Yes … I FINALLY got around to reading Kann’s Let’s Talk About Love! The book blogging sphere seemed to have really positive thoughts about this book, so I had to give it a chance. Honestly, it’s so wholesome and adorable … once I got into the story, I couldn’t put it down. I think romance is slowly becoming my new favourite genre … *gasps*
Title: Let’s Talk About Love
Author: Claire Kann
Published on June 4th, 2019 by Square Fish (first published January 23rd, 2018)
Format: Paperback, 281 pages
Synopsis: Alice had her whole summer planned. Nonstop 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.
Claire Kann’s young adult debut novel Let’s Talk About Love, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, gracefully explores the struggle with emerging adulthood and the complicated line between friendship and what it might mean to be something more.
ONE. The amount of diversity in this novel just BLOWS MY MIND; it felt natural and more authentic to the real world, rather than simply having one colour and sexuality dominate the novel. Kann’s novel introduces a black bi-romantic asexual female lead, a Japanese love interest, Latina representation, and other forms of queer representation. Kann even explores different family structures, which was refreshing.
TWO. Kann’s characters and their relationships were rather interesting, especially the highlighting of their imperfections. Lack of communication, selfishness, lack of acceptance … almost every character has some undesirable trait. The relationships are also affected, showcasing how friends will not always see eye-to-eye and family members will not always understand one another’s’ decisions. But honestly, I believe this is one of the main reasons why this book felt so genuine … we aren’t perfect beings, but we find people who love us even with these imperfections. Not being perfect is human, and that’s more than okay.
THREE. Since I don’t identify as asexual, I’m not going to express my thoughts on whether this book accurately represents asexuality. However, I did browse some reviews by those who identify as asexual and found two main stances. A number of these reviews discussed Kann’s inaccurate representation through Alice, finding it highly immature and too confusing for readers. The other reviews expressed an abundance of overwhelming emotions from this book, as they felt that they were accurately represented and understood, with Kann’s book reinforcing to them that there’s nothing wrong with them. So keep this in mind when deciding to pick up this novel.
FOUR. Kann’s straightforward and uncensored look into microaggression and racism and acephobia are raw and real, demonstrating to readers that these experiences aren’t just FICTIONAL … they’re a reality for a large portion of the population. Alice having to constantly be in check with her emotions in public, people randomly touching her hair without permission, and feeling even more of an outcast due to her asexuality are just a few of the racist and acephobia experiences Alice faces. What’s even worse is how so many people don’t even SEE how racist and disrespectful some of their comments are. It’s a HARD truth for many to swallow, showing the differences between the privileged and non. But it’s a necessary eye-opening experience … no sugar coating, no hiding.
FIVE. As much as I enjoyed the book, it felt like something was missing? As much as I enjoyed the focus on Alice understanding her own asexuality, I wanted to explore more of her character and other characters in the novel. The first part of the novel also felt really slow … but once I got past that point, I sped through the book!
Kann’s Let’s Talk About Love is an adorable romance novel, with a different take on love in the romance genre world. Reading a book with an asexual main character was a new yet fun experience, especially since I’m eager to learn more about different sexual identities. Another wonderful thing about this book is the focus on friendship and family — both blood related and creating your own family. Though a number of elements are not properly closed off by the end of the novel, it felt right to end it this way. The characters and their different relationships all still have room for improvement and growth … and these things take time.
I recommend this novel if you enjoy: LGBTQAI+ representation; romance novel; focus on friendship; imperfect characters; racial diversity.
I’m so excited to read your thoughts on this book! Have you read Kann’s novel? If so, how was your experience? If you are asexual, did you find this book properly represented asexuality?