The Go To Story For Asexuality? Reviewing "Let's Talk About" by Claire Kann

Alice is a biromantic asexual college student, who after failing another relationship moves back in with her two best friends. Life goes on until she meets her new co-worker Takumi. What can she say? On her Cutie Code he breaks the scale, and Alice wants to spend much more time with him. However, how is she going to navigate her asexuality, the stereotypes related to it, and her own feelings?

Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
When I asked on The Internet, if someone could recommend me books with asexual characters "Let's Talk About Love" by Claire Kann sprang up quite quickly. It seemed to be the To Go Book in regards of asexual representation. Thus, I decided to review it for Asexual Awareness Week. However, there is a L O T to unpack when it comes to this novel.


First, the aromantic and asexual community is large and diverse, and Alice is only one asexual character and not representative of all the individuals in the community. Rather than that she is a quite main-stream version of how an asexual person in pop culture is seen.

However, in regards to romantic but asexual characters it is helpful albeit a bit confusing in places. The first time begins with Alice explaining, more to herself, that she is comfortable being asexual and wouldn't change it. However, throughout half of the first part of the book what she says, thinks, and does contradicts those words. For example, she never tells anyone who "wasn't there when she figured it out" that she is ace, not even in her LGBT support group. This would be fine, would the tone be set like this from the start, however, it is not. Thus, it takes longer to notice that Alice is lying to herself.

Furthermore, some of the characters make gross misjudgments in regards of asexuality that are never addressed. Alice's best friend assumes that she just hasn't had a good shag yet, and she'll come around. She comforts Alice that she might only be grey-ace then, which in itself is a good point but given where the idea comes from kinda gross.

However, the book does much more in addressing asexuality. The internalised struggle that comes with it, as well as the fact that you almost always have to explain what it is - adding that not many people want to be that person in the first place. In the later part of the book, it explains clearly and in layman's terms how Alice feels about sex:

"Sex... was like jogging. All the people in the world could say it’s so amazing and great for you, but if you don’t care about jogging, you’d rather spend your time with a Netflix queue and a box of donuts."

As the story continues Alice becomes more and more confident in who she is, and that being asexual is very much okay. Add to that she realises that there are possibly some incompatibilities in the idea what role sex plays in a relationship. While Alice damned her ex-girlfriend for leaving her because she doesn't want to have sex, Alice can cope with the idea that Takumi might not enter a relationship with her for the same reason.

Despite some "hashtag problematic" moments at the beginning of the novel, the book does more good in regards of offering queer and asexual representation. It also shares insight into growing up in a racist world.

However, as far as the plot is concerned I couldn't really get into it at all because I feel like there hardly was a plot. "Let's Talk About Love" follows Alice's life for the duration of the summer. During this time she: fights with her best friend, has a crush on Takumi, and disagrees with her parents about what she should study. That's it! That's 300 pages full of only that and neither of those story lines are deeply developed. They sort of bumble happily along until they all find their happy ending in the last 50 pages.

Furthermore, I could not get behind the romance part of their romance. Sure Alice thinks he's cute and all of that but there was hardly any evidence to show me that they would fit together. There were some cuter moments but it was all very trope-y and felt artificial.

I can see why people would refer to this book in order to explain what it's like to be asexual to someone who isn't, and give them a very gentle push into the world of it all. However, I am not convinced and, while this may sound harsh, I am not willing to overlook the flat writing. There should be books like "Let's Talk About Love" in the shelf but I wouldn't put my hand in the fire for this one, simply because I believe that we deserve better.



Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Published2018by Swoon Reads
Pages:304
ISBN:9781250138828
Goodreads:Add to shelf


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18 comments :

  1. Great honest review. I don't think that I would read this. I like to educate myself through books but if they are a story then I expect more.

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    1. That's what I do too. So yeah, it was disappointing :/

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  2. Great review and I appreciate your honesty. Shame it wasn't as good as you were hoping.

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    1. Thank you! I'm not giving up on my search for ace books though ­čśë

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  3. Thank you for your honesty on this book. I'm sorry it didn't live up to your hopes.

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  4. Really interesting review. It's always hard when you want to be an advocate for an underrepresented topic, but the book isn't a great read. Thanks for reviewing this.

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  5. Too bad - it looked so promising

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  6. Too bad you didn't love this one and it feel flat for you. Hope your next read is better!

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  7. Thanks for your honesty. Sorry to hear it did not work so well.

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  8. Very interesting review on a subject I don’t fully understand. I’m sorry that it did not work for you as far as the writing is concerned.

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  9. I don’t think I ever read a book with an asexual character. There definitely needs to be more!

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    1. I agree! There aren't a lot, so finding one that you really like can be hard.

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  10. Great honest review, I'm sorry this book didn't work out for you. I hope your next read is a much better one. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

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  11. Great review! Sorry it didn't work out for you.

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