Let’s Talk About Love [Book Review & Giveaway!]

Let’s Talk About Love [Book Review & Giveaway!]

Hello Catastrophes!

Title: Let’s Talk About Love

Author: Claire Kann

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Published Date: January 23rd 2018

Rating: 3

*Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for the review copy*

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Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann Cover ImageSynopsis: 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Links: Get the book on Goodreads or The Book Depository!

Get the book on Amazon!

Gif Summary:

Found on Gifimage

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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!]

Click here to enter!

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New Video! The Mystery booktuber tag!

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Olivia’s Question: What representation would you like to see featured more in novels?

Psst! This post uses affiliate links! Click them to support Olivia’s Catastrophe =)

Olivia-Savannah x

60 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Love [Book Review & Giveaway!]”

  • I’ve seen this book around loads! While I wasn’t initially interested because I’m not big on romance, I actually think I want to read it for the sexuality aspect. Sounds like a great, light read!

    Great review!

    (P.S. I’m reading Every Heart a Doorway atm which also has ace rep!)

  • This sounds super cute! I need more asexual characters in my life. Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson (second book in the Ultraviolet duology) was the first and to this date best book with an asexual character I have ever read. It’s paranormal/sci-fi and I’d highly recommend it. I hear the rep in Every Heart a Doorway and Tash Hearts Tolstoy is pretty great too but I still haven’t got to them. Contemporary isn’t always for me either, but I’m glad you found parts of this novel to enjoy. It’s definitely on my TBR list! Great review 😀

    • I have to check out that duology! I love sci-fi and paranormal reads. I have heard brilliant things about Tash Hearts Tolstory as well. So many good recommendations for me in a single comment 😀 I hope you enjoy this one whenever you get the chance to read it!

    • I never know whether to translate them up or down! I tried to do that for a while but decided it wasn’t worth the stress anymore 😛 But it is a good system to have.

  • I don’t do half star ratings either but there are some books that make me wish I did so I understand. This does sound like a good read and a little different than anything else I have read. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • I am really super interested in this book 🙂 ace rep… and even curly rep! Okay, I’m white, but I know what you’re talking about. We don’t have black people in my country, so curly hair like mine gets the afro treatment 😀 if you know what I mean! Like how I heard that black Americans are often asked whether they’d like to relax their hair – yes, I get the equivalent all the time! (Hate hairdressers for said reason…) And being called ‘impolite’ or ‘lazy’ (GRRRAAAHHHHH!!) because I am curly. I feel all the pain! So I’d love to see the afro/curly rep too 🙂

    • Gotta love curly hair! I think we should get more curly hair rep in books too – anything outside of the usual straight long hair works for me. I can’t believe they call it impolite or lazy! Trust me, curly hair does not make for lazy care… because it sure ain’t easy to handle 😛

  • Seriously though, half stars are so necessary! I agree that it is awesome to have such a diverse character- especially when you hadn’t read the rep in any other books. I think I have only read it in one- and it also wasn’t ownvoices, so who knows. But I do get what you mean about not really making you feel deeply- that is one of my biggest qualms with contemporaries in general most of the time. But I am glad that it had so many good points, too! Great review!

    • I can’t wait for the day that half stars become a thing! I really am all for the diversity I have been seeing in YA lately. I’m not actually sure if this one is ownvoices or not though. Hmm :3

  • I’ve never even heard of a book with an asexual person of colour as the protagonist (or even an asexual person as the protagonist) so I’m glad there are books put there representing different people 🙂 Although I’m a bit reluctant about reading it because it seems as if it doesn’t make you feel something, it looks interesting nonetheless!

    • It was a first for me too, which made me so curious about this book. I think it’s a good place to start for the representation and the information I gathered from it, but it does lack a bit of the emotional depth I wanted :3

  • I notice on Goodreads and Amazon that even though they don’t calculate using .5 many people will put first thing in the review comment: 3.5 I always pay attention to that. Also, I consider anything 3 stars and up to be good because reading is so subjective and so are our moods. 3 stars means it was good, maybe not our favorite, but good. Glad there were things you enjoyed in this one. 🙂

    • I have seen people doing that too and I contemplate doing it myself. I do see 3 stars as a positive thing but I also know some people who see it as a negative… ratings are quite tricky things…

  • There isn’t enough asexual representation in literature so that’s a point for this book. Representation is always super important so good for this book to not only include a POC character but also include a rare sexual orientation that is not talked about too much

    • I would really like to see more asexual representation too – it would be so helpful for people trying to understand and appreciate those who identify as asexual. I really loved all the representation here!

  • I always like a book that teaches me something. I have read two other books with sexual protagonists, but this one focuses on intersectional identity. That fabulous cover still has me wanting to read it.

