Cover Image: I Am Ace

I Am Ace

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Member Reviews

oh my goodness first of all thank you netgalley and publisher for this arc!!
it took me a while to get to this one because non-fiction can tend to be clunky and “wikipediaesque” which is great for some people but not accessible for some, including myself. this book, however, was so accessible i was able to read it in one sitting. As someone who’s been out as a-spec for over a year, I still am learning about myself and this book clarified a lot of confusion that I’ve been facing regarding the difference between sexual attraction, libido, and arousal. He was able to explain everything in a way that made sense, when previously it was something too big to wrap my little ace brain around. I was even able to identify whereabouts I land on the asexuality spectrum (sex-favorable, sex-neutral, sex-averse and sex-repulsed). My favorite part was the section titled “Asexuality is something you live”. I won’t spoil anymore about that since it’s near the end, you’ll have to see for yourself. To be fair, some parts didn’t apply to myself since I’m in a relationship with another ace person but Cody says you can skip that chapter, and many times through the books encourages us to take what resonates. This book just felt so warm and personal, it pulled at my heartstrings and I bookmarked quite a few pages. First of all, with the introduction. “And this book is for you, my unknown friend out there with
questions of your own. I don’t know where the question “Am I asexual?” is going to lead you, but I know it’s probably led you here. I hope you find what you’re looking for in these pages, and I hope what you encounter here encourages you to keep asking questions and keep on learning.” I also really resonated with a quote about growing up and feeling like you haven’t been “invited to the club” and not understanding the fuss coming from your peers. “ They were all experiencing lust and want and a high-grade, persistent horniness. I was experiencing confusion and anxiety and
a low-grade, persistent feeling that something was really, really wrong with me. We were all going through the madness and chaos of adolescence, but for some reason, my madness and chaos were completely different from everyone else’s.” OUCH CODY!!

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Okay so, this might be my favorite non-fiction book I've ever read. As an ace person, my journey has had a lot of ups and downs, and it's taken me a really long time to accept myself and my queerness. If you are on any place during that journey yourself, or you just want to lear more about asexuality, PLEASE pick this up!

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This is an excellent book - informative, easy to digest, supportive, and encouraging. Although I am not ace, I know someone who is and wanted to understand what it means to be ace and how I can be the best ally possible. Although the book is geared more toward those who just beginning to question whether they are ace or not, there is still a LOT to be learned here by all. For that reason, I highly recommend this book. The read is quick and easy and never bogs down. The author is frank and open about his own experiences. Being ace is highly nuanced and greatly misunderstood -even in the LGBTQ+ community.

The author, Cody Daigle-Orians, is a well known youtuber who recognized late in life that he was ace. Drawing upon his own experiences, he chose to help others through volunteer work and the youtube channel. This book is the result of all that he learned in the years that he has been mentoring others with this very complex topic both in person and online. Because he is of a mature age, he has a lot of great life experience to draw upon.

I've read quite a few ace-topic books lately and this is definitely one of the best ones out there. Reviewed from an advanced reader copy provided by the publisher.

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First of all, I want to make clear that I as an allosexual person do not pretend to be able to tell you how this book can help asexual folks. I can say how I received it and what I thought, but if you want to know if this book would be a good guide for you as an asexual person, I would suggest trying to find reviews by other asexual people, there are quite a few of them on websites such as Goodreads.

I think 'I am ACE' is a good guide if you're just getting introduced to the topic of asexuality. Even as an allosexual person, you can still learn a lot through this book. I do think that if you're looking for a very thorough guide or description of asexuality, it might be a bit too simple for you. On the other side, I quite liked that it wasn't very heavy or difficult to get through, aso some non-fictional books tend to be, I read this in about 2 days. I really liked that the author started every chapter with a personal anekdote. I do feel like I got to know Cody and he kind of became a friend to guide me through the topic. Definitely recommend to other allo people who cant to get an introduction into asexuality.

