Let's Talk About Love

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Jan 2018

Member Reviews

The fact that this book exists makes me endlessly happy. And the fact that it's #ownvoices is even better. Asexuality is hardly ever covered in books, let alone YA, and I have a feeling this book will open a space for readers who identify with Alice.
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This. Story. Is. A. Must. Read. 
I love the diversity in this book. For me, Alice is a strong, loving character. She's my favorite in this book because he's funny and true. Her love for TV shows is something I can relate to. She's asexual she goes on a bit of a roller-coaster in this book but never gives up who she is. She works at a library I love books set around libraries, bookstores, or books and so no. So, those scenes were a blast for me. 

 Takumi is charming and clever. Alice's best friends are Feenie and Ryan who are a joy to read. I do like Ryan more out of those two but they show what friendship is like, that's it's a bumpy road, hard but worth it.  Her family is a mix of crazy, but I like the different kind of family relationships; Alice's parents and her siblings are similar yet different. They all just want her to get a good paying job in a field that she doesn't want to work in, causing drama.

This book felt like an older YA almost an NA kind of book. The writing is wonderful, plotting flows well. I also love the cover, the colors and feel of it fits the story perfectly.  

This book is bubbling over with cuteness! The witty, push and pull, is worth the read. Not only is this book swoony, it's filled some real, moving and powerful scenes of truthfulness. An easy five stars for me.
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Let’s Talk About Love is the latest addition to the Swoon Reads line! I’m a huge fan of this line so I was excited to read this novel, especially with all the great things I’ve been hearing about it.

One of the highlights of Let’s Talk About Love is the representation! First, Alice is a biromantic ace and a black woman! The love interest is a Japanese man. The whole cast of minor characters is filled with POC and LGBTQ+. While I am not a POC or part of the LGBTQ+ community, this representation matters and I am so happy that others are finding mirrors within this novel. Also, I love how much issues are addressed within the novel!

Alice is such a cute main character! I adored her Cute Codie, Alice’s way to classify her reactions to aesthetics and cuteness. Alice lives with her best friends and together they really do take on the meaning of creating your own family. Her best friends are fleshed out characters and it was great seeing them as such an important part of her life.

One part I struggled with was the writing style. It’s written in third person past POV, which I am not a fan of for contemporary reads. I’ve just always had a difficult time getting into this POV. Another part that was hard to get behind was Takumi, the love interest. There were parts about that I liked, but there were also parts that got on my nerves.

Overall, Let’s Talk About Love is full of important representation and many people will enjoy it!

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars
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This is such an important book, with such an important cover and topic. Cannot wait to hand it to readers.
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I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Alice knows that the way she loves is not what anyone would call regular.  Alice identifies as ACE, or a-sexual, meaning that while she may like a person, it isn't about being sexually attracted to them.  In fact, she doesn't feel sexually attracted to any one gender at all.  This doesn't mean that she hasn't been in relationships, things just tend to be much more complicated when she does get in one, especially because she keeps this fact of her life a secret.

Things change for Alice though when she spies Takumi through the library stacks when he starts working at her library.  Takumi is code black on Alice's rating system; hotter than hot!  At first, she tries to fight the attraction she feels for Takumi knowing that if she ever were to give in to her feelings, it would just be complicated when she has to tell him about her sexuality.  Alice quickly finds out though that sometimes it's too hard to fight feelings that are so strong, even if it means being vulnerable.

Kann has crafted a fantastic novel featuring not only an ACE character, but one of color as well.  Kann touches on issues of gender, race, and family; all of which come together to create a complex novel with intense and very realistic themes.  Alice is a complicated character, which is how real life often is.  Not only that, but it is refreshing to see realistic characters in a teen novel.  The characters are older than most featured in the YA genre (Alice is in college, and Takumi is a few years older than her), but Alice and her friends are still facing challenges that teens of all ages deal with.  I highly recommend this novel for all libraries!
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This was a cute, fluffy YA featuring a protagonist who is a asexual biromantic black girl. Alice has to navigate declaring a college major (one her family doesn’t agree with), keeping the peace with her friends, and figuring out how she really feels about the new guy at work, Takumi. This is the first time I've ever read a book with an asexual perspective, and I know it is going to be so important for many readers.
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Netgalley gave me a copy in exchange for an honest review, etc.

