Cover Image: I Am Ace

I Am Ace

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Member Reviews

THE BEST book I’ve read yet on the aro/ace spectrum. Period.

I guarantee you that at the end of the year, this book will be among my best of 2023.

Why? The vibe is so warm and welcoming, and the balance of the joys and challenges of being aro/ace is just about perfect. Also, because it's aimed at a YA audience, its clarity and streamlined focus make it accessible to virtually anyone, regardless of age.

Going forward this will be my go-to recommendation for everyone seeking an intro to the ace/aro spectrum.

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I’d like to thank Netgalley, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, and Cody Daigle-Orians for allowing me the opportunity to read I Am Ace early in exchange for an honest review!

I Am Ace is a much-needed guide to asexuality and the variety of experiences that may come with it. It presents its subject with authentic care; the level of careful research and self-exploration that went into this book is evident in every word. I especially appreciated its attention to detail. Whether it’s covering the basics or specific idiosyncratic knowledge about asexuality, the book is exceptionally nuanced while maintaining straightforward understandability. That balance of detail and clarity makes this book a great read for anyone, regardless of their pre-existing familiarity with asexuality; it’s didactic but also extremely reassuring and validating.

As well as exploring asexuality in general terms, the book recounts the author’s personal experiences with asexuality to help the audience understand the actual lived reality of being ace, which is a crucial factor in I Am Ace’s depth. Where many didactic books like this run the risk of detachment, I Am Ace is beautifully genuine. The author’s care for the subject radiates through every word aided by the personal anecdotes and facets the whole book with a sense of purpose and extreme care-- for the newly-discovered aces or questioning people reading this book, it’s impossibly valuable to have hope for the future, something the author clearly understands well. Such authenticity adds tangible presence to the book’s level of support and respect for its audience.

Ultimately, I Am Ace goes beyond being a comprehensive guide-- it is a reassurance of hope. It is such a valuable resource from its level of detail to its unwavering tone of validation and support to its honesty and authenticity in communicating about asexuality. This book is a crucial read for anyone, regardless of their connection to asexuality.

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TW// aphobia, outing, brief mentions of rape, mentions of homophobia

This book was an informative nonfiction read that teaches about asexuality. It works as a great guide for anyone who is still discovering their asexuality and it’s perfect for helping allosexual people learn more about what ace people experience. I’m even considering buying a physical copy of this book so that some people in my life can learn more about asexuality so that they can understand me better.

I found Cody’s experiences with realizing that he’s asexual to be very relatable. I found out that I was asexual when I was 18, but that confusion about sex that Cody describes was similair to what I experienced growing up. It felt really nice to see an experience like mine being puts into words.

Cody’s words of support and encouragement throughout this book were like a warm hug that my body has been craving for years. They made me feel like my sexuality is valid and important. I’m also still struggling to label my romantic attraction and gender, so there were a lot of passages in this book that made me feel like it’s okay for me to take my time figuring things out and it’s okay for me to use one label then switch to another label later on in my life. It was such a wonderful feeling.

This book does drag on and become repetitive at some points in the last half of the book, but I still think that this book is great for every asexual person who is still learning about who they are and for every allo person who wants to become a better ally.

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Asexuality is often called the invisible orientation and is widely misunderstood. This book does an amazing job of not only explaining what asexuality is, but more importantly, what it is not. Written in a down to earth, friendly tone, the author uses real life situations and experiences to help the reader understand the many facets of asexuality and gives those who are on a questioning journey of their own helpful suggestions to guide them towards finding those answers. This is a book that encourages conversations and should absolutely be read by everyone.

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A useful primer for those wishing to understand a little understood identity. The writing is accessible. It would be a good jumping-off point for those wishing to understand the ACE identity

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As someone new to this (I am new asexual, if that's possible) I've been looking for books and articles about the subject and learning more about it, and this book certainly fits that as this book explores so much of what it is, labels and learning to live your life in the best way possible, just like the title states!

Really easy to take in and so so readable, I Am Ace really is a well informed and well-discussed book that gives you all the perspective you need. It is nice to have a book that begins to understand you and the realisations I made when reading this made me think, 'wow did I need this book a long time ago' from actually the first chapter of this book.

I really enjoyed reading this book, well structured, well written and well almost written for me, I am so glad more books like this are beginning to exist and totally would love to read more from this author as I really appreciated their tone and style.

