Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Complex and Feel-Good: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

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Complex and Feel-Good: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Let's Talk About Love
Claire Kann
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, YA
Publication date: Jan 23rd, 2018
by Swoon Reads

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Alice is secretly asexual, and that’s the least important thing about her.

She’s a college student, has a great job, amazing friends, and is fine being single—nope, that’s a lie. Alice wants rom com-grade romance: feels, cuddling, kissing, and swoons galore—as long as it doesn't lead to having sex.

After her last relationship ends with soul-crushing parting words from her ex, Alice swears off relationships for good. Stick a fork in her, she’s done. Everyone Alice tries to date is so sure love and sex have to go together, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to convince them otherwise.

But when Alice experiences instant attraction for the first time with her coworker Takumi, she doesn’t know what to do. If Alice tells him the truth, it can only end in heartache. But there’s something about Takumi that makes him worth the risk…
-A copy was provided by Swoon Reads for review-

Let’s Talk About Love surprised me. I went in expecting good vibes and it still blew my expectations out of the water. It is NOT a perfect book, I am nitpicky and its hard for books to be perfect for me, but Let’s Talk About Love is damn well a fantastic read that is worth your time.

Do you love a feel-good romance that will sweep you off your feet? Do you love reading about friendships that have true-to-life complexity? Do you love some angst (the good kind)? Let’s Talk About Love is an ode to not just romantic love but all kinds of love, it explores the complexities of all kinds of relationships and it’s just a GOOD BOOK.

So why am I a nit picky bastard? Well because I am. And please note that even though I am a nit picky bastard, I still love this book and don’t think any of these things ruin it. For one, the book takes place in a library, which is super cute, but there are a lot of moments when a career in that field is dismissed as being easy and something to do if you cannot do anything else. In most cases this wouldn’t even be an issue, I wouldn’t care, except that I am super passionate about libraries and it sucked that that’s how characters felt about a career that is so vital and important in the age of information.

My other issue (which isn’t a non-issue like my previous one) was that we don’t really like anything about Takumi. He has complex feelings and emotions but sometimes, he felt like a cardboard cutout because he had no depth. He has a backstory involving a girlfriend but we never find out much else about him. He has nieces that make an appearance but at the same time, we never see him have a relationship with anyone else but Alice. I don’t think he is a cardboard cutout in the sense that he is a bland character, he is absolutely not. I just wish that more of his identity wasn’t inherently tied to Alice’s journey.

Alice on the other hand is a the furthest thing from a cardboard cutout. She is 19 years old and in college. Her parents want her to be a lawyer and she doesn’t really want that. She works on understanding the spectrum of her sexual identity and figuring out what labels work for her. She also struggles with the changing relationship between her and her two bffs (who are dating.) The way she is characterized in the novel is authentic and resembles the experience of someone in college. Her story feels real and she feels real.

The romance is crucial and important within the novel but in the context of how it defines Alice and her coming of age. Romance is unfortunately dismissed a lot in general but I think for many people, it can be an important aspect of a coming of age. And that is what it is in this book. It is swoony, angsty and so so sweet.

Lets Talk About Love is an important book for many reasons. For one, it is one of few books out there that has a qpoc main character and for another, its one of the few books out there with a bi-romantic, ace character. I hope that it won’t be one of the few books representing a vastly underrepresented group of people in the long run. In the meantime, IF YOU LOVE yourself a swoony romance and lots of other great relationships, read Let’s Talk About Love.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

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Rashika has been tired since 2013. There are very few things that spark joy for her besides a nice cup of tea, warm, baked goods, good books and good TV shows. She is here to pile onto your giant TBRs and to-watch lists. Offer her a cookie and she might be nice to you.

9 Responses to “Complex and Feel-Good: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann”

    • Rashika

      IT HONESTLY IS! The author takes so much time developing all these relationships and I really enjoyed that! Hope you like the book too, Morgan! 🙂

  1. Jamie

    I only found out about this book recently and I’m a little sad I missed the blog tours, this book sounds phenomenal! I love the bi-romantic Ace rep and I definitely can’t wait to read it. Great review!

  2. Kelly

    That’s such a shame considering a librarian is such an important position and not someone just shelving books. They’re incredibly well read, educated individuals. The book sounds incredible and I love that the focus is on relationships beyond romantic love. And so refreshing to see in New adult as well. I’ll be grabbing a copy as soon as possible, absolutely brilliant review Rashika, perfection <3 <3

    • Rashika

      I know right? Librarians don’t even shelve books! That’s not part of their job, LOL. I could write an essay about this, tbh because I have so many feelings. I feel like a twat for picking on this minuscule detail but we live in a time, especially in the US, where people just actively refute facts and librarians are fact keepers essentially. So I HAVE FEELINGS.

      It definitely is so refreshing to see a NA character written in ways that are outside of what is norm for the genre.

      Thanks, lovely <3 <3 <3