This book isn't for me, to be sure. The constant *squee*, Supernatural references, and general lolzomg ~random~ internal dialogue of the main character made it a slog to get through. That being said, it's a great book about asexuality and finding who you are for the right kind of teenager. Namely a slightly older teen (all the main characters are college-aged, and not freshman either) who grew up on tumblr.
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I wrote a 14 tweet thread about my love for this book and I'll be writing some more pieces in the near future about it, but trust that I loved this book, it's a voice-y, fluffy YA contemporary featuring a biromantic asexual black girl who's gotta figure out her future, navigate her evolving friendships, and explore a bit more about where she falls on the spectrum after an event shakes her up. While being a fun romance, it's also incredible representation that I cannot talk up enough.
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Title: Let’s Talk About Love
Author: Claire Kann

Summary: College sophomore, Alice, is having a difficult time.  Her girlfriend just broke up with her, her parents are trying to force her onto the law school track, and her best friends/roommates seem to be drifting away from her.  But then Alice meets Takumi, a charming and beautiful boy, who may be able to make her to take the leap into love.  However, Claire afraid to reveal her asexuality to Takumi, can he love her enough to accept a relationship on Claire’s terms?

Review: Asexuality appears to be the new trend in YA books and I have read many that feel as if asexuality is just being used to get the book a little extra buzz which is why “Let’s Talk About Love” felt refreshing. The book is one of the first on the topic that organically integrates the character’s asexuality into the narrative.  Alice’s sexuality does not define her whole character, it is just one of the many things that make her a person and Kann did a wonderful job of creating a fully developed, layered, main character.  However, our wonderful main character did not have a fully developed romance.  The relationship between Alice and Takumi felt at times rushed and at other times one sided.  Takumi is introduced as a attractive and kind possible prince charming but for the reader to love him we must ignore his relationship baggage and slight control issues. Their relationship didn’t quite feel genuine or really a romance with the books conclusion feeling a little to neat and perfect.

Bottom Line: “Let’s Talk About Love” is a YA books that actually broaches the subject of asexuality in an honest and realistic manner however the romance aspect of this romance book is lacking.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5
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What an enjoyable read! It's rare to have a topic that isn't that talked about written with such warmth and grace. The characters were wonderful.
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Can we just talk about how excited I am that this book exists? It’s got BPOC and Japanese representation, asexual biromantic representation, and a really lovable narrator. Plus, look at that cover! It’s beautiful.

Alice has known she’s asexual for a while. But the thing is, she still wants (and deserves) her own love story. Just because she doesn’t care about sex doesn’t mean she can’t feel love or affection, though almost no one seems to understand this — no one except her two longtime best friends, though they’ve started planning for their wedding and subsequent life together.

Let’s Talk About Love definitely includes romance, but it’s also about Alice’s personal journey. About her learning more about her asexuality, about her learning not to hide from her other problems with her family and friends. With her major undeclared, her future uncertain, and her parents pressuring her into pre-law, many young college students will find they have much in common with Alice.

I loved Alice. She was a funny, cute, awkward narrator, and I truly enjoyed her perspective. There were only a few times when I literally rolled my eyes at my book: The overly-used ‘current’ pop culture references, and the times when Alice’s love interest was literally informing her he liked her or found her attractive and she would still be all, “Oh my god, I wonder if he likes me??” There’s a difference between not being able to tell when someone’s flirting and literally not listening when someone says they find you attractive and want to hang out.

This review is weirdly short, but this is honestly all I have to say about Let’s Talk About Love. It was a cute book, and had some really amazing representation. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys cute romance, realistic fiction, or anything with good representation.

