Review: I Was Born For This, Alice Oseman

There are no spoilers in this review.

I discovered Alice Oseman years ago, when she first published her debut novel, Solitaire. I really enjoyed it and obviously had to read her sophomore novel, Radio Silence, which I loved. I still don’t know how I got lucky enough to read I Was Born For This, but damn. If there is something I can say about Alice Oseman, it’s that she is one of my favorite authors of all times and each of her books just got better and better. If you don’t know her, this book or anything about it just yet, read on and add everything to your TBR, you won’t regret it.

A STORY ABOUT BOYS BANDS AND FANDOM

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Slowly, but surely, I have realized that I appreciate stories dealing with celebrities and fandom a whole lot. Who has never dreamed of being on the other side, seeing what celebrities actually feel like? Who has never fan-girled over a celebrity or a boys-band for ages, dreaming of meeting them. I know I had these kind of moments in my life and I did some crazy things to see my favorite boys band of all times as well. All of this to say, this book is a love letter and an incredibly realistic portray of fandom and what it means to be in a fandom, what it means to love something this much and how it can, sometimes, turn your thoughts and life completely upside down. Alice Oseman GETS THIS. .

INCREDIBLE & DIVERSE CHARACTERS

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In I Was Born For This, we get two sides of one story. First, we have Angel, she is a part of the Ark fandom, an incredibly famous boys-band on its way to conquer the United States. BIG DEAL. Second, we have Jimmy, one part of the three-boys making the Ark. Each character, with the story they tell, are showing us a completely different side of the fandom. We get the pretty glitters, the beautiful, flawless boys, the speculations and rumors on the one side ; while we get the harsh reality, the pressure, the anxiety and panic attacks induced by being part of such an intense, uncontrollable experience, at times. .

Both characters in this story were brilliant, endearing and utterly relatable and oh, so diverse as well. Angel was such a wonderful main character and I immediately connected with her, not only because of her being part of a fandom, but on how she felt about everything, how her life, her purpose, everything somehow, at the time, felt linked to a boys-band. She was incredibly sweet, endearing, complex and I just loved her. Also, if I can’t personally speak on the representation in this book, Angel is Muslim (her real name is Fereshteh, even if she is referred to as her β€œfandom” name during the book, that’s mentioned, too) and it’s part of the story, too, she wears a hijab and says her prayers in the story and I appreciated seeing this diversity so much.

The second main character of this story is Jimmy, one of the boys from the boys-band The Ark. With his story, we get to see the intense pressure of being in a boys-band and a bit of the less glamorous side of this kind of life, too. Let’s be honest here, I just wanted to hug Jimmy all along. If, once again, I can’t speak on the representation in this book, Jimmy is a mixed-race trans boy and once again, seeing that diversity in a main character of a story was great. He’s also dealing with anxiety and panic attacks and, on that, I can say that the representation was A+.

We also have other amazing diverse characters in this book, we have two bisexual characters, mixed-race characters and just beautiful diversity overall that made me really happy.

What makes I Was Born For This really brilliant is that, in a contemporary story that is not meant, unlike suspense, thrillers or mystery books, to be addictive and unstoppable, well…. I could NOT stop reading that damn book, because it was so addictive. I quickly got attached to the characters and their stories and I was compelled to read this day and night and all the time. They were just so complex, flawed, fascinating and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next to my babies and there, there you got the 5-stars read.

The relationships between everyone were brilliant and not sugar-coated at any times. From Juliet and Angel, meeting for the first time after being internet friends for so long, to Jimmy and his friends and, well, colleagues from the boys-band Rowan and Lister, to Jimmy and his adorable relationship with his grandfather. I just loved everything about it.

OVERALL

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I just honestly don’t know what more I could say here, or maybe I know, but it’s already way too long and I should stop here. I just want you to know that I Was Born For This is a book I loved with all of my heart and you should, too. It’s brilliant, diverse, compelling, with amazing characters. It’s about celebrities, boys-band, being part of something as big, as life-sucking and as amazing as a fandom, it’s about being that celebrity, having people loving you without actually knowing you, about the pressure to make people happy when you are not. I don’t know, it’s just a whole bunch of love and I just loved this way too much and go read it okay please, thank you very much.

