Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from @KidLitExchange #partner in exchange for my honest review. Thanks again to @KidLitExchange #partner for access to review a free copy of this book! The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or KidLitExchange. The copy used in this review is an uncorrected copy from Swoon Reads.
College student Alice Johnston, 19, is in the closet—sort of. Her friends and family know that she is bisexual, but what they don’t know (and what Alice isn’t really ready to tell them) is that she’s also asexual. Alice is hurt when Margot, her roommate and girlfriend, breaks up with her, but she isn’t surprised. Giving up on love seems to be the best solution until Takumi enters the picture. Registering an unprecedented “black” rating on Alice’s “Cutie Code,” Takumi makes Alice’s heart beat faster than normal, and their developing friendship allows Alice to slowly begin to reveal things about herself, her friendship with Feenie and Ryan (her now-engaged best friends from high school), and her family. Debut novelist Kann thoughtfully tackles what it means to be asexual and gives Alice a platform to discover who she is and what it means for her relationship with Takumi. Asexual readers will appreciate the visibility, and those—like Alice’s ex—who know poorly understand it, will gain a better sense of what love without sex can look like.
“A curious, nervous sensation wriggled and rooted itself inside her chest.” -Alice’s first impression of Takumi, this gave me warm and fuzzy feelings.
“You’ve exceed my Cutie Code,” she said. “You’re the reason why I retired it. I don’t need it anymore.” -Alice to Takumi
Let’s Talk About Love is a young adult fiction romance novel that sheds light on LGBTQ issue. The main character, Alice, must learn to accept herself while trying to figure out exactly who she is. This ranges from her selecting a major, being in a relationship, and the relationships with her friends and family. The book starts with Alex, who identifies as asexual, getting dumped by her girlfriend Margot for not feeling a physical attraction. Alice blames herself the entire novel while trying to move forward into a new relationship with the new worker at her library. Alice seems to struggle with every relationship in her life. Her parents and her siblings are presurring her to go to Law School throughout the entire novel. I felt this book could have been developed more to shed light on the challenges of being asexual. However, I did get to see a glimpse of the challenges as Alice came to terms with her sexuality. You watch her build relationships and struggle with connecting with Takumi. Will he understand her sexuality? Will be accept her for who she is or will she be alone forever?
I recommend this novel to anyone interested in reading a young adult romance novel. This book had me entranced the whole time. I loved the awkward moments of Alice and seeing her learn. I commend the author on writing a truly informative novel. I would have loved for a bit more and there were small details missing that I thought were important. Overall, I did not want to put this book down until I finished it.
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