Title: I Was Born for This
Author: Alice Oseman
Pages: 395 Pages
Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books
The third novel from the phenomenally talented Alice Oseman – one of the most talked about YA writers in recent years.
For Angel Rahimi life is about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything she loves – her friend Juliet, her dreams, her place in the world.
Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band with his mates is all he ever dreamed of doing.
But dreams don’t always turn out the way you think and when Jimmy and Angel are unexpectedly thrust together, they find out how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.
A funny, wise, and heartbreakingly true coming of age novel. I Was Born for This is a stunning reflection of modern teenage life, and the power of believing in something – especially yourself.
Having never read an Alice Oseman novel before and basing my first choice of book in a really trivial manner (I wanted to read a book with an orange cover) I was more than pleasantly surprised with just how amazing I Was Born for This is.
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.
For more information regarding Alice Oseman (@AliceOseman) please visit www.aliceoseman.com.
For more information regarding Harper Collins Children’s Books (@HarperCollinsCh) please visit www.books.harpercollins.co.uk/children/