A quick, short read about what happens when a fangirl meets her favourite band, yet they are not truly who she thought they were.
Title: I Was Born for This
Author: Alice Oseman
Publisher: Haper Collins
Audience: Young Adult
(Taken from Goodreads)
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.
I am not traditionally a contemporary reader, but I Was Born for This initially appealed to the fangirl inside me and the absolute obsession you feel to something that you love with your whole heart. However, I did find Angel’s fangirl plotline to be a little bit over the top, and I could never imagine the plot occurring as some of the ideas seemed a bit far fetched.
While the plot was ultimately interesting when looked at as a whole, I felt that it lacked a bit of reality as some of the plot points I would assume could never naturally occur. This took away from the book for me, as I was continually thinking about how unrealistic it was. For example, the situation within which Angel met the band seemed highly improbable, and this then led to even more improbable events. However, I feel that this may not have been helped by the lack of development of the side characters as it meant that quite a bit of context was missing.
While the two main characters Angel and Jimmy were thoroughly developed, it felt like there was a disconnect between them and all other characters. Angel and Jimmy had fully-fledged character arcs, and while I may not have agreed with all of their decisions, I could understand their reasoning behind them in the situation they faced. But when it came to other characters such as Juliet and the other band members, I did not feel as if I genuinely knew them and what the basis behind their decisions was. This may have been impacted by both Angel and Jimmy being unreliable narrators, as you learn everything at the same time as them; which I felt didn’t help the reader. I would love to have known more about these characters, as I felt that there was a story to be told about them as well which would have only added further to the book.
Due to me feeling that the side characters were underdeveloped, I thought that the pacing of the book felt very quick as there was not a lot of information to digest and understand, which made it easier to read.
Within I Was Born For This, there is LGBTQIA+ representation as well as Anxiety and Depression representation. I cannot speak for the LGBTQIA+ representation as I am not a member of this community and have not faced the struggles that Jimmy goes through. However, I felt that the Anxiety and Depression representation was accurate to my personal experience. This representation is something that I appreciated from Alice Oseman, as it was nice to see an accurate representation of mental illness, in my personal opinion. However, I understand that my feelings may not be the same as everyone else as everyone has different experiences.
Overall, I Was Born for This was a quick read that I was able to digest easily. Contemporary is not my traditional genre, so it was nice to step out of my comfort zone. In the future, I will probably read other Alice Oseman books, as she does have some other concepts that I am interested in reading.
Buy I Was Born for This: Bookshop.org