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Alice has her whole summer planned out to perfection: with amazing best friends, Netflix marathons, and her part-time job at the local library, she can’t imagine a better vacation. That is, until her girlfriend ends their relationship over Alice’s lack of sexual interest. Devastated, she loses all hope for romance in her life. But then along comes Takumi, a new employee at her library, and her heart starts beating faster than ever. Before long, though, the doubts and insecurities from her past relationships resurface, and she begins to wonder whether it’s possible for her to attain a fulfilling relationship as an asexual person.
Let’s Talk about Love is the heartfelt story of Alice’s life as a biromantic asexual woman and her exploration of identity and love. She lives her life with passion, adoring her best friends Fennie and Ryan and celebrating her love of pop culture and all things cute. Yet everyone seems to think something is wrong with her: most of her romantic partners think she is broken for not experiencing sexual attraction, and her parents want her to “grow up” and go to law school so she can become a lawyer like them. Takumi brings a welcome relief to her hectic life, and enchants her with his cooking–and flirting–skills. But as Alice feels her attraction to him grow, she isn’t sure if she can handle falling for someone again.
A charming novel with a lot of heart, Claire Kann’s debut is a welcome addition to the romance genre. It’s filled with sympathetic characters, from the upbeat and lovable Alice to her fiercely protective best friend Fennie, to the adorable Takumi. Kann also explores the struggles and reality of being asexual in an often hyper-sexualized society. Alice is eloquent in vocalizing her frustration as she confronts common stereotypes associated with asexuals, such as as emotional frigidity and the assumption that asexuality stems from abuse, as well as when she faces microaggressions as a queer woman of color.
Kann also delves into a complex exploration of asexuality, discussing the various types of attraction, including sexual, romantic, aesthetic, and sensual; the book also touches on the fluidity of the ace spectrum and terms such as graysexuality. While some general truths within the asexual community are accurately portrayed, the representation is not a one-size-fits-all case for asexuals, and the book is aware of that fact.
Ultimately, Let’s Talk about Love is a true swoon-worthy romance that provides much-needed representation for asexuals looking for themselves in romantic fiction, and is highly recommended for anyone looking for a heavily romantic read with a relatable protagonist.
Let’s Talk About Love
By Claire Kann
Hardcover, 9781250136121, 288 pp.