Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Title: Let’s Talk About Love
Author: Claire Kann
Series: N/A
Pages: 288
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: January 23rd 2018

      “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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“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.”

Claire Kann’s debut, Let’s Talk About Love is as delightful as its protagonist. When Alice’s girlfriend breaks it off with her after finding out she’s asexual, Alice isn’t sure if she ever wants to try love again. She has enough on her plate with feeling like the third wheel yet again in her trio of friends and pressure from her family to go to law school. When Alice’s new coworker catches her eye, she begins to question if keeping herself cut off from romantic connections is the best thing. But her track record guarantees that Takumi is not likely to understand her sexual orientation, so it’s best that they remain friends, right?

Alice is truly the star of this novel. She’s Black, biromantic, and asexual. While she is comfortable with her sexual identity, Alice has kept it kind of a secret because of how people have reacted in the past. Most people do not take the time to understand that Alice, while experiencing romantic attraction, doesn’t experience sexual attraction. Alice is an incredibly soft person who develops deep connections with people and when these people let her down, it hurts her so much more than it ought to. I am full of affection for this young woman and felt so protective of her. I loved how thoughtful she could be and all her quirky niche interests.

The progression of Alice’s relationship with Takumi was so rewarding to read. She’s very flustered around him at first because she isn’t quite sure what to make of her attraction to him. It makes for some fun and awkward moments between the two. Takumi is sweet, caring, and patient. One of my favorite things about their relationship is their conversations. They are never perfunctory, but always full of depth and openness between the two that made me like them more both as individual characters and as a potential couple. There is such ease and rapport between the two that made me smile.

Alice’s is also navigating her relationship with her family and particularly with her mother and sister, who both insist that Alice pursue a career in law. As a college student, Alice is just beginning to learn what freedom is like and isn’t so sure that this is the path she wants to take. She is also part of a tight-knit trio of friends. Feenie and Ryan have been one of the most important parts of her life. They’ve done everything together, but recently Alice has felt left out. Feenie and Ryan have been serious for a while and ultimately plan to get married. I loved how complex these relationships were and sometimes they were great and sometimes they were messy. I felt that the novel was touching on the toxicity of co-dependent relationships, but wasn’t quite sure because of the way the conflict between Feenie and Alice was handled in the end. I’m still not convinced that Feenie was the best person for Alice to have in her life and more than once wished she had dumped her.

Claire Kann’s Let’s Talk About Love oozes charm with its endearing protagonist and a love story that will make you squee.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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