Title: Let’s Talk About Love
Author: Claire Kann
Category: YA Contemporary (LGBTQIAP+)
Publisher/Date: Swoon Reads/23 January 2018
Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.
But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).
When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
This book has content warnings for acemisia and sexual harassment.
Were you needing an asexual romance? Pick this one! This book is so sweet and fluffy that it will just melt your heart.
The romance between Alice and Takumi was adorable, and it progressed at a really nice pace. I truly loved how the book didn’t gloss over the issues Alice has with finding romantic partners as an asexual girl while still allowing her to find a relationship that is fulfilling for her. These two were by no means the perfect couple, but they were a couple who tried and communicated with each other and decided to try to work things out instead of not doing anything. It was sweet and realistic, and mirrors a lot of what I’ve seen in the relationships of ace people I know.
While the romance itself was rather fluffy, the book did have its serious moments. There is a scene at a party where Alice is sexually harassed that readers should take note of, and there’s also a lot of stress placed on Alice both by her roommates (her best friend and her partner of several years) who seem to be more and more distant from Alice these days, and her overbearing parents who have chosen a career path for her that she doesn’t like and she doesn’t know how to tell them. The book takes place early in Alice’s college life while she’s still trying to figure out how to live on her own and do things unsupported, and the mixed messages she’s receiving about dependence and independence resonated with me.
Also, I really loved seeing positive therapy rep in this book! Alice attends therapy on a regular basis and while she has mixed feelings about it, she does stick with it and continues to try to make it work, and I LOVED this because it’s not something I see a lot in fiction. I’d really love to see more normalization of therapy in books because it really helps with de-stigmatizing it, and we need that.
Overall, this was a book that made me very happy to read! I highly recommend this one — it’s important to see books with asexual characters who are allowed a “happily for now” because it’s realistic and reflective of real relationships. We need more people to see this.
Final rating: 5 of 5 stars