Thanks very much to NetGalley, Cody Daigle-Orians and Cody's team for providing me with an ARC! This did not change my review of the book in any way. The author wanted my genuine opinion so that's what I have given here.

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This is a GREAT introduction to asexuality and a book I'd recommend to someone that doesn't know anything about the subject. The author explains everything about the ace spectrum (although, I must say, with a great focus on asexuality since it's also his orientation) in clear words and manners, opening each chapter with snippets of his story and experience. I would NOT recommend it to someone that is already knowledgeable in this area or that already is secure in their ace identity.

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If you are looking for a simple, easy-to-understand guide that a) can offer you help and perspective, especially if you are from a Western LGBT-friendly/tolerating country, and b) want (or don't mind) that the author uses his personal story as an example to walk you through each chapter, this is an excellent starting point. (Keep in mind that Cody is a white, gay American man, so his experiences might or might not resonate with you. I don't think it distracts from the story but others might disagree.)

I would not recommend this to people who are further along in their asexual journey or are looking for more than a 101 Guide on being ace – this is not that book and that is perfectly okay. It has a different function than Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex (which explains and deconstructs common myths around asexuality through an intersectional lens including race, disability and more) and Refusing Compulsory Sexuality: A Black Asexual Lens on Our Sex-Obsessed Culture (which is a more academic and historically sourced text about current state of asexuality in the USA from the perspective of a Black, asexual person). Their concepts are different from what I am Ace is trying to do and I don't find comparing them helpful.

This book does so many things right in terms of explaining the differences and nuances without enforcing a "right" answer. These are just a few things I found particularly well done:
- a writing style that flows nicely and is very easy to follow
- it does a great job at showing that asexuality is not special or unique, especially in comparison to other sexualities but still equally valid
- he is blunt when he needs to but elaborates when necessary
- there is a strong focus on being comforting and helpful and not a more distant, lecturing tone which works really well
- I like that he doesn't overstep in terms of diving deeper into the intersections that asexuality interacts with until the very end. If you are not white, visibly disabled or a woman (unlike Cody), there are of course additional aspects that might inform your experience but all his statements still apply.

Some parts are maybe more aspirational than applicable to even current life in the USA but I still feel that he was careful enough in his wording that I never felt that he was encouraging one choice over the other.
I did not look through the entirety of the resources in the end as I am unfamiliar with most but I do think his selection of genre fiction was a bit lacking in covering a wide spectrum. But the internet has plenty of other lists, so it's just a nitpick.

I received an advanced reading copy from Jessica Kingsley Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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This was the book that I wish I'd had as a questioning teenager. Honestly, I wish I'd had Cody Daigle-Orians and his Ace Dad Advice pages as a teenager, but this book would have done, too. It's so absolutely reaffirming of the asexual experience, even as an adult who has been out for close to a decade now. If you're at all familiar with the author's videos, his voice shines through in every page, and I would absolutely purchase an audiobook just to let him reassuringly read this entire thing to me.

This book is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, but it shouldn't be dinged for that. It covers everything from starting the process of what it means if you are questioning whether you are asexual, to discussing how to navigate that with potential partners, identifying the different parts of the asexual and aromantic spectrum, handling aphobia and common microaggressions, and finding joy in your identity. If you are already an out asexual, you might not find much new in this book, but just reading about another's experience and finding reassurance in your own identity is always a nice moment.

More than anything, I look forward to having a book like this on my classroom shelves. I look forward to handing it to my family and friends so that they can understand me better. I'm excited to see this get into the hands of those who need it.

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This book was an interesting read and a good insight to the Ace spectrum. It cover a range of questions that most of us should know better than to ask, but which, nevertheless, people less familiar with the Ace- spectrum might be wondering (I know I was). Cody discusses all of the ranges of the Ace spectrum, coming out, and negotiating intimacy in relationships.