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As someone who didn't have the words or context to accept my own grey asexuality until a couple of years ago... I'm so glad this book exists. For young people who may be questioning and late bloomer aces like me. Hell, even for people who love someone who is asexual. It's a comforting, no-frills guide to what asexuality is, how many different forms that can take, and most importantly, how fulfilling and amazing it can be to step into your identity and find joy in it. I would say that it is a good primer and jumping off point for those who are interested to dive into another, denser book or resource on the subject.

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This book was a true guidebook to Ace life as well as a personal reflection. It married explanations for those unfamiliar with Ace terminology along with personal reflections from Cody that bring the book to life. It at once is a perfect introduction to those wondering about asexuality as well as a great tool for those in the middle of their journey. For those more experienced it is an affirming and inspiring read.

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Unfortunately, I did not download the ARC on time, therefore I could not read it. Totally my mistake, I didn't realize the archive date had been surpassed. So, I give 1 star not because it was bad, but because I genuinely cannot give it a fair and honest rating and I can't not give 0 stars, which would be the better option since I did not read the book.

Apologies to the publisher.

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I received an ARC and I’m leaving an honest review.

This book felt lime a conversation with a friend. It had a lot of facts and comforting notions that I personally definitely needed to read, and I really liked the inclusion of the explanations of the kind of relationship one can have.

Some chapters, like the one about coming out, can be interpreted very generally and not just about the asexual experience, and while these specific chapters weren't useful to me personally because I’m already out, they can definitely be of help to any possible reader who is still in the closet, whatever their sexuality or gender identity is.

And one last things, that is not related to the advice in the book: Seeing older queer people, out in the world and being happy, is actually so healing for my soul. Every time Cody mentioned his polycule I teared up.

Some parts that hit me in the feels:

“Change doesn't invalidate new patterns. Who you become doesn't invalidate who you were.”

"In order to survive this journey of self-discovery, you have to give yourself permission to not know. There's no harm in not knowing.
There's no failure in not knowing. It's perfectly human to live in your body and experience what you're experiencing without fully understanding it.
The curiosity is what counts. What counts is you acknowledging that you feel something different from the people around you. What counts is that you're searching for new words and new ideas to explain what you feel instead of shoving those feelings away and just conforming to the rest of the world.
What counts is your question, even if you don't have an answer."

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Written by an ace middle-aged man, "I Am Ace" is a guide to most, if not all, basic aspects of aceness and being on the ace spectrum. From the fact that it's a spectrum with many shades, to coming out, to navigating relationships as an ace person, Cody Daigle-Orians addresses many common concerns and topics that come with wondering whether you might be asexual, and the journey to figuring out the answer.

One of the concepts that appealed to me the most was "chrononormativity", which I haven't seen discussed before as such but have definitely stressed about. The fact that Daigle-Orians took the time to address how much it intersects with aceness was really special, since, indeed, ace people tend to feel - and be told - that they're falling behind in terms of building a life - which is associated, more often than not, with finding a partner and building a family with them. Most queer people struggle with following societal expectations for life speed and achievements, but I felt like Daigle-Orians was able to address how ace people do so even more.

As an ace person who has known this about themselves for almost six years know, it was still really comforting to review the basics about aceness, and to feel like someone was writing not just about us - but rather, for us. The one thing I perhaps didn't feel as comfortable with was the chapter that addressed coming out as an asexual person, since it was clearly written from a very privileged perspective. Despite the fact that the author explicitly acknowledged their priivilege more than once, it still felt like it went unchecked during this chapter, since it emphasised the idea that "you can't be yourself, and happy, unless you're out". While I acknowledge that it's a lot easier to feel at ease when you don't have to conceal who you are, or fear rejection if you choose not to, I also feel the urge to point out that not everyone lives in an environment that allows them to. A lot of people live in countries that either don't protect queer people, or directly prosecute them, and even in countries in which there are laws in place to protect the LGBTQIA+ community, aro and ace people are never talked about. So, in this regard, not everyone has the privilege to be able to come out as aspec, and have their identity respected and celebrated, and I feel like the author ought to have acknowledged this.

This said, I felt really happy that I had the chance to read this book and feel like I was getting a big ace hug, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get started on aceness.

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I Am Ace by Cody Daigle-Orians is less a memoir than a beginner's guide to asexuality and the terminology surrounding this umbrella identity.

The book is incredibly well structured and signposted, with clear parts, chapter topics and offering defined terminology for those who are beginning their ace journey. As a beginner's guide, I have no doubt it would be very useful to baby aces or anyone who wants to gain a basic understanding of asexuality.