This review seems a little matter-of-fact, but don’t let that deter you! I really did enjoy reading this book, and I hope you do, too.
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It's impossible for me to give this a star rating. There were a ton of positive things about it, and it's worth a read, but I am not the reader for this book and struggled so hard to finish. But what I disliked, others will love. 

The Good

Alice's asexuality: This is the only book I've ever seen, let alone read, that offers such a nuanced view of asexuality with multiple frank discussions between characters and within Alice's head about the asexual spectrum. Like, the book even acknowledges that asexuality is a spectrum and uses the word graysexual. It shouldn't be groundbreaking to do this in 2018, but it is. Her complicated mess of emotions was mostly refreshing (a tad annoying sometimes, but again, I don't typically read books like this). I really enjoyed Alice's thoughts on her sexuality, especially how she didn't view it as a problem until other people viewed it as a problem, and her insights with her therapists and all those scenes, particularly those discussing her asexuality, were awesome. 

Alice's Therapy: I am always here for characters going to therapy. It seems like it never happens, and I try to note those books that do include it. It was also really great that the therapist was through her school, as I feel like so many college students don't know their school has counseling services for crazy cheap, if not free. Sure, not at all schools have this, but many four year universities do and considering how intense the adjustment to college can be, it's something that deserves highlighting. Also, even better, her going to therapy was judgement free. No one looked at her different or made any snide comments about it. Her best friend even said good for you, once she knew. 

Intersectional: I'm a white women, so I can't comment on the rep for WOC, but I adore the fact that this book is intersectional. The lit world needs more of this. I'm always on the lookout for the book that I can point to and be ready for anytime someone might ask me for a book with a character that looks like them.

Rape Culture: That may seem like a weird thing to list as good, but I swear it is. There's a scene at a party where Alice is cornered by a drunk creep who makes racist comments to her that he thinks are compliments and makes her completely uncomfortable and gets angry when she rejects him. Her feelings in this scene are so spot on. She manages to get away safely, and it's a small scene, but it's so real. There's also another scene where a guy hits on her at the beach and wants her number where she feels she has to be nice to be him because it takes courage to put yourself out there and ask someone out. And there's this thought process where she feels a little unsafe/uncomfortable (not solely because of her asexuality), but because she worries if she says no he won't take it well. He could be a serial killer for all she knows. Having had those same thoughts, it was beyond important and validating to see that on the page. The assumption of women having to be nice when being hit on yet men not having to be nice when rejected is rarely seen in books or talked about beyond groups of girlfriends. The uncertainty and fear these situations can create is real. It was fantastic to see that on the page. 

Friendships: Alice and Feenie's (and Feenie's boyfriend Ryan) friendship with Alice was a nice touch even if Feenie and Ryan are underdeveloped as characters. Alice and Feenie were fun together and their commitment to each other as friends was sweet. 

Alice: Alice is a fun character (most of the time) and fairy well rounded even if she got on my nerves sometimes. 

The Bad

Side Characters: All the side characters are underdeveloped. I don't feel I know much about Feenie, Ryan, or Takumi, and the Takumi is the love interest here and arguably a driving force of the book, but all of them fell flat for me, and they had plenty of page time. 

Friendship Problems: So, sure, a lot of friendships go through bumps, and it can very hard to be in Alice's position where your best friends are dating and you're trying to figure out your place, but the drama between them was super annoying. The party scene mentioned above happened while Ryan and Feenie had gone upstairs to be alone, and Alice left the party after that. Feenie saw Alice leaving the party as ditching her and Ryan, and Alice saw them going upstairs and leaving her alone as ditching Alice. Alice never told Feenie about why she left the party or that she got accosted. 

Off Page Shenanigans: There's a whole lot of stuff happening off the page. Paragliding with Takumi. Going in a hot air balloon with Takumi. Okay, maybe only two things, but considering how underdeveloped his character is and how Alice talks about these events, it would've helped me to be in these scenes. 

