We all know how much I love a wonderful cover – and WOW, is this a wonderful cover!? I absolutely picked this book up purely on the power of this beautiful woman with her glowing skin, powerful smile, and amazing hair. Combined with the vibrant purple lettering of the title smack in the middle of the cover it just pops so well and I couldn’t stop staring at it. So, whoever designed this needs a huge  round of applause!

Alice’s girlfriend breaks up with her at the beginning of the book when the realities of dating someone asexual gets a little too real for her. And it really was heartbreaking to see Alice be treated so shabbily – when they had discussed this from the beginning of their relationship. In general, as a character Alice broke my heart a little because she was just so damn genuine and sweet. While she’s trying to deal with her breakup and life in general she meets Takumi. And she is dealing with her parents and her roommates who are in a serious relationship – which makes her a major third wheel…so, kind of a lot.

I absolutely loved the way this author had Alice deal with her asexuality – very head on and matter of factly. It is part of her and nothing to be ashamed of, but something not exactly everyone can comprehend so easily either.

I’m not trying to trivialize anyone else and what they have to do, but if I go to my parents and say I’m a lesbian, they would know what I meant. If I went to my siblings and said I’m bisexual, they would know what I meant. If I tell anyone I’m asexual, they’re going to look at me like there’s something wrong. They’re going to tell me to go to a doctor. They’re going to tell me I’m too young to know what I want or I’m still developing. Or they’ll tell me how important sex is to finding a good man. Or they’ll think they can fix me, that I’m lying because I don’t want to sleep with them. It’s hard enough trying to explain that word, so how in the hell am I going to explain I’m biromantic asexual? They’re really going to think I’m making this shit up.

Takumi and Alice have the slowest and sweetest relationship. It develops in a very realist way that is surprising to both the reader – and to Alice herself. Alice is Black and Takumi is Japanese – I was so freaking happy to have BOTH main characters NOT be white. AND both of these things were addressed in the actual text. This book is an #ownvoices book – the author is Black – and it touches on how POC have to work twice as hard to get half as far, and it addresses privilege the white people have.

Their relationship is based on friendship and it deepens and each of them has their own personality that I appreciated. Consent is discussed openly which is MORE than appreciated and I loved seeing as well. The author handled that in such a way that it wasn’t awkward at all and also managed to make it integral to the book.

The bottom line was her body had never shown so much as a flicker of sexual interest in anyone. But that didn’t mean she liked being alone. That didn’t mean she wasn’t lonely. That didn’t mean she didn’t want romance and didn’t want to fall in love. It didn’t mean she couldn’t love someone just as fiercely as they loved her.

Another important aspect of this book is the importance of friendships. Alice lives with her best friend Feenie and they have a long history of being there for each other. But that doesn’t always mean there won’t be issues. I thought the author did a great job of dealing with friendships in a meaningful way, showing the drama and the healing there as well.

Love shouldn’t hinge solely on exposing your physical body to another person. Love was intangible. Universal. It was whatever someone wanted it to be and should be respected as such. For Alice, it was staying up late and talking about nothing and everything and anything because you didn’t want to sleep—you’d miss them too much. It was catching yourself smiling at them because wow, how does this person exist?? before they caught you. It was the intimacy of shared secrets. The comfort of unconditional acceptance. It was a confidence in knowing no matter what happened that person would always be there for you.

I completely loved this book. When I was done with it I wanted other people to read it too so that I could talk about it with them. It’s just so great – I would classify it as borderline YA/NA. I’m definitely going to be looking for more from this author!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewer: Melinda

Title: Let’s Talk About Love

Author: Claire Kann

Release Date: January 23, 2018

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