BOOKS

Let's Talk About Love

288p. Feiwel & Friends/Swoon Reads. Jan. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250136121.
COPY ISBN
Gr 9 Up—Alice's first year at college did not go the way she planned. First, her parents kept pressuring her to declare prelaw as her major, then her best friends changed plans at the last minute and got an apartment off campus for themselves. By the end of the year, she's still undeclared, and her roommate-turned-girlfriend turned ex-girlfriend has reenforced Alice's fears that no one will stay with her once they find out she's asexual. When she shows up to work one day to meet the beautiful and sweet Takumi, Alice is blown away by her feelings toward him but terrified of being hurt again. This story, originally published online, is undoubtedly, but not heavy-handedly, focused on Alice's sexual identity. While side story lines add some depth to Alice and offer up a diverse cast of supporting characters, they are mostly underdeveloped or tangential. Alice's relationship with her best friends Feenie and Ryan, who are a couple, alternates between charming and troublesome. They, along with a few others in Alice's life, are often unfairly or aggressively demanding of her, but the book rarely addresses it as more than overzealous love. Despite that, Alice and her struggle to grow while maintaining her identity are heartfelt and real. Alice is black, biromantic, and asexual, and her relationship with Takumi is genuine and fun.
VERDICT A light, enjoyable asexual romance with outstanding representation. Recommended for any teen collection.

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