One highlight for me was the discussions on consent, being guilt free about setting boundaries and how to negotiate where your boundaries are, because they can and do move. Another highlight was emphasising some of the social concepts and expectations that cause issues. Heteronormativity is fairly well documented and discussed, but chrononormativity was a new one for me, but it makes SO much sense. We have these expectations of what stage should be reached by X age (you should be married by now, you should have kids by now, you should have built your career by now) and all of those can be very difficult to manage, and having a name to identify that pressure and where it comes from is helpful!

All in all an easy to access and approachable read, good links to resources for further exploration of the topic. If you think you might be on the Ace spectrum, this is worth a read, if not, it’s worth a read to remember that being allosexual is not a default, and this book is a good way to better understand someone else’s experience.

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I’m crying. I’m laughing. I’m accepting. I’m healing. I’m learning. I’m loving.

I Am Ace is exactly what I feel like I needed. A book on aceness that actually approached Asexuality as humanistic and not scientifically. Cody shows that love is possible. That sex is possible. That relationships with others are possible.

He opens up the world and says “YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL” without the condescending bits we tend to hear such as the “despite” or “even though” additives. Thank you so much for this and I hope that every person regardless of their attractions picks this up.

I hope every person, especially those in allo/ace relationships, gives this a read. This is the book that I feel was missing. It is going to help so many people. So from one flavor of queer to another, thank you Cody!

Thank you NetGalley, Cody Daigle-Orians, and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for the opportunity to review this eARC for my honest opinion.

I Am Ace by Cody Daigle-Orians releases February 21, 2023!

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I am asexual and I am always looking for new asexual books. This was super comforting and relatable for me. I am not alone in the feelings I am experiencing about myself and my sexuality. The book is written in a readable and fast-paced way, that keeps you engaged. I felt seen, I had a cry and that was special for me. Thank you for this book

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Firstly, I would like to thank NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for an e-arc of this title.

This is actually my first non-fiction in a very long time. I've stayed away from nonfiction simply because I have this preconceived notion that they all look and sound like the textbooks of my school years. But if this is anything to go by - they are definitely not.

I wasn't sure what to expect going into this since I hadn't read a book on asexuality before. But if anyone is looking for a good clear introduction and guide into what asexuality is and how it is intrinsically linked with people's lives - this is actually a great place to start. It's even a great book to give to kids I think since it's written almost like one massive FAQ page. It looks at the most comment questions asked and tackles them that way. Which makes for a really easy and smooth read.

Along with intertwining stories about how asexuality is present in the author's life - gives it a very approachable feel.

My only criticism of the book is that the author tended to repeat himself. Some passages could be shortened if not for the fact that a certain sentiment was repeated to help hone in on the point. It also got a bit bogged down in defining certain terminology which if you are versed in queer terminology felt redundant but if this was your first foray into any sort of queer literature - might be quite useful.

As a first read into nonfiction about asexuality I thought this was a great book and a recommendation to anyone looking to delve deeper into understanding it.

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I received an eARC of this book for review from the Jessica Kingsley Publishers via NetGalley, all opinions are my own.
• The Brief: This overview of asexuality basics is both informative and comforting. It's for anyone interested in the basics of asexual life.
• Although it is written as advice to asexuals and those who suspect they may be somewhere on the asexual spectrum, it would be helpful for anyone seeking to understanding more about the meaning and experience of being ace.

I am Ace is a fast-paced primer written for those who are, or think they might be, asexual and/or aromantic. Daigle-Orians uses clear conversational language in this empathetic approach to create a compelling read about the basics and complexities of being on the ace spectrum. This non-fiction book is part expository and part memoir and consequently is informative without being dry or reading like a textbook. This is because the author uses a personal and direct style while exploring the complexities of what asexuality means - both in theory and in practice.
The content is organized in three parts related to the individual experience, relationships with other individuals, and community experiences. Most of the term definitions are in the first part, and yet it still establishes the worm and accepting tone of the book. Section two contains a chapter on coming out which I’ve noticed some reviewers criticize for compelling the reader to come out. My interpretation is different: I read this as the author providing encouraging advice for those individuals who have decided to take that step. Daigle-Orians also provides positive words for those who chose not to come out: “Our truth doesn’t become a lie simply because we keep it to ourselves. The journey of self-discovery isn’t universal for everyone” (p 74). The final part is about community relationships, and ends with a characteristically supportive personal letter from the author.