However, for people already familiar with asexuality, there is little material provided beyond the basic overview of the umbrella term and microidentities within, and only within the final third of the book. As someone familiar with many of the terms, I found myself skim-reading at times to reach new material that would provide food for thought. The strongest point it offered in this regard is what polyamory and open relationships can look like for ace-spec folks, as it challenged me and began to open discussion.

Yet generally, I Am Ace, while clearly written and well-structured, does not offer a nuanced lens of asexuality nor the personal, complex relationship with it that one might expect from a memoir. It's probably the best basic beginner's guide I've read, but does not go beyond that and only touches on intersectionality in one penultimate paragraph to the book.

Thanks to Jessica Kingsley publishers and Netgalley for providing me with an e-arc of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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I just- I don't know what to say other than this book is everything to me and that I'd like to hug Cody Daigle-Orians someday in thanks.

From first learning the term "asexual" to telling people, coming to the realization that I am Ace took me about a decade. If I had had this book back then? Poof, bam, done! I would have known immediately, thank you very much. As it is I am so so happy that it exists now.

Cody has done a wonderful thing in creating Ace Dad Advice and in writing this book. It's a fantastic resource for questioning folks to read all in one place practically every question they've ever had. Even after watching Ace Dad Advice for years and being out for a while, I learned a ton! It is also the kind of book that I would give to the open minded, but still microaggressors in my life. Someone says something ridiculous about asexuality, I just slide over the book to an appropriately flagged section and let them educate themselves.

I honestly would love for I Am Ace to be available everywhere. Libraries (both public and in schools), bookstores, Pride Parades, Book Cafes, street corners, splashed across billboards, and every form of media imaginable. Why? Because it makes me feel seen in a world where we ace folks rarely are. There are countless number of people out there who feel brokenness that is not true and I Am Ace would and should be available to help.

I could go on and on about I Am Ace for hours, but for now just please read this, share this, and embrace this book. 💜

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A very wonderfully written intro to asexuality. Many sections of the book were geared towards someone questioning their own sexuality, but I still find it informative! The info was presented simply and is a great read for young people or those very unfamiliar with queerness

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I am ace: Advice on living your best asexual life - Cody Daigle-Orians

I'd like to thank @jpkbooks @netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this early.

I've been following Cody (@acedadadvice) on TikTok for a while now, and I love his content and I think what he does is really important. Cody makes educational and entertaining content about asexuality, so of course I had to read it!

I Am Ace is a book that covers what asexuality is and what it can look like to be asexual. It's about figuring out if you are asexual and where on the ace spectrum you might fall, asexuality in relationship to others and asexuality's place in the world.
This book in an incredible resource for those who are just figuring out they're asexual or is questioning whether they are. This book covers the basics and compiles it all in an accessible way. It explains the language that is specific to the ace experience and gives the reader questions and tools to understand everything.
This book is mainly aimed at those who are in that stage of questioning things and figuring out whether they're ace or not, but I think people who have already figured out that they're ace can learn a thing or two from this book. I know I did.

I really like that Cody's way of presenting the information and facts and that he also blend in experiences and anecdotes from his own life and his own journey of finding his own aceness. I highly recommend this book to anyone who's interested in asexuality or is questioning whether they are somewhere on the asexual spectrum. 

I wish I had this book when I was figuring out my own aroace-ness, it would have been easier to read this book instead of having to search all over the internet for this kind of information.

And to Cody. Thank you for writing this amazing book. I think it'll be very important for future aces.

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There are only two books that I've wished I could go back in time to give to my seventeen-year-old self. I Am Ace is one of those two.

Cody Daigle-Orians provides an accessible guidebook for folks who have recently discovered or are wondering if they might possibly be ace. He provides advice, instruction, and questions to consider for their consideration, and he does so with utmost kindness and compassion. After all, he's lived this!

I personally took a great deal of comfort in this book-- like Cody, I didn't figure out I was ace until after I was married, and because of his book, I feel like I have a better understanding of both who I am and how to navigate my relationship.

This book would be excellent for the teen or young adult trying to figure it all out, but it also works for those of us a little further along in life. As I stare down the years to thirty, I am leaving this book with more peace and comfort about my sexuality and its role in my life than I had hoped for.

Ultimately this book provides the permission some of us need to just BE, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to read this book. If the opportunity ever arises, I hope Cody will turn this into a journal/self-reflection workbook. I would pick it up in a heartbeat.

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Thanks for sharing your journey. I liked the way you gave helpful and supportive information in a question-and-answer format. Your book was easy to read and an enjoyable experience. I would definitely recommend it.

