‘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.
It’s day 4 of Pride Month and I have a review of an amazing book for you. I read I Was Born For This in less than three hours, divided over two days because I was too busy to keep reading, even though I wanted to. While this book has been on my TBR for ages, I hadn’t had the time to read it. With Pride Month coming up, I cleared some room in my hectic schedule to read this, an boy am I glad I did.
The story alternates between Jimmy, the frontman of The Ark – a pop-rock band, and Angel – one of The Arks biggest fans. We start with Angel meeting Juliet, someone she’s been talking to for over two years, bonding over their love for The Ark. Not everything goes the way Angels likes, but she’s distracting herself from everything by looking forward to Thursday. The day she get’s to go to see The Ark.
Jimmy, being in the band, lives a totally different life, but shares something with Angel. Things don’t go the way he wants and while Angel is really looking forward to the concert, Jimmy.. not so much. He loves the band and his role in it, but deals with anxiety at the same time.
What I really admired in this story was the fact that Jimmy is trans, and while it’s a really big deal for him, it’s just part of who he is. It’s not relevant to his life as a musician, which he actually thinks about when in an interview. I loved seeing how the biggest part of the fandom is really accepting of who everyone is, something I recognize from my days on Tumblr.
Something else I really loved was the fact that Jimmy’s anxiety, and other characters issues, made it hard to read them. Which is something very realistic. I know from own experiences that anxiety alters someone. They’re not the person you might have known for years and it can be really hard to connect with them when they’re in a situation – or mindset – like that. When you’re having panickattacts, you can do some real irrational things. Think that might not make sense to anyone else, maybe not even to you. It can really bring down a person, taken on a path of low self-esteem and harmful thinking. It can end relationships, and in many occasions, someones life.
Speaking of Tumblr.. not everyone was as accepting, which is eerily accurately described in the story.. which was, sorry for the language but you should be used to that by now, fucked up. And I’m still sad that those fans still exist. I’m not on Tumblr anymore, so I don’t know everything about it, but it’s like I regret not seeing it anymore.
Something else I recognised, although less severe, was the fact that some fans really seem to live for the people, or things they’re fans of. I’ve seen occasions where they’re not fanatics, but something – in this case the band – is the most important thing in their life. And without that thing they don’t know what to do with their life. They love these people so much, thinking they know them, when all they know is how they protray themselve to the outside world. This is amazingly shown in the relationship between Angel and Jimmy, Angel thinks if only she sees The Ark, if only she get the experience of hearing them, meeting them, she’ll be happy. It’s almost like a cold shower, or maybe a rainstorm which leads to a flood. It’s important to understand that reaching for a life you can’t have, it’s not wrong, but you should always stay realistic.
I think they main point of this entire story, the relationship between Juliet and Angel, between Juliet and Mac, between Angel and Jimmy, is that you don’t know what someone is going through, just by looking at them. People can put up brave faces and will always seem okay.
As with all Alice Oseman’s book I’ve read so far, I absolutely loved it. I don’t know how, but I recognize so much of myself in every story she writes. Oseman’s books are sometimes hard on people’s mental state, being confronted like that. But it’s a relief too, that you’re not alone in feeling what you feel. I highly recommend this to everyone, whether you might be able to recognize yourself in the story or not.