Alice is "poor": Spoiler, she's not. And so many people will not have a problem with this, but it drove me nuts. Alice comes from a very successful, upper-middle class family full of lawyers. She does the whole my parents have money, but I don't thing. I grew up in poverty, so this kind of thing is beyond annoying. You still have money because you have a parental safety net that if something drastic happens (unexpected big medical bill, car troubles, etc.) there is someone to provide for those things. Where as someone who is living in poverty, those things threaten your entire security, and you start to worry about being homeless and getting food on the table and getting to a job to hopefully keep those things from happening. Her parents are paying for school, so she's debt free at this point. They do cut her off because she decides not to become a lawyer, but once she talks to her Dad later, he agrees to pay some bills, as he did for her sister when she quit law school twice. Again, not something that would happen if your family didn't have money. Alice has some growth about this, which was nice to see. 

The book is light-hearted and bubbly, which was terrible for me. It wasn't that it was poorly written (the writing is solid), but the tone and style is just not at all for me. At all. Goodreads said I read this for five days, and I literally thought I had been reading it for weeks. 

I still recommend this book though for those both in the ace community and those who know nothing about asexuality. It's an important book to be aware of, to support, and to have in your library collection. If your library doesn't have it, talk to your librarians and tell them you want it. And even though Alice is in college, this is likely to appeal to younger readers, I think partly due to the lighter tone.

If you're into contemporary romances, this is an enjoyable read with a HEA, and you should give it a try.
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I loved this book. This is the first book I’ve read with an asexual character. 

At first, I was worried when Alice started having feelings for Takumi. I didn’t want the story to turn into her discovery that she wasn’t actually asexual. I was relieved that didn’t happen. The story is about Alice learning to accept her orientation. 

Even though many readers may not be able to relate to Alice’s orientation, her relationship with Takumi is relateable. She has butterflies in her stomach for the first time, when she meets him. She’s constantly thinking about him and she can’t figure out why. This is the first time she experienced romantic attraction. 

I think the book needed more tension. Alice had her personal problems, which were important and valid. But there weren’t a lot of exciting, tense moments to drive the story. I would have loved a surprise or shocking event throughout the story. I also would have liked to have seen more of her family. They created conflict with Alice, because they didn’t agree with what she wanted to do in life. 

I really enjoyed this story and I highly recommend it!
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The main character is a biromantic asexual, a thing I haven't seen in a book before. The story was good and flowed lovely. The only thing keeping this from a 5 star is the love interest, I wasn't sold on him, but that's okay.
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Let's start by acknowledging how important this book is. It definitely gets a spot on my best list for the year, even though it's not a favorite. I love the way the author addresses the microaggressions Alice has to deal with as a black girl and how difficult (but not impossible) navigating relationships can be when you're asexual. I had some major misconceptions about asexuality going in, so I ended up learning a lot from it. I kept stopping to google things and ending up getting a book from the library on asexuality so I'll be a little more educated. I had some quibbles with the writing; it occasionally felt a little all over the place. Overall, it was a positive experience and a cute read. It left me with a smile on my face and I'm glad to see more ace rep and some intersectionality.
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Excellent representation of an ace protagonist. Engaging, fun, and heartfelt. I've purchased the physical copy for my classroom!
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I read this in one sitting so that says a lot. I was initially interested in this book because she works in a library. Once I started reading I couldn't stop. It's an interesting topic that brings up things I'd like to discuss with other readers. Will definitely be a contender for my book club.
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3.5 of 5 stars
This is a lovely, powerful, and deeply important story. Biromantic, ace, woc rep? Yes please! 
The story was my favorite part of this. As a nerdy, ace lady, I easily saw myself in Alice. I understood her struggles and loved seeing her logic laid out on the page. Though I feel like the story lost some of its momentum towards the climax and became slightly muddled, it found it again by the end. 
The writing was sometimes difficult for me to follow. There were lines that I loved and highlighted and will quote for years to come, but then there were also sections that were so stilted or confusing that the slowed me down or pulled me out of the book entirely. 
Though it’s not a perfect book, it is a wonderful one and one that I will recommend frequently. It was a quick, fun, and satisfying read, especially as an ace reader.
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