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.
I was really excited about reading this book because asexuality is something you barely see in YA (I think it might’ve been in one other book-which unfortunately was no bueno). I don’t know much about the subject, so this book was fairly educational for me, which is good. However, while I read it I was currently how the book would be received from an Ace perspective-so I am going to keep my eyes out for reviews in the future.
That aside, I really didn’t care for this book that much. I think it was hit by the curse known as Swoon Reads. I swear I do not have luck with this imprint, which is a shame because they probably have some of the best premises going in the market. The execution of these books though…
I don’t know why this one was labeled as YA. Clearly, it is NA minus the cringe worthy sex. And honestly, I don’t think the sex in NA makes it NA. More or less the fact that the characters are in college makes it NA. Still though, I guess since this book was really light on the sex they should label it YA?
Light on sex might be a misnomer. There is a lot of talk about sex and love, BUT as far as people getting in other people’s pants scenes it was fairly minimal. Still though, the classification to me is confusing at best.
I think I’ve been mentioning it a lot lately, but a good contemporary is only as strong as its characters. Here, I did not feel any connection to Alice whatsoever. I first thought maybe it’s because it’s in third point of view and it would just take a little bit more time to get into Alice’ head. But nope, nope, nope, nope. I couldn’t really feel her as a character even by the end of this story.
She just didn’t seem fully formed. Kahn tried to make her your typical TV obsessed YA/NA protagonist complete with Supernatural obsession. She also had a Cutie scale which I thought was juvenile, but did I feel this character when it came to her issues…not really.
Even her relationship with Takumi while cute didn’t really seem that emotional to me. It was more like he’s cute but can I have a relationship with him because I’m asexual and that was pretty much the crux of the issue. And by the end of the book my eyes were just glazing over.
This book just barely touched the surface on a lot of surfaces, which is sad because it had a lot of potential. I wanted more interactions with Alice in her family. I wanted her best friend’s backstory more fully developed. I wanted more interactions with her ex. I wanted to see Alice and Takumi’s relationship evolve and develop. But by the time I finished reading this book, it just seemed like there was more telling than showing in this book which was sad.
So, I’m really on the fence about recommending this one. As someone who doesn’t know much about asexuality, I thought this was fairly informative. But not being Ace myself I’m not sure exactly how good the rep is-again, will need to keep my eye out for future reviews. I liked the fact that it showed that an Ace person could have a satisfying relationship with a person that to me is always a misconception, like sex is the primary focus of a relationship (uh, no, it’s just part of a relationship) and so I liked the book because it tackled that issue. I also liked how much diversity was in this novel and how it didn’t feel like it was there merely for tokenism purposes. HOWEVER I just felt disconnected to this book and felt that so many things were underdeveloped.
So, that leaves to a very awkward ending to this review. On one hand, I want to say that it’s informative and that’s why (if any reason) you should check it out BUT again I really don’t feel like I’m the person who should say that it’s informative than not. And if it’s not really informative the only other trait it really has going for it is its cover and I really don’t know if that’s reason enough to buy the book.
Overall Rating: I’m going to be generous and give this one a C. Honestly though, it could be in the D range. It barely held my interest (unfortunately).