Buddy-read this with the amazing Marta @ The Cursed Books, check out her review too!

Final rating:Β  A HURRICANE OF FEELINGS OKAY

A million thanks to Harper Collins UK for sending me a review copy of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts or rating of this.

Trigger warnings: panic attacks, injury.


Alice Oseman, I Was Born For This, Β Published by Harper Collins Children’s Books, May 3rd, 2018.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

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.

Did you read I Was Born For This? Do you want to? Did you read any of Alice Oseman’s books?

Do you like stories dealing with fandom and celebrities? Let me know in comments!

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

57 thoughts on “Review: I Was Born For This, Alice Oseman

  1. If I were to read the summary of the book (I did, I went on amazon), I probably would not have chosen this book out myself. Your reviews always make me want to read these books, and even more so, I always enjoy them. This is another book I will be adding to my amazon wish list! Great review/post as always xxx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you so much, that’s the best compliment I could get, this makes me so happy ❀ I hope you'll pick it up eventually and that it won't disappoint ❀
      Thank you! ❀ < 3

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read too many books dealing with celebrities and fandom but I’ve really enjoyed the few I have picked up and I definitely understand the draw of those stories, it’s kind of our small glimpse of the other side isn’t it? I’m really glad you enjoyed this one Marie; I have Alice Oseman’s books on my TBR list, I think I added Radio Silence after seeing your review for it, and really need to try and get around to them soon, especially seeing how highly you rated this one (it sounds really amazing as well!)
    Great review. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is ahah, I’m just too curious about that celebrities’ other side and lives so…. I love these kind of books haha.
      I can’t wait for you to read Alice Oseman’s books and I really hope that you will love them. Plus, I think you’re going to YALC again this year? Because, if I heard it right, she’s going to be there, so…. that’s another good reason for you to get to her books I guess πŸ˜›
      Thank you so much, Beth! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OKAY FINE YOU GOT ME. I’ve been wanting to read an Alice Oseman book since Solitaire came out in 2014 and ~still~ haven’t gotten around to getting one. THE GUILT AND PEER PRESSURE ARE REAL. I have a feeling I’d want this to be my first Oseman read. The realities of fandom life + awesomely diverse characters? Um, YES PLEASE. Lovely review as usual, Marie! β™₯

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHH this makes me so happy, Aimee! I can’t wait for you to read her books, she is such an incredible author. Hope you will love it! πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much! ❀

      Like

  4. Oh oh I love her books!! Well…book.πŸ˜‚I’ve only read Radio Silence but I ADORED it so absolutely freaking much…I’ve just ordered Solitare now and I’m going to order I Was Born For This as soon as I get paid ahhh.😍 I just really love her style and her dialogue and her characters. Like Aled in Radio Silence was the best. πŸ˜­πŸ’•And her books always make me feel really satisfied by the end so just yesss. I’m glad you love them too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ALEC WAS THE BEST RIGHT?? ❀ I am so, so glad you love him too. I loved Alice's books right from the start and can safely say that all of her books just get better and better. I can't wait for you to read this one! πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Cait ❀

      Like

  5. It’s great that you enjoyed this book, Marie! I also love it when characters are flawed and relatable, and I know what you mean in that contemporary books can be just as addictive as thrillers and suspense novels (sometimes even more so!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was waiting for your Review, because you got me so hyped on this book πŸ’• (Obviously I loved your Review, it was so great and well written like always!)
    I adore books that talk about fandom, so this could really be for me, especially as you mentioned that the author did get that part right! πŸ™‚ And then there are all the other themes that you mentioned, that got me really intrigued!
    Your Reviews are not good for my TBR pile 😜 πŸ’—

