I Was Born for This

- Alice Oseman


‘I’m gonna die. I’m literally gonna die.’
‘Wouldn’t recommend that,’ says Juliet, as if she’s been on a two week holiday to Death and gave it a two out of five on TripAdvisor.

For Angel, 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 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 just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.



‘I’m literally dying,’ I say, putting my hand on my heart. ‘You’re real.’


meh, nothing special:
After the high of Radio Silence, I Was Born for This was a little disappointing.

Oseman is usually pretty good at discussing mental health concerns and addressing big issues, but nothing actually seems to be tackled here. Everyone knows Lister is abusing alcohol and Jimmy has severe panic attacks, but it’s just accepted as normal. And they’re deciding to increase their number of commitments, essentially sacrificing their little privacy and free time. How do you think that’s going to affect their problems?

I think friendship is supposed to be the main takeaway of this book, but the friendships here are pretty lacking. The band has been spending almost every moment together for years and is supposed to be as close as it gets, but it often feels like they don’t even know each other.
Not to mention, I’m picturing years of Lister dropping these massive hints about being in love with Jimmy. God, they were so obvious from the beginning of I Was Born for Thisno one is that oblivious.
And Juliet and Angel have this incredible connection due to a shared love but aren’t handling the IRL pressure well. Angel is written as this heroic character, but she’s pretty selfish – even when her shortcomings are shoved right in front of her, and she knows what she should do, she still chooses a less important option. I’m not impressed.

I’m sure there’s a nugget here about loving yourself and not losing yourself to unworthy pursuits, but it is buried real deep. I Was Born for This just does not live up to the rest of the Osemanverse.



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