Cover Image: Ace Voices

Ace Voices

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

3.5⭐️ More Ace books are needed, and I'm happy to have read this one. But I was hoping for more on the "Ace Voices" side of things, and a lot of the book felt more definition based. The personal stories were captivating, but I found myself skimming at times during the parts where it felt like I was reading a dictionary.
Was this review helpful?
More ace books are needed. This book offers multiple voices to show what a part of the ace community looks. I loved the discussion of language and how there are not words to describe everything. Thank you for writing this book and making this information easier to find for people who want to learn more about the community.
Was this review helpful?
Ace Voices does a great job discussing the varied experiences within the ace community. There were a couple of micro labels I wasn’t aware of before this book and found it easy to understand. My one critique is that some responses seemed a bit tacked in there and it was hard to remember initials given to the people interviewed. Thank you to JKP and Netgalley for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
It's been difficult for me rating this book. When I requested the ARC I thought the book was about A-spec people speaking to and about their stories and experiences. This was a mixed of the author relating pieces of the interviews and blank statements. 
I"m always finding it difficult to rate nonfiction books so I would say this was informative.

**I received an electronic ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest review.**
Was this review helpful?
This was a really informative and engaging read, giving me entirely new perspectives on the range of sexual and romantic experiences. Thank you to @netgalley and @jkpbooks for the early copy, I really enjoyed this! 
*
This book explores sexual attraction, and the range of people across the asexual spectrum, as well as those who fall in the aromantic spectrum, and how those two identities intersect with each other as well as with other factors like gender, race, neurodivergence, or mental illness. It seems to me at least that the A aspect of LGBTQIA+ does not get as much attention as others, so this was really interesting to dive into and learn more about. There are so many very real consequences about how we as a society talk about sex, how sex is often actually codified into law or sexuality impacts actual medical diagnoses. 
*
This gave me a whole new set of terms to help understand how people see sex and romance, some of which the author said were even new to them, but was really helpful for new ways to think about the topics. This really drives home just how much language plays a role in affecting someone's experience, in figuring out who they are, but also in how others treat them. But this also acknowledges how much language changes between people and over time, so none of the terms introduced were meant to be binding but more like guidelines. 
*
I really appreciated the author's experiences interjected with quotes and stories from the hundreds of people they interviewed for this book. It really helped show just how unique every single person is and the huge range of options available for how people think about and experience sex and romance. 
*
I definitely learned a lot from this book, and would certainly recommend to anyone looking to educate themselves on this lesser-discussed aspect of sexuality.
Was this review helpful?
I think this is a really valuable and well written and sourced book, even though it didn't really resonate with me. I think I always want a bit more of a narrative through line with non-fiction and just got a bit bogged down in the book.

Young has conducted some thorough interviews with members of the a-spec community and weaves it very thoroughly into their book. 

For anyone looking to learn more about the a-spec community, this is a great resource. Not my style of book, but well done.
Was this review helpful?
I have been wanting to learn more about Asexuality, so I was very excited to receive a copy of this via NetGalley. Overall, I found Ace Voices to be extremely informative and thorough. Intersectionality has long been overlooked, especially by white queer people, so I really appreciated all the intersections the book went into between Ace identities (such as race, gender, disability, etc).

Asexual people definitely get overlook or wholly ignored by society and even the queer community, so these types of texts are that much more important. Most people don't understand what asexuality really means, but Young lays it out in a way that's easy to grasp. I also had no idea about the laws against asexuality, including that in France a woman is considered at fault in a divorce if she wouldn’t have sex with her husband. All that to say, I learned a lot from this book that I never had any idea about!

What bumped me the most while reading the book was that while it was very thorough and detailed, I often felt it was repeating itself. I understand that's the nature of such a book, but it's what made me want to take more breaks during my read. I also would have loved to follow the people quoted a little more throughout the book. Rather than just having a string of quotes from different people with whom the author spoke.

