Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop 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.
TITLE: Let’s Talk About Love
AUTHOR: Claire Kann
PUBLISHER: Swoon Reads
LENGTH: 304 pages
AGE: Young Adult
GENRE: Contemporary, Romance
Queer Rep Summary: Lesbian/Sapphic Minor Character(s), Bi/Pan Main Character(s), Closeted/Questioning Main Character(s), Ace/Aro Main Character(s).
With the caveat that books where a relationship is the main plot stress me out... I really like this one. It didn't linger too long on the bad stuff, whenever things were rough emotionally in one part of the MC's life she always had at least one other place to turn for support (though sometimes more than one thing was rocky at once). Her relationship with her best friends (who are engaged to each other) is nuanced and dynamic, she has a different rapport with them as individuals and as a couple. It also deals with her family relationships, with her much older siblings and her parents who have very strong opinions about what she should do with her life. The main romantic interest in the story gets space for the reader to get to know him pretty well as the MC is trying to figure out what she wants as a biromantic asexual person who isn't out to many people and has a lot of anxiety about talking about her asexuality. This book has nuanced discussions of labels which stay centered on the MC throughout, focused on her experience without trying to overgeneralize for other people who might share her labels. The MC and the love interest also have some discussions about their very different experiences as POC (Black and Japanese, respectively). Overall it's a mostly upbeat story that's not afraid to be sad when it's needed, and is a firm proponent of the restorative powers of great food and a good cry. The layers of important relationships in the MC's life helped to showcase different parts of her inner life as well as showing what she cares about with each person.
CW for racism, aphobia, panic attacks.
BTB 2021 Reading Challenge (QAOC)