Author: Claire Kann

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

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

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I received this book for free from Swoon Reads in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Complex and Feel-Good: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire KannLet's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Published by Swoon Reads on Jan 23rd, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, YA
Source: Swoon Reads
Buy on Amazon

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…

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.


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