Author: Alice Oseman
Page Count: 433
Age Category: Young Adult
Rep: aroace mc, f/f side relationship, pansexual side, multiple qpoc
Content warning: aphobia (internal and external)
The fourth novel from the phenomenally talented Alice Oseman – one of the most authentic and talked-about voices in contemporary YA.
It was all sinking in. I’d never had a crush on anyone. No boys, no girls, not a single person I had ever met. What did that mean?
Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush – but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day.
As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight.
But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic – Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.
Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along?
This wise, warm and witty story of identity and self-acceptance sees Alice Oseman on towering form as Georgia and her friends discover that true love isn’t limited to romance.Goodreads Blurb
Before this review kicks off, I would like to put a little disclaimer about my own personal experience and sexuality. I am asexual and demiromantic, which I do mention my asexuality numerous times on this blog, but if you are new, I am indeed ace. This was a book I was really looking forward to because I don’t frequently see my sexuality represented in books, and this is an own voices book.
And I wasn’t disappointed at all. In fact, this was quite possibly the easiest five-stars I have ever given a book. I felt so unbelievably seen. Almost every single thought that Georgia had were something that I had thought to myself at one point or another. I think it was about seventy pages in where I just started bawling for absolutely no reason other than I had never felt so seen reading a book.
I have seen some criticism about Georgia being a little shame-y about other sexualities and saying that this is the only aro-ace experience, and I disagree with that. Georgia was pretty aware of other people having sex, and it was upsetting her, but can we be clear that it was upsetting her because she was mad that she knew she wouldn’t have that? She wasn’t judging anybody. She was jealous that they wanted to have sex, and that was something I honestly related to. I am a sex-repulsed ace like Georgia, and I have often felt like I was missing out even since I’ve been out and secure in my sexuality. It’s internal aphobia, which does exist.
I have read other Alice Oseman books, but this blew any of them out of the water. I just think her writing and craft is so much better than the other books. Georgia and her friends had way more defined personality. We were only in Georgia’s head, but I felt like I knew what Rooney or Pip or the other sides were feeling, too, because it was written so clearly on the page. There was a clear theme of loneliness that was spread throughout the books. I saw Alice say on Instagram that it’s called Loveless because all of the characters feel that way, and I could completely see it in each and every character we saw.
I loved every single character except for Lloyd. I especially loved the way they worked together and the dynamic between the main characters. Aled and Frances walked so Georgia and Rooney could sprint. Their friendship was so strong, and I loved how Alice made it feel so romantic to show the romance that two completely platonic friends can have. There was so much between both of them, and you could tell that they cared about each other so much.
The plot was really soft, but I really loved that. I think it helped capture Georgia’s emotions so much better with us going through Georgia’s life. Freshman year is already a really emotional time because there is so much growing up that’s involved with it let alone coming out. I feel like what was included was essential to move the story both externally and internally.
I also really loved the route that Alice took for this book. I don’t think it would’ve had nearly as strong of an impact on me if it hadn’t been a coming out story. Anybody who says that we should stop writing coming out stories is wrong. I have never read an ace coming out story, and I think it’s so special that people see themselves represented in any sexuality and gender. I do agree that there is an over-saturation of gay coming out stories, but we definitely need to include more of other queer people.
I really loved this book. I don’t annotate, but there were moments that I wanted to mark some of my favorite quotes. I also really want to paint the edges of my copy because I feel like I want the book make the book look as special as it feels to me. I think Alice did an amazing job with this one. I am thankful that a book like this one exists.