Let’s Talk About Love
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 23rd 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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.
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Claire Kann hails from the glorious Bay Area where the weather is regrettably not nearly as temperate as it used to be. She has a BA in English/Creative Writing from Sonoma State University, works for a nonprofit that you may have heard of where she daydreams like she’s paid to do it. LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE is her debut novel.
Have you ever started reading a book and within the first few chapters gotten a warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of your stomach? This feeling could mean many different things in the world of reading but for me, it signaled right off the bat that I was going to love this book no matter what lay ahead in the story. This may sound super cliche, but you should always trust your gut feelings, because I was right and enjoyed reading every minute of Alice Whitley’s story and her journey to finding love.
Not only did I have an immediate reaction when first reading this book but, this book is also the most diverse read I have read in a while. Alice Whitley is a sophomore in college who, within the first few pages of the book, gets dumped by her girlfriend Margot who also happens to be her roommate. This moment is not only devastating for Alice but also extremely awkward. The reason why Margot broke up with Alice is because, after Margot accuses her of never being able to desire her sexually, Alice admits to Margot that she is asexual. Not only is Alice asexual but she is also a women of color as well as bisexual. The amount of representation found in Alice alone was not only surprising but also completely refreshing. It is one of the reasons why I enjoyed this book so much.
While I am unable to connect with Alice in regards to her sexuality and ethnicity, it was her personality that sometimes made me feel like we were long lost friends. Her Cutie Code, which helps her assess how attractive she finds someone aesthetically, is a variation of what I have done with my friends since high school. While the reasoning behind my “code” is because, as my friends put it, I’m a little boy crazy (and still am), it was this similarity that allowed me to understand and relate to Alice even if our sexualities are different. In addition to that, Alice’s love of binge-watching TV shows and how she used that to sometimes cope with what was going on in the world around her is another reason why I related to her so strongly because I am literally the exact same way. Seriously, when she talks about wanting to lose herself in the fifth season of Supernatural and “pass out once her serotonin levels overloaded on the cutie patootie badass with the biggest heart named Dean Winchester”, I have never related so much to a character in my entire life. Oh, and the fact that she is working at a library over the summer and I currently work at a library just sealed the deal even more.
Ok, enough about my fangirling over Alice and how much we are alike. As was mentioned above, this book is about Alice’s journey to finding love as well as herself. After the breakup with Margot, you see Alice struggle to understand why sex is so important when it comes to love as if it is a requirement for someone to be able to say that they love someone.
“Love shouldn’t hinge solely on exposing your physical body to another person. Love was intangible. Universal. It was whatever someone wanted it to be and should be respected as such. For Alice, it was staying up late and talking about nothing and everything and anything because you don’t want to sleep–you’d miss them too much. It was catching yourself smiling at them because wow, how does this person exist?? before they caught you. It was the intimacy of shared secrets. The comfort of unconditional acceptance. It was a confidence in knowing no matter what happened that person would always be there for you.”
That is my favorite passage in the whole book. The words said above are so simple and I have probably either heard or said them at least a few times in my life but seeing them printed just made them so much more profound that I am pretty sure I had a mini epiphany while I was reading it. Anyone can relate to these words regardless of what their sexuality is and that speaks so much to how wonderful this book is.
Let’s Talk About Love has so much more that I could gush about but we would be here forever, trust me. All I can say is that you should read this book. It is a diverse read with a super relatable main character, extremely loyal side characters, and an adorable romance. I can’t believe this is Claire Kann’s debut novel, but I can’t wait to see what she has in store next.