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I'm very grateful for this book. I wish I had this language to use when I was younger. The book is structured in an easy to follow manner and describes so many of these concepts that I didn't know about when I'm younger, but I'm glad they can all be found in this book now.

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"We feel like these little islands of experience, isolated, alone in what we feel."

This book consists of three parts: Asexuality and You; Asexuality and Others; and Asexuality and the World.
And each contains the information you'd expect to find under those headings. How you work out the whole broad range of asexuality for yourself. Then how you potentially come out to others as being asexual, and how to know and deal with any microagressions that can come with the lack of understanding people have about what being asexual actually means for someone. And finally how asexuality is present in the wider world.
One of the things that this book talks about is the idea that "labels are tools, not tests." What that means is labels are there to help someone to work out their identity, but they don't have to use them if they don't fit right for them. It means that they aren't permanent, and that using something at one time doesn't mean that's the way they'll identify forever.
It says that identity labels have two main functions. Labels exist to help you articulate your particular experience to yourself and to others. And
labels exist to help you find community with other people who share the same kind of experience. But there's also no hard and fast rule to it.

Thank you to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This non-fiction title focused around asexuality is extremely accessible and readable for folks who identify as ace, those questioning, or those wanting to learn more about a friend or loved one.
It’s partly informational and partly autobiographical based on the author’s experiences. It is both basic and in-depth.
This book is an incredible step in the gap of nonfiction ace resources in the printed book world. I would recommend it to those who liked “A Quick and Easy Guide to Asexuality” by Molly Muldoon that are looking for more depth.

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This was an easy thoughtful read. I have already re-read parts of it. And bored many friend talking about it. Highly recommended for anyone really.

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Little funny story about this book: I found it listed on netgalley and thought yeah, that sounds like it'll be interesting. I paid absolutely no attention to the author and set about reading. As I was going through and learning more about the author's experiences and hearing more of his voice, I thought "wow, why does this sound so much like acedadadvice?" Only to find out that this actually is his book!

I've been following Cody for a while (though how I missed he was writing a book beats me, thanks algorithm), and it has been great seeing someone outside of their teens/twenties sharing their stories and experiences. It can be very lonely and isolating being ace since it is often a fairly invisible identity, so seeing someone who is so fully and unapologetically ace is always refreshing.

If you have no idea who Cody is, I seriously recommend watching some of his videos, he answers a lot of questions that people have about asexuality and gives people advice. Really living up to the acedadadvice username!

This book is structured a lot like a big interview or Q&A, with the questions organized into different sections in order. The questions presented are mostly a jumping off point for each subject as he dives more in depth with each topic. There are some parts that are a little repetitive, but overall, this book is a written encapsulation of what we see in a lot of Cody's videos online (though of course giving more depth than a one minute video is able to provide).

If you're considering reading this book, I just want to note that this book doesn't go as in depth on intersectionality as Angela Chen's book, however it is a great jumping off point for a more broad look at asexuality. He does cover aromantacism a bit as well as discussing in brief how intersecting identities will affect a person's life, however there is a lot more about navigating relationships as an asexual. If that's what you're looking for, then great, it's all here.

I also have to agree with one of the other reviewers about the chapter on coming out. I also felt that it seemed a bit too much pushing someone to come out to live their most authentic self. While I can understand that, it isn't always safe for someone to do, nor is it always something someone wants or needs to do in their life. Please don't ever feel that in order to truly be yourself that you need to come out, do what is right for you and don't let anyone else convince you otherwise.