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4.5* (rounding up to take into account the billion plus stars to the author for putting the spotlight on asexuality in such a kind and empowering manner)

gosh, it feels so wonderful to be seen without drowning in the impulse of needing to justify myself at every corner. there's no feeling broken, incomplete, less human for feeling the way i do. just an informative sit-down chat with a good and highly empathetic friend. <b>dear book, validation is thy name.</b>

i am what you might call a baby demisexual who took up the label one morning, stapled it to her hat, and went about her day without thinking twice about it, and i love that this book validates my seemingly blasé approach. labels are not the enemy, some measure of your validity to pit yourself against. labels are not about exclusion or othering, about ticking all the boxes to be "enough." labels are meant to be fluid, as ever-changing as we are as people, and as such, it is perfectly natural to reassess how we see ourselves as we learn and evolve with each new experience. labels are tools of self-discovery containing the immense power that comes with putting feelings into words. that's it.

this book includes the best acknowledgement and breakdown of the stress and microaggressions acespec individuals face on the daily that i have read to date. be it pressure from media or casual, offhand remarks we hear on the daily - funnily enough, i somehow seem to receive the most unnecessary reassurance when i'm in the presence of medical professionals - he helped me deconstruct years and years of frustration (and to be honest, embarrassment) in a therapeutic manner. i also learned so many words for things i never thought to distinguish in my head, such as the various kinds of attraction (sexual, romantic, aesthetic, emotional, sensual, intellectual, alterous, oh my!), the reminder that attractions work independently, establishing boundaries, and so much more.

there is a chapter that directly addresses coming out that i see brought up frequently in other reviews. my personal take is that the author, being a very public figure on social media creating acespec-centered content, is a strong advocate of coming out, of living your truth to not only empower yourself, but others in your vicinity who may be questioning, scared, unsure. for some who have accepted a label but have not publicly shared this intimate part of themselves with the world, it can start to feel like a noose to hide our most genuine self. therefore, it makes sense that he layers on so much effusive positivity on the act of coming out, because he wants us to feel the same liberation as he has and create a world where we are just as visible and accepted as an allosexual. his interpretation is the best case scenario, spoken from his place of self-acceptance. the bias is there and he doesn't pretend otherwise.

but of course, this also has the potential for his intentions to be misconstrued as a way of belittling those who are still in the closet, which is why i believe he started off the section acknowledging people who are still on the fence, who don't think it's the right time for them, or who choose to never want to come out. he offers his support no matter what path is chosen, so long as <i>they</i> are the one making that decision. he reiterates time and time again that coming out is something we must do for ourselves.

<blockquote><b><i>We are not obligated to share certain truths of our identities in order to be considered legitimate. Our truth doesn't become a lie simply because we keep it to ourselves.</i></b></blockquote>

i think with any resource, you can make the argument that it could go more into depth, such as how being acespec might intersect with our ethnicity, gender identity, etc., but this is a wonderful introduction that leaves you feeling in safe hands.

<i>Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of the book - this is my honest review :)</i>

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Thank you to Jessica Kingsley Publishers and Netgalley for this E-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is a solid non-fiction highlighting the author's journey with his sexuality, that additionally examines asexuality within the queer community and society at large. I Am Ace is full of helpful bits of advice earned from the author's experiences, plus definitions for folks who are just beginning to learn about sexuality and romance across the spectrum.

My main critique is that I wish the author would have elaborated on the different kinds of "love" a person can experience. Relationships, romantic attractions, and sexual attractions were talked about extensively (and very well), but I would have loved a little bit more discussion around "love" as a topic on its own. This discourse may have been embedded in the text and simply a difference in preferred diction, but the word "love" itself is an interesting topic in and of itself.

Overall, this is a great book that is guaranteed to be an affirming read for any young person who may be questioning their sexuality. I highly recommend this.

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Reading this book feels like a warm hug. Cody Daigle-Orians' social media handle is AceDadAdvice, and that's precisely the tone this book had - like you were sitting down with a cool older cousin/aunt/uncle/friend who was answering all those burning questions you never quite were brave enough to ask.

The writing is casual and approachable, written in a conversational rather than academic way, which makes the content easily accessible. Daigle-Orians answers everything you ever wondered about asexuality - what is it? What can it look like? How do you know? This is a fantastic primer for people who are asexual, questioning, exist on the queer spectrum, or are simply interested in learning more about asexuality. I could see this as also being a super helpful resource for people with loved ones who are ace.

Daigle-Orians' advice is kind, affirming, and supportive - the kind of voice we all want and need to hear. I highly recommend this to anyone looking to learn more about asexuality!

Thank you to NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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