Let's Talk About Love

Let's Talk About Love

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...

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Title:Let's Talk About Love
Author:Claire Kann
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Let's Talk About Love Reviews

  • Shelly

    I've heard only amazing things about this book and I'm so happy to say that I was not disappointed at all.

    is about Alice, a 19 year old struggling to figure out her future, her changing dynamic with her two best friends and trying to understand her feelings for a new co-worker after she swears she's done with dating. It's a wonderful novel that I recommend to everyone not only for the cute romance but for the complex characterization and important discussions about romanti

    I've heard only amazing things about this book and I'm so happy to say that I was not disappointed at all.

    is about Alice, a 19 year old struggling to figure out her future, her changing dynamic with her two best friends and trying to understand her feelings for a new co-worker after she swears she's done with dating. It's a wonderful novel that I recommend to everyone not only for the cute romance but for the complex characterization and important discussions about romantic orientation vs. sexual orientation, as Alice identifies as biromantic asexual.

    I also want to say that I just read a spoilery negative review that was about the novel when it was on Swoon Reads (pre-publication) and it looks like all the problematic scenes concerning the love interest's behaviour have been completely erased and edited from this final version.

    If you're looking for more great reviews, I encourage you to read

    .

  • Kav (xreadingsolacex)

    I’m in need of a setting to give this novel 6 out of 5 stars because h o l y c r a p y’all, this novel changed my life.

    LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE is a story about a biromantic asexual black woman, Alice, in college, living with her two best friends who are dating, and working at a library where she meets Takumi, who changed her life forever.

    I requested this ARC as a biroman

    I’m in need of a setting to give this novel 6 out of 5 stars because h o l y c r a p y’all, this novel changed my life.

    LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE is a story about a biromantic asexual black woman, Alice, in college, living with her two best friends who are dating, and working at a library where she meets Takumi, who changed her life forever.

    I requested this ARC as a biromantic asexual reviewer because I have never seen those words in any form of media before. N e v e r. When I heard that not only was a book going to be published with a biroace main character, but the main is a queer woman of color, I was sold.

    And for good reason.

    Let’s start with the representation. LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE gets representation right.

    Racial microaggressions are constantly addressed in this novel, primarily through Alice and as well as briefly through Takumi, who is Japanese. As a non-black person of color, I can’t speak firsthand on the representation, but I am aware that the author herself is black making that aspect ownvoices and as a person of color I can attest to some truth to it from my experience. Furthermore, this novel also discusses (though not in these exact words and briefly), how black people have to work twice as hard to get half as far as people with more privilege and that is so true and important to discuss.

    Then we can discuss how this novel also combats gross sexism. Whereas I do not want to go in-depth as to not spoil anyone, let’s just say there’s a party scene with a drunk male that completely brings to light a HUGE issue in our society.

    Finally, this novel gets the queer rep right. I heard that the original manuscript had some issues with the ace rep, but I can say with full confidence that this book had none of those issues with the ace rep and I would even go as far as arguing that it is the best representation I’ve seen. Now I can only speak from my own personal experiences, but Alice often discusses her fears as an alloromantic asexual when it comes to dating which I can relate to so much. There is a specific chapter towards the beginning of this novel where Alice talks in-depth about her struggles with asexuality, including the fears of being alloromantic and asexual as well as the possible reactions from people and the fact that it’s ridiculous that she needs to “come out” because the default believe is that she is heterosexual.

    Now I talk in-depth about the representation, but there is so much more to this novel.

    Can I just take a moment to note how unbelievably well the characters and relationships are developed?

    Though I would it’s arguable that their personalities may fall a slight bit into certain classic contemporary stereotypes, there is so much more to them. I loved how you could tell each character had their own character and they had their own individuality.

    The relationships are developed just as well, if not better. During an emotional encounter between Alice and her best friend, Feenie, I started crying. I started crying because of how realistic this relationship, and all others in this novel, were. And these characters also admit they have flaws. They know they’re not perfect and that is so important.

    I would say that the writing of this novel is a little basic, but I think that’s understandable as it’s a debut. I think the author was really trying to get into a teenager’s head and whereas she did succeed on that front, the writing had a little less “oomph” as a result.

