Contemporary, Young Adult

[Review] Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann


Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Publisher: SwoonReads (Jan 23, 2018)

Alice is secretly asexual, and that’s the least important thing about her.

She’s a college student, has a great job, amazing friends, and is fine being single—nope, that’s a lie. Alice wants rom com-grade romance: feels, cuddling, kissing, and swoons galore—as long as it doesn’t lead to having sex.

After her last relationship ends with soul-crushing parting words from her ex, Alice swears off relationships for good. Stick a fork in her, she’s done. Everyone Alice tries to date is so sure love and sex have to go together, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to convince them otherwise.

But when Alice experiences instant attraction for the first time with her coworker Takumi, she doesn’t know what to do. If Alice tells him the truth, it can only end in heartache. But there’s something about Takumi that makes him worth the risk…

I’d like to thank Macmillan USA International for sending me an ARC of Let’s Talk About Love for review.

Rating 2.5

Prior to reading Let’s Talk About Love, I have never really come across books that centre on asexual characters, let alone reading a book that is based on the experiences of an asexual protagonist. Determined to learn more about ace (asexual) characters, I dived into Claire Kann’s Let’s Talk About Love.

Note: I am not sure how accurate the asexual representation is in the published version of Let’s Talk About Love because there are reviews on Goodreads stating that the pre-published version has a few issues dealing with the protagonist, Alice’s asexuality.

Let’s Talk About Love is Claire Kann’s debut novel under the imprint SwoonReads—if you are familiar with the imprint, you would know that they published cutesy, romantic stories that are completely swoonworthy—and Let’s Talk About Love is no different from the rest of the imprint’s much-enjoyed titles.

Right from the start, Let’s Talk About Love proved to be a promising read because I liked the direction where Alice’s story was going: she breaks up with her girlfriend and things end pretty badly, she meets cinnamon roll Takumi who is not only adorable but he’s also very likeable, she gets confused by her attraction towards Takumi but isn’t sure how she could react to those feelings.

Reading Let’s Talk About Love was very informative and I did learn a lot about asexuality from reading Alice’s experience, who already knew that she was ace and her openness to explore her sexuality. Aside from the asexual rep, the book also discusses themes such as a racial prejudice as Alice is black. The book also touches a bit on Alice’s experience as a woman of colour, especially there is a part in the book where Alice is forced to deal with a guy’s advances at a party.

The romance in Let’s Talk About Love is adorable and fluffy. If you’re looking for some sweet romance and cutesy banter, then you should pick this one up. I liked the chemistry between Alice and Takumi who is an loveable cinnamon roll—I know I’ve said it already but it bears repeating! Not only is Let’s Talk About Love an account of Alice’s discovery of her sexuality and attraction towards Takumi, it is also a book that explores friendship and I liked that Alice and her best friend Feenie had a strong relationship, even though there were some moments where their friendship hit a snag.

Okay, we should talk about the writing. Granted, this is a YA novel and I did bear in mind that Let’s Talk About Love was written for teens and young adults, but something about the writing style did bother me as I was reading the book. Here’s why I felt weird about reading Let’s Talk About Love, particularly the writing style because Alice is a college student as are her friends, but the narratives and the way they sound didn’t seem to fit their age. However, I think this could be overlooked because I am a twenty-something Malaysian and maybe I don’t know how kids sound like these days.

All in all, I did enjoy some parts of Let’s Talk About Love but overall, I felt like there wasn’t much going on, except for the process of Alice finding out more about her sexuality and the budding romance between her and Takumi. At times, I struggled to keep reading, mainly because I wasn’t connected to the characters or the fact that the writing style didn’t really appeal to me.

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