I'm so glad that we have people like Cody who are willing and comfortable to share parts of themselves and their story, to provide resources (there's a list of resources at the back of the book that includes websites and different fiction and non fiction to read!) and help to others in trying to find themselves. So thank you, Cody.

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Oof, I'm on the fence here. It's almost, almost the best ace non fiction I've read (and I've read a lot of them). The writing is accessible and personal, the book pretty much a perfect length to cover all important topics. It's readable no matter if you're aspec, allo or questioning.

My fave was probably the chapter about navigating relationships and especially about setting up boundaries and informing your partner(s) about what you're comfortable with in terms of physical intimacy. There are so many amazing tips in the book. I also loved the chapter about being ace and queer the most, and especially the quote "queer feels like an identity with a bit of troublemaking."

Before I go into the issues, I'd like to stress that these are all easily fixable and I really hope they get corrected before final print. But as it stands, I was close to dnf-ing this book at the Coming Out chapter.

My main issue is the coming out chapter. While Cody stresses his privilege across the book, it's never more clearly shown than in this chapter, which stresses how important it is to be out because otherwise you aren't true to yourself and can't possibly be happy. There are some reassurances about safety first but they seem more as an afterthought. No one else than a white cis man living in the so-called West would have ever written something like that. And as I've read it during a Holiday break in Eastern Europe, in one of the most queerphobic countries in Europe, in a home of a family that I'm not out to and don't plan on being out to, that cut deep.

So let me stress it once and for all: safety first. Don't ever feel pressured to come out, there are so many things to consider before doing it. Even now that I live across a sea from my family and I'm financially independent, I wouldn't risk coming out. Even if my family would probably accept it, it's my personal truth and I chose not to share it and I don't think our relationship is any lesser because of it or as if it's a lie.

Even in the few countries that offer great queer protection laws, asexuality is hardly ever included in them, which is another vital thing to consider and should be included in this chapter.

So the coming out chapter definitely needs some restructuring/editing but that's the only major issue that I had.

From a few smaller hook-ups: there was a lot of exchanging between words "sex" and "intimacy" that should be clarified more. Similarly, "emotional intimacy" is used interchangeably with "romance" and as a romance-averse aro that's a huge no no from me - these are not the same. Also at some points "holding hands and cuddling" is called "sex life" which, if that's how you define it in your relationship, it's of course fine, you do you, but personally seeing it labelled as that makes me panicky - I'd love some cuddling and hand holding but would prefer it wasn't labelled as sex.

And lastly, my usual annoyance that the list of references is as usual limited to US/UK based educators with one other name thrown in for diversity. Aspec community is so diverse and so many creators all over the world create content also in English, so that's it's accessible to a wider audience. It would be nice is the book went beyond acknowledging that "we need to consider diverse voices/needs in the community and showed it in the resources.

This now seems like an overwhelmingly negative review so I'd like to stress again that it's not. As it is, I'd suggest it more to the allo audience, solely because I think the coming out chapter can be harmful to more impressionable readers without some editing. But otherwise it's great. Really! 😂

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For asexual individuals or those who are questioning, and those who have an ace in their lives, this book is an ESSENTIAL resource. All of the ins-and-outs of a complex and little understood identity are explained in loving detail. Even those who identify as ace and are familiar with all of the terminology that the author goes over will find validation here. Daigle-Orians' online handle is "Ace Dad Advice" and this book truly feels like loving, nonjudgmental parental advice from someone who's been there.

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I thoughtful, kind, and patient book for people who want to understand asexuality from an asexual gay man who offers advice and first-hand experience. This seems to be primarily for people who may think that they are ace, but it could also be for their families, friends or just anyone who wants to understand asexuality and aromanticism. It's so gentle it might be mistaken for a young adult audience, but it's for all ages.

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