Book Review: “Let’s Talk About Love” by Claire Kann

Photographer: Gabby Bach

Photographer: Gabby Bach

Written by Gabby Bach, A&E Writer

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The asexuality representation in this book is phenomenally developed and well-stated. The characters within this novel are entirely three dimensional and human to the core. The dialogue contains a nice balance of humor and seriousness that allows for a continual flow of plot. There is nothing more that I could ask for from author Claire Kann’s debut.

There are so many quotes within this novel that I found myself flagging because they perfectly summed up everything that I knew and understood about asexuality. When the readers meet Alice, she is currently going through a break-up with her girlfriend that is having a hard time understanding why Alice does not reciprocate her emotional attraction. After this experience, Alice swears of dating until she meets a co-worker, Takumi. She strongly feels drawn to him, but is also coming to terms with her identification as a bi-romantic asexual. It is made clear to the reader that Alice feels isolated within her identity. Throughout the novel, Alice feels lost that there is so many people that do not grasp the manner she processes her emotional and sexual attractions.

There are so many beautiful lines in this book that perfectly help explain asexuality for those that may not understand it. Because as much as we may not like it, the reality is that many are uneducated about this type of identification because it is not as easy to pinpoint as many others. Reading a novel that takes the time to fully explain, with ease and clarity, the mindset of someone that identifies as “ace” was entirely refreshing and wholesome.

A contemporary novel cannot be successful without its characters. Their mannerisms, thoughts, identities and emotions all impact the course of the story and how they respond to the developing plot. As a reader, I need to feel that I can pull the characters out of the novel and visualize them within the real world. Kann perfectly accomplishes this task. I fell in love with each of the characters, not only because of the way they interact with one another, but because they each feel as if they are truly there own living persona.

My favorite character was Dr. Burris, the counselor Alice comes to in order to discuss some of her private issues with her identity. Although he is a more minor character, every time he appeared on the page Dr. Burris reminded me of some of my favorite teachers.  The scenes between him and Alice are some of my favorites because it produces the most honest and raw dialogue in the discussion of asexuality and the plethora of other conflicts Alice experiences throughout the novel. Based on the way his character was crafted, it is almost impossible to read from him and not immediately think of an influential adult figure within your own life. This truly says something about the manner that Kann is able to craft all her characters, big and small.

Let’s Talk About Love presents a truly honest depiction of what it is like to come into one’s skin as an asexual. The characters and dialogue help to truly reinforce this theme, while allowing the readers to connect to the story in their own unique ways. Kann’s debut is a masterpiece that highlights what it is like to love- whatever that means to you.

*As I am on the Teenreads board, my full review can be found on www.teenreads.com. Permission was given by the head of the board to be transferred to the Porter Press.

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Book Review: “Let’s Talk About Love” by Claire Kann