    The journey Alice goes through during this novel is remarkable. The person she is at the end is not the same as the person she starts out as and her story is important. It highlights real aspects of so many other teens and young adults out there.

    I can’t even express to you all what it felt like to see the words “biromantic asexual” in an actual book. I don’t have the ability to express what representation like that for the first time ever means. So you’ll have to see it for yourself by reading the novel.

    Other notes:

    • this novel does confront problematic rhetoric as stated in the representation section, so be aware of that

    • this novel highlights the fact that it is okay to want to be a stay-at-home mom

    • um...read the book when it comes out in January

  • Caleb

    I LOVED THIS

  • Marty :} (thecursedbooks)

    Thanks to Macmillan US for providing me with this copy. This hadn't affected my review/rating in any way.

    I loved every bit of this book.

  • Cait • A Page with a View

    Aaah this is amazing on so many levels. There is a TON of incredible rep, some truly wonderful characters, and the story is so relatable. Everything is just

    .

    Alice is a biromantic asexual college student whose girlfriend breaks up with her because she thinks Alice doesn't love her as much if she doesn't want to have sex. Alice wants a romantic relationship and works through a lot of common questions and struggles with her counselor. Then she meets a cute guy and has to decide if/how she'll

    Aaah this is amazing on so many levels. There is a TON of incredible rep, some truly wonderful characters, and the story is so relatable. Everything is just

    .

    Alice is a biromantic asexual college student whose girlfriend breaks up with her because she thinks Alice doesn't love her as much if she doesn't want to have sex. Alice wants a romantic relationship and works through a lot of common questions and struggles with her counselor. Then she meets a cute guy and has to decide if/how she'll tell him she's asexual and if that will change things.

    I think this is an awesome story everyone will love, but am even more excited for all of the readers who will be able to see themselves in this story! It's realistic, hopeful, funny, emotional, and just so well done.

  • Rachael

    This is a tough review to write. I really wanted to five star this book because it has hella diversity and it was so fun, but there were also some issues with the writing and with Takumi. However, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a book that

    , because it deals with a lot of issues that marginalized people's have to deal with today, while still maintaining a light aura.

    1. The diversity!! The m

    This is a tough review to write. I really wanted to five star this book because it has hella diversity and it was so fun, but there were also some issues with the writing and with Takumi. However, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a book that

    , because it deals with a lot of issues that marginalized people's have to deal with today, while still maintaining a light aura.

    1. The diversity!! The main character is bi and ace and so many of the main and side characters are poc (including the mc and her love interest)!!! This book talked a lot about microagressions towards women, black women, and Japanese men and I learned a lot. It also talked about discrimination against poc and bi and ace people in the lgbt community and how the Internet is a great resource for those who don’t fit the “cis white gay” narrative that seems to be prevalent in a lot of places.

    1.5. I’m not ace, myself, so I can’t really speak on the accuracy of

    's portrayal of ace people, but as far as I could tell, it was good. I learned a lot from it and other ace reviewers have said it’s accurate, so I think it’s definitely a worthwhile read for ace readers and for those who want to learn more about the ace spectrum!

    2. The characters were amazing, and hilarious, and I loved them all. Not only that, but they were all flawed! I got really frustrated with Feenie and Ryan and annoyed at Alice sometimes but I love them all. The relationships were dynamic and well written and I loved the importance placed on platonic and family relationships, and it really emphasized that

    .

    3. The pop culture references. This book was full of them and it was nice and fun to geek out with Alice over all the things. There were all sorts of easter eggs from the big and obvious to the witty ones that were hard to catch. This was a book written by a book nerd for book nerds and I

    4. The humor!! This kind of goes with the pop culture references because some of it relied on the reader’s knowledge and love of television and books, but besides that there were some really funny jokes in there. And all the jokes were kind of wholesome and happy and I feel so warm and fuzzy after finishing this. This book absolutely

    but honestly I am all around

    None of the jokes fell flat for me, and I think it’s because this is the kind of humor that Millennials and Generation Z kids have developed on the Internet. This book had phrases such as

    (in reference to Bubble Guppies) and

    This is the kind of humor that THRIVES with the current generation.

    was the perfect blend between humor and dealing with the hard topics.