    • Yes, learning from reading is one of my favourite kinds of learning! I think you would really like this one 😉

  • I am a huge contemporary reader but lately YA contemporary has been really hit or miss with me. Some are cute and some are just meh. I haven’t read about a character who is asexual and that definitely says something about representation. I honestly don’t know if I’ll pick this book up just because I’m afraid it will be a bit of a miss with me.

    Can I say that I absolutely love your review style. I’ve been in a such a slump when it comes to reviewing and you definitely inspired me.

    Tina @ As Told By Tina

    • I feel contemporary and YA contemporary can be their own separate categories from time to time. Yes, it was a first for me too and you’re right – it does say something about how we need more representation like this one! If you do choose to read this one, it will be good for you.

      I hope reviewing comes easier to you as well. xx

  • I agree 100% with what you said about the POC representation! It’s so much better when the book isn’t too in-your-face about it, yet you still learn a lot about the culture and lifestyle being represented. <3 I get what you mean about the love interest, too. TBH he sounds very cute the way you described him, so I don't think the "too perfect" thing will bother me THAT much, but I'll be wary! Beautiful review, Olivia! <3

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    • Yes! Subtle but present rep is perfect for me because it is how life really is like. I do love a really cute and nice love interest but I do need some flaws in there too. I hope you get to read this one soon <3

  • I totally get what you mean! Sometimes I read a really cute and nice book but other than having a lot of fun with it, it doesn’t actually make me feel anything much so it ends up receiving a very subpar rating. It’s nice that it explores asexuality and the struggles of POC, that’s so important and there’s not enough literature about it.
    Wonderful review, Olivia! And loved the video as well, tags are always so cool <3 But eggs and sugar? I'm not sure about that one xD I wouldn't have been able to rock-climb, I'd stay in my petrified state hahaha But I'm super glad you managed to do it and ended up feeling super accomplished afterwards 🙂

    • You basically nailed my feelings exactly. But even though I wasn’t emotionally all in, I really appreciated the representation.

      Ahaha I am glad you liked the video! You should try eggs and powdered sugar and let me know what you think xD It was pretty petrifying throughout. I totally get you 🙂

  • What a lovely and detailed review Olivia! I saw this book on NetGalley but I wasn’t approved I guess ir it is still pending.. don’t remember exactly 😜 But I wnated to read this. I have never read any book with an asexual character either.
    I loved how you pointed out all the important points here. I am a big contemporary fan so may be I would enjoy it much more 😀 I am keeping an eye on this.

  • This is on my TBR! It has been since the first time I came across it on NetGalley – I’m hoping my country doesn’t judge it as too LGBTQA+ and not put it on the bookshelves.

    • I hope you get the chance to read it and enjoy it too! Fingers crossed for you *crosses fingers tight* :3

  • I honestly wanted to read this book because of a POC on the cover 🙂 and choosing major is one hella confusing process as I have just chosen my major! 🙂

  • Funnily enough, I just finished a book today with a gray aro/ace MC, but it didn’t actually explore that topic. It sounds like this book explored it a lot though, and I think it’s wonderful to have books like that since it does help those of us aren’t part of that marginalization learn about it. Sounds like the POC inclusion was good too! And ugh, yes, I struggled so much choosing a major in college, so I think that’s def relatable. Changing friendships is also a relatable thing.

    Darn, yeah, when characters are too perfect, I don’t usually like that either.

    I get you. Some books are light and enjoyable but kind of float on by without leaving a huge impression. Still glad you enjoyed it though!

    • Yes, this one did explore it a lot as it really wove into the main core of the plot. I love learning from what I am reading.

      Choosing a major isn’t easy. I’m impressed that people seem to do it so from the get-go a lot here. But a lot of people end up regretting their choice and dragging their way through the years or dropping out/reapplying for the next year.

      Yeah, I felt that about the changing friendships myself!

  • I’m not a big contemporary reader either which is why I think I’ve hesitated with this book. Like you, I was instantly drawn to the book because of the cover but I’ve been hesitant to pick it up because it’s rare for me to care about a contemporary book. I do like that it focuses on the relationships around her though!

  • I used to say I din’t no .5 ratings either but I caved and now I do it all the time. Sometimes a book is just a .5 better. I hope they’ll add that feature to Goodreads and Amazon as some point. But great review! I usually stay away from the more light hearted and bubbly books but sometimes I need a break from the darker books I read. This would be a perfect book for that I think and it’s great that’s it’s in relevance to today. 🙂

    • Life would be easier if I caved and let myself use .5 stars as well! I know what you mean though. I really really hope Goodreads and Amazon add them in the future too ^.^ I read a light-hearted kind of book every now and again too – sometimes our brains just need some breaks 😛

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