Looking For Popular Asexual Fiction?

It is June, so it is the annual time to shout "happy Pride Month". It is also time to celebrate and share all things queer. Thus, I decided to shed a light onto a lesser known orientation: asexuality. And even more so, talk about the books with asexual characters that I read. Those are among the most popular in the community.

The three most popular fictional ace reads are:

Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann 

This story follows Alice - who is biromantic and asexual - as she moves through a year of college. In this year, she starts to question her orientation, comes to terms with it and begins to be more confident with it. I have seen a lot people write that they could connect to Alice quite well, as such it earned the title of being the alleged go to book when someone wants an ace character. 

However, there are gross misjudgments made from other characters in the novel that are never addressed or pointed out as wrong. The most prominent example is Alice's best friend, who not only seems to believe in one scene that Alice only needs a good shag and then come around. As well as leaving her all alone at a party to have sex, this causes Alice to be harassed but Alice is still blamed about not wanting to being left alone because of sex throughout the whole story - at least until she says sorry. 

At the end of the day, the book still does more good than harm because it actually addresses asexuality in detail, as well as showing over the span of the novel that Alice matures and becomes more confident in being asexual. So be aware that you might encounter an Alice that contradicts herself at the beginning of the novel. 

Overall, I gave this novel a rating of 3 flowers. 

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee 

This is the novel you turn to if you want a young adult asexual character who doesn't take any shit about being asexual. In this novel Tash is confronted with misjudgements as well as people being downright rude about her sexuality but Tash never ever questions her sexuality and neither do her friends; only the "bad" people. 

The plot of "Tash Hearts Tolstoy" is similar to "Let's Talk About Love" as it follows Tash's life for a year, in which a lot of change happens: her webseries becomes popular, her sister is moving out, and her parents are expecting another baby. In fact, being asexual is not even the big part of the story. Tash is a girl who moves through life, matures, and tries to figure it all out, while she also happens to be asexual. 

This is  refreshing read, compared to asexual characters that are not quite so confident just yet. 

I awarded "Tash Hearts Tolstoy" 4 flowers.

Perfect Rhythm by Jae 

This is a lesbian love story where - now hold on tight TERFs - one person is asexual! The story follows the typical tropes of "the girl next door" incorporated with "big city girl meets country girl". It really is a sweet love story that develops well and passes all the important stages of crushing on someone. 

Leo is a lesbian who has never really heard of asexuality, and as such, Holly - the potential love interest - has to explain it to her. This happens bit by bit, and functions as a great way to bring the topic closer to the reader. It was also stretched over the course of the book. I enjoyed this method, because it seemed realistic that questions would crop up over time, and Holly does not info-dump all information about asexuality at once. Furthermore, just like Tash, Holly is unapologetic about who she is and nothing could sway that. 

However, while not all, some asexual are squirked by explicit sex scenes and so was I when I was really not expecting it. "Perfect Rhythm" has a whole chapter that is pure smut - and while you can skip it - I did not enjoy that it had been put in there at all. This is because during the whole novel Leo explains how she is going to be fine without sex and you believe her, and then ... they have sex. 

Perfecty Rhythm by Jae

In the end, it fully depends on what kind of story you are looking for. Both "Perfect Rhythm" and "Tash Hearts Tolstoy" are told my confident and reliable narrators. My personal favourite (so far) is "Tash Hearts Tolstoy." Still, all of those stories include a romantic element and I am yet to encounter a story that features an asexual character without one.

However, at the beginning of next month Alice Oseman is going to publish "Loveless" which is going to feature an aromantic asexual character, and I'll be sure to review it on the blog,

Until then, happy reading! 

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