    5. Mentioned this briefly, but this book is completely wholesome without being annoyingly so. I can rarely take a book that uses the word “tarnation” seriously, but Alice is the kind of person that can use words like that and that’s

    and it never felt forced or jolting or anything. It also made the friendship between Alice (sweet, loving, adorable) and Feenie (loud, loves to fight, the Mom Friend) even more funny and enjoying to read. I love that trope and I will stand by it until the day I die.

    6. Everyone in this book is

    and it’s

    . Nobody’s really that petty (okay maybe Feenie a little bit) but Alice is over here thinking

    when she sucks at flirting and Takumi thinks he’s dying when he has a cold. It’s amazing.

    1. hmmmmm okay. I liked Takumi in general but there were some weird and kind of creepy moments when I was like wtf? wtf? wtf? wtf? wtf? wtf?

    One of these moments was when the book referred to his budding friendship/relationship with Alice like this:

    That

    threw me off and I was like???? That’s creepy????? And not romantic??? I mean the writing then goes on to talk about how hyenas are actually super cute and totally misunderstood!! But still. When I hear a guy being compared to “a sly, scavenging hyena,” that doesn’t really make me think ‘aw!!!! how romantic!!!’ it makes me think that this man is a creep and he needs to stay far, far away from the main character who I have grown to love and want to protect.

    Another quote that made me uncomfortable with Alice and Takumi’s relationship was this conversation between Alice and Feenie:

    Once again, not romantic, and all-around kind of creepy. Liking someone by default because they don’t give you enough air to breathe is Not Good. And I wasn’t even getting those kind of vibes from Takumi and Alice’s relationship, which makes this quote, honestly, unneeded. It’s a cute relationship with cute development and this quote a) makes Takumi sound like a stalker, which he isn’t; and b) perpetuates the idea that

    .

    So really, there was only one thing I didn’t like, but that was kind of a big thing. But, have no fear, potential reader, all this business with Takumi felt more plot-driven than character-driven, and so I was able to separate it from the rest of the book, if that makes sense. It was mostly stuff in the writing itself instead of something that Takumi actually did. This is still definitely a great, funny read that I would recommend to those looking for something with quirky humor, cute friendships, and lots of diversity.

  • T.

    **Note: I read the free-to-read version of this book that was posted on Swoon Reads, which may not be the final version of the book.**

    **2nd note: I'm removing my one-star rating after seeing reviews saying the problematic stuff has been fixed in the final version of the book. I haven't read the final version myself, though.**

    I really wanted to like this book. A contemporary novel about a black ace girl, written by a black woman (who is also ace, I believe)? Yes! I was so happy and excited that t

    **Note: I read the free-to-read version of this book that was posted on Swoon Reads, which may not be the final version of the book.**

    **2nd note: I'm removing my one-star rating after seeing reviews saying the problematic stuff has been fixed in the final version of the book. I haven't read the final version myself, though.**

    I really wanted to like this book. A contemporary novel about a black ace girl, written by a black woman (who is also ace, I believe)? Yes! I was so happy and excited that this existed. But sadly, I ended up having pretty major problems with it. Basically, I think Takumi treats Alice badly throughout the story, and is allowed to get away with it because he’s the love interest/Alice likes him. This review will mainly focus on that and the portrayal of asexuality. **Spoilers ahead.**

    [TW for discussion of sexual harassment in this paragraph] First, when Takumi is flirting with Alice after he’s just started work, he definitely crosses the line into sexual harassment, asking things like “Want to know what I would do with you? To you?” and getting in her personal space. Which is not an okay way to treat a co-worker, especially when they’ve made it clear that they don’t like it!

    But, somehow, Alice goes from not liking him at all to being best friends with him. I didn’t really understand how they got so close so quickly. What did Alice actually see in him, especially after he was so obnoxious to her? His bad treatment of her continues when he lies to her that he forgot his wallet to get her to come pick him up from a bar. Manipulation is not a good way to start a friendship. And again, he’s being really touchy without having her permission. Later he kisses her on the cheek and then says he’s sorry and that he shouldn’t have invaded her personal space, but this is a pattern with him, doing something like that and then only realizing it might have been an issue afterward, instead of asking permission beforehand. Alice always seems fine with it, though, which bothered me; fiction often portrays a lack of consent as okay, or even romantic, and Alice being okay with Takumi not having her consent before he kisses/touches her plays right into that.

