ARC Review | I Was Born For This By Alice Oseman

i was born for this

Title: I Was Born For This

Author: Alice Oseman

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: May 3rd 2018

Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Book Depository


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.


Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review!

I don’t even know where to begin. I Was Born For This is my first Alice Oseman novel and I loved it so much more than I thought I would. It is quite literally the past four years of my own life in novel format; I can quite literally see myself watching the book as a movie; and I am quite literally Angel Rahimi in real-life, except that she’s tall and confident and I’m small and shy.

The book opens in the viewpoint of Angel, a Muslim fangirl, meeting one of her internet friends for the first time. I could relate to so many aspects of this book but, sadly, meeting internet friends isn’t one of them. However, Angel does talk about how she tries and fails to get her in real-life friends interested in the things she loves – the boyband she loves – and I could honestly relate to this part on the highest level. My friends will usually listen to my constant fangirling and occasional ranting, but they just don’t care.

I loved the little insights into the fandom life of The Ark – despite Angel’s dedication being towards a boyband (something I’ve never had any interest in), many of her experiences can be applied to being part of any fandom. Staying up at ridiculous o’clock to stream American award shows. Constantly stalking the official update accounts. The inability to explain what you mean when you say you ‘love’ them or you jokingly call them your son. I could relate to every single part of it, and it genuinely surprised me, how much Alice Oseman understood this life I was born for. I didn’t choose it; instead, it chose me.

The book alternates between the perspectives of Angel and one member of The Ark, Jimmy, who is trans. It discusses mental health so honestly and openly and it gives you an insight into the other side of the fandom equation, which is something I haven’t ever really given much thought to. I’m a strong believer in ‘not all fans are the same’ but this book did, at times, make me question everything I thought I knew. It made me question myself as a fan in a similar way Angel experiences throughout the book. Am I just another obsessive fan? Who is Angel Rahimi without her boys? Who am I without the one person that has impacted my life so greatly over the past four years?

The fandom paradox is so real. You want to protect their privacy, but at the same time you want to know everything about them. You want them to keep their location at any given time a secret in case they get stalked, but at the same time you always want to know where they are in case they’re anywhere near you. You want to protect the anonymous identity of their lovers, but at the same time you want to know exactly who they’re dating in case they end up having their hearts broken. That is the fandom life. That is the paradox.

I loved this book so much. Like every single thing about it. None of the characters are perfect; they are all flawed and they are all real and I, too, would love to accidentally lock myself in a bathroom with the love of my life one day and to have them recognise me by my Twitter handle. I’ve been lucky in a way – social media has bridged the gap, the distance that exists between us (literally a whole freaking ocean), allowing me to ‘interact’ with my fave. Every retweet, every like, every reply, and every answer to a question I’ve asked in a Q&A. I’m so grateful and so lucky. A part of me still wants to meet her, to greet her, to hug her, to tell her I love her. And upon reading this book, a part of me is also afraid that, if it ever happens, it won’t be at all like what I’m expecting, that everything I have gathered over the past four years will amount to nothing. Can you really know someone, love someone, from a distance? Without ever meeting them? I don’t know. I really don’t know, but I do know this.

“BEING A FAN HAS GIVEN ME PEOPLE TO TALK TO ABOUT THE THINGS THAT I LIKE FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS. BEING A FAN HAS MADE ME BETTER FRIENDS ONLINE THAN I’VE EVER ENCOUNTERED IN REAL-LIFE; IT HAS ENTERED ME INTO A COMMUNITY WHERE PEOPLE ARE JOINED IN LOVE AND PASSION AND HOPE AND JOY AND ESCAPE. BEING A FAN HAS GIVEN ME A REASON TO WAKE UP, SOMETHING ALWAYS TO LOOK FORWARD TO, SOMETHING TO DREAM ABOUT WHILE I’M TRYING TO FALL ASLEEP.”

12 thoughts on “ARC Review | I Was Born For This By Alice Oseman

  1. Great review, as always 🙂

    Also, I was wondering if you would want to take part in my Islamic-Fiction reading challenge for the summer? It’s basically where you just need to read a minimum of one Islamic-fiction book and post about it, link your post back to my original post about it (yet to be published!).

    The point is so that we can all read more Islamic-fiction and share titles that may be less well-known to others because there isn’t much islamic-fiction out there 🙂

    I wanted to ask you before I tagged you in my post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey! First of all, thank you! And secondly, I’m interested in hearing more about this challenge so feel free to tag, though I’m not sure if I can commit to it since I have a lot going on this summer.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome! Sure, thank you – and it’s basically pretty similar to Ramadan Readathon instead it’s summer instead of Ramadan because I didn’t get to participate as much in Ramadan Readathon because of exams and I really want to read more Islamic-fiction and discover new titles and everything so I thought this might be a fun way to do it – if you have any suggestions or thoughts please feel free to let me know 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ugh, i’ve never read an alice oseman book and i want to bad and your review made me want to read her books even more

    Liked by 1 person

  3. At first, I wasn’t going to get this book but then I reminded myself of how I read Alice Oseman’s first two books. I also watched her YouTube videos in which she explained some things about the book and it had me intrigued.

    Recently, I requesting it from my library and I’m going to collect it soon. Seeing your review, it seems that Alice Oseman has explained the fandom life very well.

    Can’t wait to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you enjoy it! I just finished reading Radio Silence and now I honestly can’t wait for the next Alice Oseman book!

      Solitaire has never really been that intriguing to me though – is it one you’d recommend?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Have you read The Catcher in The Rye? If you liked that book, you’ll have more of a chance of liking it.

        It wasn’t a perfect book (then again every book is not a perfect book but STILL) but I really liked how it captured the way teenagers acted with one another.

        If you can stomach unlikeable protagonists, then try it but if you really can’t… maybe not? xD

        It was a 3.5 star read for me the last time I read it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I haven’t read The Catcher In The Rye but I think it’s on my TBR? I actually read the first seven chapters of Solitaire around the time it was being published but it clearly didn’t interest me enough to buy the book and continue… so might just give it a miss.

          Liked by 1 person

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