A quote I loved:
 “Like my gender, I want to live my experience, not describe it.”
Was this review helpful?
I’m so glad this book exists for aro/ace people struggling with their own identity, and for people who want to learn more about us.
Was this review helpful?
What an informational and wonderfully constructed read! I appreciate all of the stories and feel as though this is a necessary book for anyone wanting to be an ally!
Was this review helpful?
Before I started this book, I didn’t know much about what it meant to be on the asexual or aromantic spectrum. I was aware that the ace community (as it is frequently abbreviated) is characterized by either a lack of sexual or romantic attraction, as well as the fact that this attraction exists on a spectrum, but other than that I remained largely ignorant of the perspective of the community at large. As someone who does my best to be an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, this has to include groups that I am not a part of. Because of that, I made the decision to read this book (and another book on asexuality which is waiting in my Kindle queue) to educate myself. My goal was to be better able to join the discussion, as well as to know the appropriate times to hold space for asexual people to speak up.

With those goals in mind, this book was clearly not for me in hindsight. Eris Young put together a stunning collection of interviews from asexual people across the spectrum of identities. While the book was split into sections based on topic (definitions, relationships, experiences, etc), the overwhelming amount of text in this book was quotes from interviews which Young did while writing this book. I went into it expecting the history of a queer community, and that most definitely contributed to my low rating.

What was contained in the pages of Ace Voices was a deep sense of belonging. No matter where you fit in on the spectrum, there was someone in this book talking about the exact same thing you were going through. With so many different perspectives being shared and anecdotes being told, it is inevitable that you will find at least one section that makes you feel less alone. This book was clearly written by and for the a-spec (asexual/aromantic spectrum) community, and there’s so much value in that. Despite falling somewhere between allosexual and demisexual of the spectrum, there were sections in this book that made me feel less alone simply by virtue of hearing from other members of my larger LGBTQ+ community.

If you are unsure of how you are feeling and want to seek a community to relate to, this is most definitely the book for you. Young did an incredible job of chronicling the interviews which they collected in a way that told a story of community persevering through difficulty. It was beautiful to get to hear these stories that were shared. On the other hand, if you are an ally looking to learn more, I would direct you somewhere else for a place to start. The many interviews that made up this book– which I wholeheartedly believe strengthened Young’s goal of writing– tended to alienate me, as they largely did not line up with my lived experience.

I loved the way that this book embraced the community aspect of being queer, and more specifically of being asexual. If Young were to write a similar book about one of my identities, I would most certainly be rushing to the shelves. At the end of the day, this book was for asexual people to see themselves reflected back in the voices of dozens of other asexual people across the world, and that’s beautiful.
Was this review helpful?
Another non-fiction ace book for the year, but every time I take something new out of it, and this time, I realised this is a workbook! It has questions to make you think about everything that is being explained, and that might be super helpful, especially for baby aces or people who are just grasping the concepts of asexuality and aromanticism. Also, the mistake of calling "Ace Voices" a book that also deals with aromanticism, even though it is not a sexual orientation or necessarily related to asexuality has been addressed by the author themselves in a very satisfying way.

Furthermore, the amount of people who were interviewed for this or spoken to was quite big, making the demographic extremely diverse and wonderfully spread around experiences and identities on the spectrum.
Was this review helpful?
Not quite what I was expecting, but still an excellent resource for anyone and everyone. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advance copy!
Was this review helpful?
This was a thought-provoking and interesting exploration into a-spec identities. The author uses their own experiences, personal interviews and historical perspectives to discuss a huge range of topics in a warm, relatable way. Although the book is only written by one 'ace voice', the book is filled with quotes from others to back up, and sometimes expand upon, the discussion.
Was this review helpful?
I'm so glad I requested and read this book! I have not read Angela Chen's Ace yet (which I believe is the most known book about asexuality) so I'm not going to compare these two or say something like "weell I think this was executed better in Ace than in Ace Voices

I really appreciated how inclusive this book was. Of course it mostly focused on the asexuality spectrum but it also discussed about polyamory, being ace and neurodivergent, aromanticism, gender identity etc. It featured the intervewees' answers of the author's survey which intensifies the title (Ace Voices). The discussion topics at the end of each chapter was interesting and didn't really see it as homework, as some reviews have pointed too, but as a fun activity and possibly a fun way to understand ourselves.

