Let’s Talk About Love is a young adult romance about a young woman named Alice who has a crush on a boy, doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up, and is an on-again, off-again fight with her best friend.
While I found this book frustratingly slow at times, there were a number of things I liked about it. In particular I liked…
- …the diversity. Both the main character and her love interest are people of color. Alice is a young African-American woman in college and Takumi is a slightly older Japanese American man working towards becoming a teacher.
- …that the Alice works at a library part-time. In fact, the library is where she meets Takumi.
- …that I got to learn something new. Let’s Talk About Love was a gentle introduction to asexuality and biromanticism, two things I have only recently become aware of.
- … the intersectionality – Not only does this story feature POC characters but the main character is an African-American woman who is also asexual and biromantic and all of her identities contribute to who she is and pose their own set of issues.
- …that the story acknowledges micro aggressions and other crap that people of color constantly deal with.
- …the acknowledgement of the struggle of being the only one or the first one. Alice struggles over how to handle telling people about her asexuality. She is happy in her identity but at the same time doesn’t want to have to constantly explain herself to people. She doesn’t want this one thing – her sexuality – to be the characteristic that defines her in people’s eyes. That felt honest.
Overall, I enjoyed this although it was slow at points. While an interesting character, Alice is also immature and her immaturity got old pretty quickly. Her go-to solution for dealing with any problem is to run away and avoid it. There is a long stretch of book where it is mostly Alice finding ways to avoid her family and friends. On the upside, it allows her to spend more time with Takumi.
Speaking of Takumi, I wanted more from him. Or I would love to read another book from the point of view of a character like him. Alice tells a story from her high school years when her and a bunch of girls created profiles on a dating app and then had a contest to see which of them attract the most boys. One of the White girls in the group tells Alice she will probably lose because Black women, along with Asian men, are considered the least desirable in the dating world. Now the main love story of this book involves a Black woman who is asexual and an Asian man. At one point Alice tells Takumi in all honesty although she really likes him romantically she is not interested in having sex with him. I wanted to know more about how he felt, particularly in light of story Alice told earlier.
Let’s Talk About Love is Claire Kann’s first novel. She did pretty good her first time out. It was definitely worth the read and I look forward to reading he next book.