Loveless by Alice Oseman
Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books on July 20th, 2020
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Young Adult
“Give your friendships the magic you would give a romance. Because they’re just as important. Actually, for us, they’re way more important.”
I heard this book was going to be important in representation for the LGBTQIA community and I enjoyed reading Alice Oseman’s Radio Silence, so I knew I had to pick this up.
In Loveless, Georgia is sure she’ll find her person one day. But until then, she’s never been in love, never kissed anyone, and never even had a crush.
When she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a town far away from home, Georgia is ready to find romance. It appears that her dream is in sight because she’s got her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society.
But her romance plan goes awry and wreaks havoc amongst her friends. Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to wonder why love comes so easy for other people but not for her. While she’s discovering new terms to label sexuality, Georgia is more uncertain of her feelings than ever.
If we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, I would’ve loved to read this book by the pool or at the beach.
This isn’t a beach read by any means, but Oseman does such a fantastic job at writing her younger characters as real people.
None of the dialogue feels stunted and it never feels awkward or cringey when she slips in slang terms that the youths use.
Since Oseman is so good at creating three dimensional characters, it never feels like an after-school special when she’s discussing difficult topics. And there are a ton addressed in this book! Conversations and inner dialogue feels relatable even to people who are long out of the “new to uni” part of their life.
I follow a few creators who identify as aromantic and/or asexual, but I have no personal experience with this identifier. So from my perspective, I thought this book did a great job explaining the terms within the narrative.
You can feel Georgia’s discomfort as she tries to figure herself out and I appreciated that Oseman didn’t gloss over this.
She never invalidates Georgia’s feelings, and she never invalidates the feelings of other characters, too.
Everybody is figuring themselves out and should be given the safe space to do so.
The book I read before this was called Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close. I really appreciate literature going into depth about the importance of friendships. It’s an intimate relationship that many of us experience in life, yet it’s so rarely talked about on its own.
The scenes I loved the most in Loveless were with Georgia and her friends. She has such a great group of friends that I think all of us would be jealous of!
The only negative thing I have to say about this book is that it dragged quite a bit in the middle. The Shakespeare Society was fun to read at first, but I think too much time was given to it. But other than that, this was a very quick read!
Again, I can’t speak to the accuracy of Oseman’s portrayal of being aromantic and/or asexual. But I did feel like I learned a lot, and I think this book would be helpful to others.
It’s a step forward in representation, and I hope people find comfort reading this book!