My personal favourite chapter and topic of discussion was why is it that friendships are viewed as less than (romantic) relationships as well as the necessary disinction between sex repulsed/sex neutral/sex positive asexuals and people who belong in the ace spectrum's relationship with sexual activity. Would totally recommend to anyone who wants to read non-fiction about asexuality!
Was this review helpful?
Ace Voices was a helpful and informative read. It gave a clear understanding and overview of the asexual community. It would have made a huge difference in my younger queer-questioning phase, and I would recommend this book to anyone who is questing their sexuality, especially if they think a label under the asexual umbrella fits them.
Was this review helpful?
[DNF @ 40%]

This is a difficult one for me. Maybe it's because I just read I Am Ace and can't help but compare but the 100, 150 pages that I read felt like the introduction to a book or essay and not the main text.

I think this was mainly because with the title Ace Voices, I expected this to be stories and interviews of Ace people, but instead people were only quoted in relation to different identity labels. There were no personal stories as far as I got.

The book also spent a good 80 pages on definitions, which made me a little sad and also a bit confused as the author had quite a narrow definition of asexual at the beginning of the book as a blanket "not experiencing any sexual attraction", which seemed to exclude grey-sexuals etc (although they went into this later).

I just think this is a lot more academic and a lot less accessible than it maybe aims to be.
Was this review helpful?
An invaluable resource for anyone wanting to know more about a-spec people. As someone that is both asexual and aromantic, I love that such a book exists - particularly for younger generations. The real strength of Ace Voices is that it doesn’t centre a single perspective and as such benefits from a depth of different experiences from many different identities.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 stars

'Many of us have to contend with the tension between a dynamic, fluid way of being that resists being put into words, and very real social pressure to put it into words regardless, in order for it to exist in the minds of others'.

Informative and engaging, Eris Young takes us on a journey through understanding Ace identities, drawing on their own personal experience and also that of others within the community. Young explores the cultural and historical background, challenging the assumption that Ace identities are somehow a new thing. Intersectionality with gender, race, disability and neurodivergence is also discussed.

The reflections on language and labels were particularly enlightening; as the above quote shows, labels can be helpful but sometimes feel burdensome. The inclusion of anonymised quotes from those within the Ace community really brought to life the myriad of different ways that someone may identify as Ace, with labels not necessarily meaning the same thing for everyone.

There is a real joy and sense of celebration to the book; as Young says 'rather than missing out on anything, ace, aro, demi and grey-a people are finding new ways to love, new and alternative relationships that suit our needs, new ways to live our lives'.

I learnt so much from reading this book and would encourage anyone to pick it up.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a review copy.
Was this review helpful?
I have no idea what to truly rate this. As someone who is Ace it is nice to see this in the world explaining away myths of being Ace and exposing others to it. I recommend those who want to learn more about it should pick up this book. Thank you publisher and netgalley for the early copy.
Was this review helpful?
*review in exchange for netgalley e-arc*

I’m finding it quite tricky to summarise my thoughts on this book. On the one hand, it was super useful and interesting to read, and helped build my understanding on the asexual spectrum - I recently thought I may be demisexual - so I found a lot of the content really interesting. 

However, the book was just very different to what I expected. I thought as the title was ‘ace voices’, the book would be lots of ace voices and stories combined into a sort of anthology; but actually it was more that the author had interviewed and collated many ace voices and taken snippets and written them within their own research and words and turned that into the book. 

I did still find the book interesting as I said, but with the writing style I really did struggle. It felt very academic and factual, I struggled to get through it easily as that information overload and all the definitions and explanations took me a while to process.

Overall, I’m glad I read the book, it just was one that was maybe not my cup of tea, not because of the content but the way it was put together!
Was this review helpful?