I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 3rd May 2018
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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.
Gosh I love the feeling after reading a book by Alice Oseman.
Actually, it’s a mixture of love and hate. I love the way she makes me feel things. I end up falling in love with all the characters (maybe bar a few) and simultaneously want to adopt them and protect them from the world. But sometimes, I’m angry, because Oseman’s novels can be so relatable that I can see myself in the characters or the story, so I get sad that she’s made me self-reflect like that when I was PERFECTLY FINE ignoring my problems thank you very much!
Boy band lit is something I very rarely read, however it’s something I love to write about and have had minor success with when it comes to posting stories online (fanfiction excluded!). Usually when I find a boy band lit plot, it’s something that I’m just not interested in; it’s about a member of a boy band falling in love with the teenage female protagonist and all other variants of that plotline. While I think boy band lit is something I would definitely enjoy, there’s just not enough diversity in the genre. But HEY, THANK GOD ALICE OSEMAN WROTE ONE.
I loved I Was Born For This, and while I felt a little less dread and hopelessness after it, unlike after reading Radio Silence and Solitaire, I still felt that overwhelming you get after reading an Alice Oseman book, which is NOTHING IS REAL ART IS LIE HERE’S ALL OF THESE FEELINGS.
Fan culture and obsession over boy bands/celebrities is something I’ve been interested in for a long time. I’ve written essays about it, discussed it in my own stories, and love reading other people’s perspectives on it. I remember when that documentary about the fans of One Direction came out on Channel 4 years ago and how it divided the public, even the fans. I think fan culture is such a large part of our lives that it’s strange that there aren’t that many published novels on the topic, or even articles that aren’t degrading and downright rude.
But let’s get back to I Was Born For This.
Angel is a wonderful character. Despite not being a teenager anymore (and getting to the point where I’m not In The Know about how teens speak/act), Angel felt like such a realistic British teen, and that’s what Oseman is so great at writing. It’s authentic, it comes from experience. She has worries and fears that aren’t uncommon but are often overlooked in contemporary YA, or may not even be relatable when it comes to USYA. I loved Jimmy too, and found myself shouting ‘me too!’ when his anxiety about the small things overpowered him so much that he didn’t feel safe outside of his own home and sometimes even inside it (very me). Oseman’s stories are always very character driven and I loved that each character in I Was Born For This felt like a living, breathing person who felt so real that if I stopped reading and googled them, there they’d be.
And to be honest, I’m kinda sad that the band The Ark don’t exist. I would stan hard – but not too hard that I invade privacy or ship them. Help I just wanna be a good fan!
I Was Born For This comes out May 3rd, but you can pre-order right now! GO DO IT.