I love Alice Oseman’s writing!
I’ve been following Alice Oseman on Instagram and Twitter for years and as soon as I heard about Loveless, especially that it centres around an aro-ace protagonist, I knew I had to pick it up.
I’ve never read a book about an aro-ace character and I have been so conditioned to expect a romance in just about every novel I pick up, it’s refreshing to know that this one will have a different focus.
Blurb It was all sinking in. I’d never had a crush on anyone. No boys, no girls, not a single person I had ever met. What did that mean? Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush – but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day. As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight. But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic – Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever. Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along?
I do not identify as asexual or aromantic. When I say that I relate to some thoughts or feeling Georgia has, it’s because I thought boys were gross until I was 18 (aka I was a sheltered child).
This novel dragged my arse all the way back to my final year at high school and forced me to reflect on my experience and what I knew about sexuality then compared to now.
In high school, I had never even heard of the words aromantic or asexual, and when I did, I had completely no fucking idea what they meant! The only sexualities I was aware of were straight, gay or lesbian. There was no awareness or education about ace-aro or other sexualities and I wasn’t that socially aware enough to even be searching for them. Expanding my social circle and by extension, the books I was reading really helped me to gain knowledge in these areas.
Picking up Loveless – or really any of Alice Oseman’s novels – has been a beautiful break from all the expected romantic tropes that are in just about every novel. Whether it’s an unnecessary subplot or the entire story arc, there is always romance. Loveless also opened my eyes to realise how much we expect romance and sex to play a part in the content we consume, despite how unnecessary it is.
One thing I really want to point out is that going into this novel knowing that Georgia, our main character, is asexual and aromantic in a way ruins the experience of her self-discovery journey. Throughout the entire novel, I kept waiting for Georgia to finally just know that she is aro-ace! This knowledge in a way ruined the experience of Georgia’s self-discovery journey. But I guess this can’t be helped in terms of marketing the novel, etc. I just wanted to mention this fact in case you were expecting Georgia to immediately know who she is and why she feels the way she does.
That being said, I was so surprised by how raw and real Georgia’s point of view really was. I’ve never read a book like this before and some of the thoughts that Georgia was voicing, especially about her perceived expectations of herself and desires towards the end of high school were so relatable to me. As someone who had never really been interested in anyone until the later part of year twelve but always felt that pressure too, in the end, longing for a boyfriend just to fit in.
I think some of the things in this book are just so perfect for a high schooler to read and understand that they are not weird or broken just because they don’t want or feel something that people are saying they should feel.
Loveless, in my opinion, serves a few purposes as a novel. It first and foremost aims to provide a sense of belonging, self-discovery and understanding to those who are aro-ace and/ or questioning, and also educate those who don’t truly understand.
As someone who has always been drawn to a strong female protagonist, if this book and others like it were around when I was at school, I for sure would have read it and loved it. Certainly loved it as much as I do now. It’s books like these that truly change my life and perspective.
★ Rating ★
Pick up Loveless, even if you’re just looking for a book to break up the monotony of all of those novels with romance and romantic subplots (I’m looking especially at the book where the romance is completely unnecessary to the plot).
Maybe you’re looking for education or self-discovery, or a book full of raw emotion. Whatever it is, Loveless is seriously worth the read, time and money spent on it. It truly deserves is a ★★★★★ novel.
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