a perfect novel, from diversity to mental illness, forming friendships and a sprinkle of romance. I loved this book and it deserves every star it is given.
I want to thank The YA Room for picking this as their book of the month or I’d never think to pick it up. I can’t wait to discuss it with them.
★ Rating ★
I gave this book a ★★★★★ (5/5 stars) on Goodreads, for all the above reasons but mostly due to the intense nostalgia I experienced, reliving my own fangirl experience vicariously through Angel.
Alice has also written two other books; Solitaire and Radio Silence which I hope to get to sometime this year.
Comment below if you liked this style of review. It was fun to write and I like to switch up my reviews based on how I kept notes and the type of book I read.
Stay Happy, Healthy, and have a Lovely Week!!
Thank You so much for reading! I hope to see you all back here on Wednesday 🙂
© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without my permission. This post was not sponsored, the photos and graphics are my own, except any book covers featured; they’re from Goodreads.