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Book Review: Loveless by Alice Oseman

Hey all, Sam here.

Okay, so today’s review is not an ARC review or a NetGalley review, but with how things are going in numerous states around the US right now, I feel like this is a book I want to talk about and that I need to talk about.

Now I don’t want to take too much time with this intro or with this post, because I’m in the middle of reading some books just as incredible as the one I’m going to talk about today. I’m actually feeling called to read, and I have definitely missed this urge to read and to just gush about books, and I want to follow the feeling while it’s here, because reading slumps suck.

So let’s just go ahead and get into this review…

For fans of Love, Simon and I Wish You All the Best, a funny, honest, messy, completely relatable story of a girl who realizes that love can be found in many ways that don’t involve sex or romance.

From the marvelous author of Heartstopper comes an exceptional YA novel about discovering that it’s okay if you don’t have sexual or romantic feelings for anyone . . . since there are plenty of other ways to find love and connection.

This is the funny, honest, messy, completely relatable story of Georgia, who doesn’t understand why she can’t crush and kiss and make out like her friends do. She’s surrounded by the narrative that dating + sex = love. It’s not until she gets to college that she discovers the A range of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum — coming to understand herself as asexual/aromantic. Disrupting the narrative that she’s been told since birth isn’t easy — there are many mistakes along the way to inviting people into a newly found articulation of an always-known part of your identity. But Georgia’s determined to get her life right, with the help of (and despite the major drama of) her friends.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

This was a very powerful and important book, for me personally. I think I had made it only a handful of pages into this book before I had to take a moment to just absorb what I was reading, and honestly to cry.

I have never felt so seen in a book before.

So, this isn’t something I’ve really talked about online before. I’m still working on talking about this in person with folks in my life. But I am asexual, technically more gray ace, if we’re being specific. And my whole life I found myself pretending to have crushes on people around me or on celebrities so I could fit in with my gal pals. It took until I was in my 20s before I even really heard about asexuality and aromanticism and demisexuality, so I didn’t even realize it was a thing. I just felt odd and like I didn’t belong.

I was just diving into research on asexuality and realizing that it fit me when I met David, and after a few months of talking with him, and after a couple actual dates, found myself actually feeling sexual attraction…for literally the first time in my life.

If a book like this had been available and accepted when I was younger, perhaps I would have felt more secure and comfortable with myself years and years earlier, perhaps my young adult years wouldn’t have been so confusing.

In just a few short pages, I related to Georgia in a way I had never related to a character before. In her I saw myself, and it was eye-opening and mind-blowing and revolutionary.

I’m glad I decided to pick this book up on a day when I had nothing else planned and I didn’t have to work or anything else. I couldn’t put this book down…aside from pausing to compose a Tweet to Alice Oseman to tell her how incredible this book was…and she answered me. I know this was a year ago, but it was still an amazing and incredible moment that I still think about. I read this book a year ago and even now I get emotional thinking about it. So, I don’t know if Alice would see this review, but again, I just want to say Thank You for putting this book out in the world. Thank you so much.

Recently I’ve seen posts where a certain bigoted discriminatory and very vocal group of jerks within the US have made statements declaring asexual folks as pedophiles and as mentally ill, and it just hurts.

I’m just starting to find books where I feel represented and seen and people who don’t understand anything that doesn’t fit into their small-minded view of the world are trying to take all of that away, to eliminate books and resources that can help people like me, who have spent their whole lives thinking there is something wrong with them. I really wish these people could actually take the time to read these books and to understand that the world is so expansive and vibrant and there is absolutely nothing wrong with people who don’t love the same way as they do. A little understanding and acceptance would make the world so much better.

I want books like Loveless to be in this world, so you better believe I’m going to fight against the bigotry and discrimination and censorship.

Sorry, I realize this review doesn’t talk about the contents of the book very much, but I loved that it was just about Georgia leaving high school and heading off to college and learning more about who she is and how she feels…and that there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with her for feeling that way, even if others don’t completely understand her themselves.

All right, that is all from me for today. Thank you so much for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.


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