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Presented by State Library Victoria

Book Review 2 : 'I Was Born For This' by Alice Oseman

Book: “I Was Born For This”
Author: Alice Oseman
Rating: 3/5

For anyone that wants to read the blurb for the book, I have placed it right at the bottom of the review!


Favourite Quote from the book, “I Was Born For This”:

“That’s why people get into fandom and bands and stuff. They just want something to hold on to that makes them feel good. Even if it’s all a big lie.”


Trust me when I say that I truly felt this quote. The first time I read this in the book, I just had to pause and then when I got back to the book, I just spent a few minutes rereading it. I was just so surprised that someone put it into words and for some part, I felt somewhat ashamed to admit it to myself. 

Okay, let’s start with my honest review of “I Was Born For This”, by Alice Oseman. 

Fangirling or fanboying – Almost everyone has gone through this phase, whether it be over a movie star, comic, book series, singer or band. For Angel in “I Was Born For This”, her life revolves around the pop-rock teenage boy band ‘The Ark’. When I first read the blurb, I will admit that I already imagined a cliché ending for the book – Angel would meet her favourite Ark member, Jimmy. They would “fall in love and there would be a happy ending”. I have a nasty habit of allowing a blurb to immensely influence how I read the book. I finished the book in a whole day, and I remember how after reading the last page, it took me some time to snap out of my trance. Before I begin talking about the plot, can we just take a moment to admire the cover of this book? I don’t want to describe it too much because I won’t be able to control myself, leading to spoilers – “Everyone needs something to believe in.”

An aspect that I absolutely fell in love with about the book was the integration of important teenage topics (friendships, mental health issues/growth, stress, idols/role models and sexual orientation). The story was told through two different perspectives – Angel (the fan) and Jimmy (band member). Let me tackle them one by one:

Jimmy loves music and judged by his band’s success, it seems like music loves him back! But, for Jimmy, what he shows on the outside is miles away from the true persona he keeps repressed within himself. He suffers from paranoia, anxiety and panic attacks; and the band’s growing popularity does very little to ease the knots in his heart. We can see the toll Jimmy’s mental health took on his passion for music and vice-versa. 

Angel is your fangirl – the type that literally breathes their idol/role model (not being mean, this is actually her). At some point, she is so invested in the band that she loses touch with herself. Oseman not only presents us a picture of the stress of being in the limelight, but also the dangers of harbouring an unhealthy obsession with someone.

I have to be honest; the book didn’t deliver as well as I thought it could have. Yes, it encompassed numerous important issues, but the way the plot was structured seemed a bit “all over the place”. There was so much content to cover, which resulted in quite an abrupt ending; something that didn’t work to me as I would have preferred one of two extra chapters to just tie up any loose ends. The message the book spreads is that you are allowed to admire or look up to someone, however, a certain line should be drawn to curb an ‘unhealthy obsession’.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the books and it’s a good read for anyone into books that effectively integrate relevant issues/topics for teenagers.  

THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! I hope everyone is doing well and as always HAPPY READING 🙂Comment how you’re feeling, something you’re excited for or sad about, or just anything random JI love talking to everyone! 

BLURB:

For Angel, life is about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys 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 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. 

2 comments

inky Centre for Youth Literature

Great review! Thanks! Sounds like there is a lot of things to relate to in this book.

5d ago
bookhaven

Ah!!! Thank you :)

5d ago