Book Review: I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

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.

What I Thought:

I’m not really sure where to start with I Was Born for This – there’s so much good stuff crammed into a regular-sized novel and I’m sure to miss something out!

This is the first of Alice Oseman’s novels that I’ve read, but I will definitely be reading more, as she writes in such a natural way, and with such wisdom that it’s one in the eye for all those opinion pieces that write off YA as light and without merit. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I’m no longer within the target age group for YA books, but I just wish books like this had been around when I was.

I Was Born for This deals with mental health, sexuality, relationships, religion, fandoms – toxic ones too – and many other important issues, each woven deeply into the narrative and never clumsily preached to the reader. Alongside this clever writing style, Alice Oseman’s characters are just so darn appealing! They deal with a lot in the course of this book – much more than people of their age perhaps shoud be dealing with, but you only ever wish them well.

As I’ve said, this book flies in the face of those articles being snobby about YA books, but it also looks at that other facet of teenage girls that is often made fun of – boyband fandom. Teenage girls do seem to be easy media targets – after all, aren’t all their interests frivolous and unimportant? This book says no! It gives everyone permission to embrace the things they love, even if other people don’t understand what they mean to you. I found this especially encouraging, given the number of times my love of YA has been brought up!

The important thing to note is that, despite this story being about a boy and girl, it is NOT a love story – anyone rooting for Jimmy and Angel to get together is going to be disappointed, but their story and their relationship is so much more than falling in love, and the book is the better for it.

It’s really difficult for me to describe particular bits of the book when it could result in so many spoilers, but suffice to say that it’s an incredibly powerful book, and I loved it!

As an aside, at the time of writing, the Kindle version of I Was Born For This was priced at only £1.99 – this is an absolute steal, so do take a look…

I Was Born For This is published by Harper Collins.

To find out more about Alice Oseman and her other work (including the fantastic graphic Novel Heartstopper) you can check out her website. Alternatively, you can connect with her on Twitter.

Please note: I was sent this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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2 Responses to Book Review: I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

  1. Ceres says:

    Hi!

    I had a crush on Alice as a writer after reading this book <3 Loved your review too, cant do anything but agree with everything! Have a nice day, Stacey :3

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