Here’s a love story that I can’t remember showing up in any books I’ve read. Ever. Which isn’t to say that somewhere on the fringes of all the books in the world, there isn’t one like this. It’s just that it’s uncommon.
Author Claire Kann tackles asexual romance in Let’s Talk About Love, a contemporary young adult fiction about Alice. Alice is in college, adores anything adorable and thinks her summer is perfectly planned. But then her best friends sort of ignore her. Her girlfriend dumps her. And she starts to have feelings for Takumi, her co-worker at the local library. (Yay! Library romance!).
Takumi, maybe, maybe, has feelings for her back. But he’s playing it cool, and Alice isn’t sure she wants to tell him she’s asexual. It backfired before.
As summer moves along, feelings get hurt, life gets even more complicated and Alice starts to figure out she doesn’t have everything figured out.
Kann tackles diversity in many ways her her books. She has different types of relationships, gay characters, characters of colour, blended families, men who aren’t toxic in their masculinity — it’s nice to see a wide mix of cultures and perspectives in a book. She’s a gentle writer and has clearly spent a lot of energy making sure her characters aren’t one dimensional or caricatures. It probably helps that she’s a writer of colour. And yeah, it’s not a white girl on the front of the book, which is amazing. Jezebel handles this topic better than I can here.
And if that wasn’t enough, you can read more here
I was also interested in how this book was published. There is a website called Swoon Reads where writers can upload books to the online community, which then can read those books. Some then get published more traditionally. I’m sure I’m under explaining how it works, but it seems like a great way to democratize publishing and base it on what readers value. I dug around on the site for a few minutes, and it seems like diversity floats to the top. It seems like a great opportunity for writers and an interesting option for readers.