My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First Published: January 23rd, 2018
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, College, Asexuality, Romance, Friendship, Family
Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done. But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!) When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
Asexuality is real.
It is not ‘‘weird’’ or ‘‘unnatural’’ or a ‘‘mental illness’’. If you have trouble wrapping your mind around this concept, that’s okay. This is why this story was written: to educate and to answer your questions without info-dumping you.
And make you melt. Not only is this story relevant, fresh and informative, it also makes your insides feel warm and mushy.
Because Alice is relatable. I may not identify as being asexual, but that didn’t keep me from understanding Alice, wanting to befriend her, and sending her positive thoughts whenever conflict emerged.
Despite serious topics being discussed, this remains a feel-good novel. The reason why unhappy scenes didn’t affect the light atmosphere of the story is because we needed those scenes to make the story infinitely more realistic.
It isn’t realistic for someone’s life to be perfect all the time, and Alice’s sure isn’t, but she does have two wonderful friends, an easily loveable love interest, and a family that may not be completely unprejudiced, but that will do their best to support her and see things from her point of view.
Cherry on the cake: the writing couldn’t have been better. It is easy to read, without being too simplistic, entirely pleasant, and contains smart figures of style that facilitate our understanding of the various emotions that swim through the equally smart main character.
Chocolate on the cheery on the cake: Alice being the authentic young woman that she is, we are presented here with an un-romanticized perspective of what it means to be a college student. How rare is that?
Whenever you start to stare at the walls in your room, wondering what could possibly get you out of your reading slump, think of this book. It’ll do a magical job of reintroducing you to the love of reading. You don’t even have to thank me, thank the author instead.
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