“Sex is a normal part of life. We’re all sexual beings.” And all I could think was, Not me, why not me.
When I asked for recommendations of books with asexual characters, my friends really did help me out. This is just the first I’m reading of them and I fully plan on reading more at some point.
This book, basically, follows Natasha (who goes by Tash) Zelenka and her rise to fame. Along with some family, friend, and romance problems. I’m not a YA person in the least, so most of my complaints stem from that aspect. I think that this book offers great representation for a little talked about part of the LGBT+ community. Hell, I thought the A in LGBTQIA stood for “ally” until I was in high school and realized that I’m ace.
At times, this book felt like reading a textbook about asexuality, especially when Tash went on her angsty rants at her friends for not understanding her or it. There were times when I cringed over those rants. I mean, I’ve known I was ace since I was 15 and I’m 21 one now. When Tash just went on and on about the differences between sexual attraction and physical attraction, or sexual attraction and romantic feelings I just wanted to shout because I know all of this. There were some acephobic characters in the book, reflecting common beliefs and thoughts people have about asexuality. So, for someone who is open to the ace community and doesn’t know a lot or even perhaps holds some of those views, this is a great introduction.
For the romance, there wasn’t too much. It was hinted at and gradually introduced throughout the book. Tash and Thom’s relationship was sweet until it wasn’t, which I can’t discuss too much because of spoilers. Then, full disclosure, there is a love triangle. It’s not disgusting or in your face and full of insta-love, so thank gods for that, but it was there. Didn’t annoy me and I sort of enjoyed it. It wasn’t horrible.
The characters, at times, didn’t feel fully fleshed out. Probably because there were a lot of them and most were background characters. Tash, for me, was annoying sometimes. I didn’t hate her, but she wasn’t my favorite. It was just all the angst that did me in. There were also things — such as her vegetarianism or Buddhism — that were great to toss in, but it didn’t add anything to her character. Probably because I know quite a bit about Buddhism and, well, it didn’t ring quite true to me.
As for the plot, it was good but wasn’t the best. I liked it when it was purely about the YouTube series rather than her relationships and friendships. I’m just so past high school by now that it usually annoys me when all of the characters are obviously in high school. It shows good writing by the author, but, for me, it comes down to personal preference. I love conversations about identity, but ones that are quiet and honest rather than angsty shouting matches.
What I’m left with is a book that I liked but didn’t love, and one that I would recommend but I wouldn’t read it again. Certainly better for people around the ages of the characters and for people who don’t know a lot about asexuality.