    Like

    1. Awww thank you so, so much Caro – this makes me so happy to hear. I hope you’ll be able to read this book soon and that you’ll end up enjoying it just as much as I did ❀ ❀ ❀
      Hahaha, I'm so sorry…. but I could say the same for all of your reviews, so… it's just, revenge, hahaha πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a lovely review Marie! I so want to read this now, because practically, you said so πŸ˜› This book looks exactly like the story that I would love. WIth that plot and diverse characters and everything.. this just looks amazing. Thank you for introducing this book to me.
    I am just waiting for the price to go down πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m sorry to say I haven’t read any Alice Oseman books yet, but she is definitely on top of my list of books I NEED TO READ RIGHT NOW! Radio Silence just sounds so good, and now I Was Born For This? This book sounds like everything I could want or need from a book and your review just made me want to read it even more πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YAY I am so, so happy to hear that and really hope you’ll get to read her books soon. They’re all INCREDIBLE πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment ❀

      Like

  9. I love your review (as expected!!!)! ❀ I'm so happy we both loved it and I think it was such a great book to start our buddy-reading streak. I know that we'll read more amazing books together in the future (well, we technically are doing it again, hehehe).
    I agree so much with you saying it was addictive and the diversity and the characters, ughhh, I miss this book! I think I might reread it sometime in the future because it was too good. Or I'll just read Radio Silence, any of those works.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you so much, so glad you enjoyed it! I LOVED buddy-reading this with you and hope we’ll have more and more buddy reads in the future πŸ˜€
      YES you have to read Radio Silence now, I LOVED IT SO MUCH AS WELL!! ❀

      Like

  10. I haven’t read anything by Alice Oseman yet, even though they all sound perfect for me, but I can’t wait to read this. It just sounds absolutely wonderful?? Definitely asking this one for my birthday πŸ˜› Thank you for making me even more excited for this one Marie! ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THEY ARE PERFECT FOR YOU. Seriously, I feel like you could LOVE these books Michelle, especially I Was Born For This. IS YOUR BIRTHDAY SOON? I can’t wait for you to read it haha πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m soooo ready to read this book. I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.
    After I finish my current reads and hopefully read the entire Finishing School series [I refuse to have a million series to catch up on for Sequel September].. But.. who knows.. I simply have to read it before YALC. Then I’m all good. :’)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Aahh, I am SO HAPPY that you loved this book so much!! I’ve heard the best of things about this and so many of my friends have loved it. I haven’t had the chance to read any of Alice Oseman’s books (planning on reading Radio Silence this month, and I’ve been keeping up with her webcomic Heartstopper) but I know she has a lot of diversity in her books. I’ve also heard she has really great fandom rep as well as great character work, and I love those things! Plus, knowing you love it makes me sure I will too πŸ˜‰ Great review! ❀

    Like

    1. WHAT YOU HAVEN’T READ ANY BOOK BY ALICE OSEMAN JUST YET?? AHHH you have to as soon as you can! I love all of her books so much – though that one is my favorite, Radio Silence was pretty amazing πŸ™‚ I love her characters so much, they’re always so realistic, relatable and just, jumping off the page, really ❀ I can't wait for you to read it! πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Omg I actually haven’t read anything by this author but this review definitely puts her on my radar! I will definitely pick this up! This sounds fantastic! I haven’t read any fandom related books but I really want to in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hey Marie! Don’t mind me stalking your blog. πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ I’m SO happy that I found your review of IWBFT; I just finished it last night and WOW. I absolutely LOVED it; it’s definitely one of my favorite books of 2018 and possibly of all time as well. This is a wonderful review, and I’m so glad that you enjoyed this book as much as I did! 😍 Alice Oseman is honestly such an amazing writer; I loved how casually diverse, relatable, and genuine IWBFT was. I honestly loved all of the characters so much (especially Bliss!); they were so unique and three-dimensional and complex.

    I haven’t read Solitaire but I’ve read Radio Silence, and I enjoyed that as well! (But I think IWBFT is her best book yet. 🧑)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I don’t mind at all, you’re too sweet looking for my review, that means a lot!! ❀ ❀
      I AM SO HAPPY YOU LOVED IT AHHH, Dezzy, it's official, we really have the same taste in books πŸ˜‚ I LOVE THAT. ❀ I agree with you, IWBFT is her best book just yet, but I loved Radio Silence, too. I can't wait to read more of her books, she's such an incredible writer! πŸ˜€

      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

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