Day 9 of #PrideLibrary20.
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
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.
Let’s Talk About Love is the most validating novel I have ever read, for me the asexuality rep is so on point I felt like I was reading about some of my own experiences on the page. So far, I have not read a book like Let’s Talk About Love, it matched my feelings and worries about being asexual perfectly, it’s the book I’ve been waiting for. I read LGBTQ+ and diverse books to educate myself about different identities and sexualities, but also in the hopes of finding a book that features a character like me having her own unique happy ending and that is exactly what Let’s Talk About Love has turned out to be. It was also quite bizarrely coincidental that the main character has the same job as me, working in her local library!
This novels features almost all of my favourite elements of YA/NA, the characters are university age, the main character is queer, there’s a very fluffy romance and a sprinkle of friendship drama. I really appreciate novels told from university age perspective, especially contemporary novels where the characters are struggling with their dreams and aims for the future. I did not and still don’t have my life figured out so why should the characters we read about be certain about the classes and jobs they want to take? Another part of Let’s Talk About Love that I, well, loved is the friendships, Alice and her friends had their ups and downs, their family nights and feuds, no friendship is perfect so I love to see that represented on the pages of the books I read. Everyone knows of that friend who after getting a partner suddenly spent every second of their spare time with said partner, so seeing Alice talk through the issues with her friends was refreshing and thought provoking.
Onto the romance, can I please pluck Takumi from the pages of this novel and keep him for myself? This book features the cutest slow romance, I absolutely loved it! I knew I was going to adore Alice from the first few pages, since Alice doesn’t feel sexual attraction she created the Cutie Code, and in all honesty I might adopt this ingenious cutie code too! But on a more serious note, the story also normalises the use of therapy/counselling to discuss your feelings and worries, Alice decides to visit a counsellor to talk through her concerns about revealing her asexuality to possible future partners, this was such a sensible and independent step of progression for Alice in her efforts to come to terms with asexuality.
Asexual rep in books is so rare, there are a few on my TBR and I’ve read a couple of others but I don’t think any of them will come close to how representative of my own feelings Let’s Talk About Love is. I wish I’d had the opportunity to read this book as a teenager as it might have helped me figure out some of my own identity a lot quicker! If you’re looking for ace rep, or an adorably queer main character I definitely recommend this book, it was a delight to read!
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