Let’s Talk About Love [Book Review & Giveaway!]
Title: Let’s Talk About Love
Author: Claire Kann
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Published Date: January 23rd 2018
*Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for the review copy*
Synopsis: 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.
Review: Ah, what can I say? Never before have I wanted to rate a book 3.5 stars more than now. I don’t do .5 ratings because Goodreads and Amazon don’t work that way, but if I could I would’ve for this novel. Let’s Talk About Love is everything the book promises to be – it’s about Alice, an asexual main character who is trying to figure out her sexuality, her future, and how everything in her life fits into who she is becoming.
I think I’m going to try and address what is the main focus in this novel, and that is Alice as an asexual main character. I must admit that my knowledge is very limited on this topic, and this is the first time I’ve actually ever come across an asexual character in any novel (does that say something about representation and how needed this novel was?). I won’t be able to say how accurate this representation is because this isn’t an own voices review, but I will say that I learned a lot. If you know nothing about asexuality, you’ll definitely learn something about what it means for the person, how to better understand the person, and what difficulties the person who identifies as asexual may experience.
What I also really loved in this novel was the person of colour representation. Basically, the first thing that attracted me to this novel was seeing the girl on the cover and thinking: YUP, I have to read this! And even though that’s not the main point in the novel, there are subtle mentions of what it means and involves when you have afro hair. And about the work ethic which often comes with black culture. There are other subtle references and I think that’s exactly how it should be – it doesn’t have to be the main focus of the novel, but having it included made me feel represented properly in a novel and in an accurate way. Every time I came across one of those moments I couldn’t help but smile.
Alice is also a character who is trying to figure out what she wants for her future. She’s studying at the moment and trying to determine what she wants to declare her major as. I feel like her issue is one a lot of young adults will be able to relate to – trying to figure out who you want to ‘be’ and having that approved by those close to you is something challenging. However, at the same time I felt like this was very much a plot line or sub-plot included hastily and off to the side just to have it included? It didn’t feel so well developed, although I can understand why it was included.
This book also focuses on friendships and family, and how those relationships change and adapt as you grow older. Because regardless of what anyone says, those relationships will shift and change (take it from someone experiencing it right now.) Alice has two close friends and as they are each getting into relationships, finding time and the way their friendships will fit into everything kind of becomes complicated. Again, this was another element to the story I loved because I know a lot of people go through this.
Even though the romance is kind of what is one of the most important things in this novel, as it directly relates to Alice’s asexuality and her processing it – I still felt like it wasn’t too exciting. Takumi was a brilliant love interest. He was adorably sweet and kind, and almost perfect. Maybe a bit too perfect? I felt like whenever he made a mistake or did something wrong, you couldn’t really blame him at all. It would be a natural human response as they tried to figure things out. So even though I really liked him, his lack of flaws (in my opinion) made him a bit too perfect.
The writing style of this novel was light hearted and quite bubbly. It perfectly matched Alice’s personality and worked wonders for the story telling.
You might be wondering why this book only has an okay rating when I seem to have enjoyed most things about the book. My main reason is this: even though I feel like I learned a lot and this book had brilliant representation, it still felt very very… contemporary. Contemporary in that it never really struck a deep chord with me, or moved me, or did anything to make it a very memorable or deep read. The only thing I really will take from this novel is what I learned about asexuality. And even though that is a very big and important thing, I wanted more from the fictional side of things.
But all in all, I will say that this one is a worthwhile read. It was fun, I raced through it, and I learned a lot. And if you like contemporaries, I am sure you’ll find this one very enjoyable!
Relevance to today: I think this novel’s relevance for today is pretty obvious: we have a person of colour main character who is also asexual! We need representation like this, and it’s good for people who don’t identify as either of those to learn more about them as well.
Giveaway: Win a print copy of Let’s Talk About Love, open US/Canada only! [Int followers: I have a giveaway coming your way in the next post!]
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Olivia’s Question: What representation would you like to see featured more in novels?
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