Book Review: I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

It has been A Long Time since I read this book (or rather, inhaled it in one sitting) and I am very definitely regretting not writing this review sooner, because reviewing a book you read actual months ago when your notes are as helpful as “OMG, this is amazing” is hard. Don’t be like Past Charlotte.

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I Was Born For This is split into two narrative viewpoints: Angel Rahimi (a massive The Ark fangirl) and Jimmy Kaga-Ricci (band member). Alice writes both views brilliantly; her characters are so authentic that you fall for them straight away and they start to feel like your best friends.

Angel Rahimi loves the Ark more than anything else; she’s been there since their early days of singing on You Tube, and, now they’re famous, she still cannot get enough of them. When she gets the chance to go on a trip to meet the band and see them perform live, it feels like a dream come true. Even more so because she’s going to meet her best friend face-to-face for the first time!

I loved the way Alice dealt with online friendships. I met my best friend online, and I thought Alice perfectly captured the experience of meeting your online friends for the first time. It doesn’t go quite the way Angel was expecting. Juliet surprises her by introducing her to another friend Mac, who will be joining them, and the way Juliet is acting around this guy makes Angel increasingly uncomfortable. Nothing about this trip is turning out the way Angel hoped it would, and she is starting to question herself and her place in the world.

Alice explores what it is like to be part of a fandom in wonderful detail; the way the fans become obsessed, the fan theories, the feeling that nothing else matters but the fandom.

Through Jimmy’s eyes, we get to see a completely different side to fandom. Jimmy suffers from anxiety. His illness is seamlessly woven into the story, so you never feel like you’re being fed a lot of information about anxiety, but at the same time, someone with no experience of this illness could learn a lot from Jimmy’s story. Anxiety impacts a lot on Jimmy’s life. His thoughts are constantly spiralling, he is constantly worrying and expecting the worst. His feelings about his job are complicated. He loves the music, his band-mates and the fact that people enjoy what they do, but the fans terrify him:

“It’s stressful. It’s scary. That never goes away. The girls scream and they claw at you. A lot of them only like us because we have nice faces.”

I loved how I Was Born for This looked at the negatives of being famous. We got to see the effects on the band of a photo of Jimmy and Rowan being leaked, not only from the headlines and interviews, but behind the scenes with their families and loved ones.

There is a big theme about the difference between real life vs online life and the importance of being true to yourself, in both Jimmy and Angel’s stories. When they accidentally meet each other, exciting things happen, and both have to reassess their lives and what they want to be doing with them.

I’m doing a terrible job of reviewing this, but I loved I Was Born for This. It is achingly beautiful, thought provoking and utterly absorbing. You should read it immediately if you haven’t already.

 

15 thoughts on “Book Review: I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

Add yours

  1. I really want to read this book. 🙌
    Crossing my fingers that my library pulls through, or I order it at book depository because I can’t seem to find this book in the U.S.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Omg, I was thinking about a different book with a tv adaptation. Sorry. LOL. But I am ordering “I Was Born For This” online soon. XD

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s “You.” Based on a book by Caroline Kepnes. I was talking to someone about it and accidentally sent it here. Sometimes I lose track of who I talk to especially on FB. I know, TMI. 🙈 I was reading the book but I found the show bearable unlike the pov of Joe in the book. Haha.

        Liked by 1 person

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