    [Sexual assault TW for this paragraph] Speaking of that issue, I was flat-out horrified when Takumi pushes Alice against the car and kisses her. After they’ve specifically said to each other that they just want to be friends, this is really not okay! Even if Takumi thought Alice liked him, she said she wanted to only be friends, and he should have respected that. He had also said he was okay with being just friends, but apparently that was a lie. At times I was impressed with Alice and Takumi’s level of communication, because fictional relationships tend to not feature very good communication; I liked that they talked about their feelings toward each other and what they wanted their relationship to be like. But then a lot of that turned out to be lies (they actually liked each other all along, and didn’t want to keep their relationship a friendship), which means it wasn’t actually good communication at all.

    [Sexual assault TW for this paragraph] The most disturbing part for me was the sex scene. After they kiss, Takumi orders Alice to get in the car—no asking, just commanding. Her dress scrunches up and she tries to pull it down, but he’s already pushing his hands up her skirt. She tries to say something to him, but he kisses her so she can’t speak. This came across as pushy at best, and rape-y at worst. Especially since Alice isn’t really sure how she feels about this happening. Which makes sense, when Takumi just sprung it on her suddenly and never bothered to ask if she actually wanted it! He even admits this later—“I felt terrible after. We’ve never talked about sex and I thought maybe I pushed you too far”—which, as I said before, is a pattern with him; he does something invasive, and only later realizes he should have asked Alice’s permission beforehand.

    Later, when they actually are going to talk about their relationship, Takumi continues being awful by putting off the actual talking because he’d rather just kiss Alice. She literally keeps saying “We should talk” and he’s basically just like, “Nope, I’d rather kiss you.” And again, Alice lets him get away with this, because it’s supposedly romantic I guess? And when they actually do finally talk, Alice ends up having to reassure him that him pushing her into sex wasn’t a problem. She literally has to comfort him, because he can’t handle the thought that he might have done something wrong.

    I also was just confused about Alice’s asexuality and her feelings of attraction. At the end, she says she had sex with Takumi because he wanted it, but in the moment, we’re told, “This was happening. And she didn’t want to stop.” She tells Takumi “You’re attractive to me,” which I thought was her saying she’s realized she does feel sexual attraction toward him, but then the next thing she says is that she doesn’t care about having sex with him. And she says she was fine that they had sex, but then she says she doesn’t want to have sex just for him and doesn’t want to feel like sex is something she has to do. So there seemed to be a lot of contradictions, and I just wasn’t sure how Alice actually felt.

    It ended up kind of feeling like her asexuality was just a device to keep her and Takumi from becoming a couple sooner, instead of like this was an authentic exploration of what it’s like to date as an asexual person. I also was bothered that our ace protagonist experiences arousal-on-first-sight toward the guy who ends up becoming her love interest; exploring the idea that arousal doesn’t equal attraction is good, but it basically read as “he’s so hot even an ace girl’s body responds to him”. And her going along with sex because he wants it (if that is in fact how we’re supposed to read the sex scene), with zero communication about it between them, just felt icky.

    If this was a romance novel featuring two allosexual characters, I would be disappointed by all this stuff—lack of consent is *not* sexy/romantic, not matter what your orientation—but not surprised. However, I am somewhat surprised to see all of these problematic aspects in a book about an ace character. I would have expected someone familiar with the ace community to handle things like consent, for instance, in a much better way. But it seems like the story was basically trying to be a typical romance novel—strong attraction at first sight, sudden passionate sex, “let’s not talk, I’d rather kiss you”—with an ace character, and maybe some aces will appreciate that, but it really did not work for me. I want more stories about asexual people, but I don’t want them to fall into problematic tropes or put ace characters into disturbing situations in the name of romance.

  • Anja V

    this is right out of my dreams

  • enqi ✨ (high lady of the night court)

    a book with a

    oh my god sign me UP

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