By now, everyone knows who Alice Oseman is. The person who created the LGBTQ graphic novel series, Heartstopper, recently a popular Netflix series (Recently being 2022).
In 2021, Osman wrote Loveless, the story of Georgia, who doesn’t understand why she has no immediate need for a romantic partner, nor finds the concept of dating or kissing interesting at all.
Going into university with her two best friends, Pip and Jason, Georgia is determined to start fresh. But University comes with a whole new set of problems, new drama, new friends, and most of all an explanation of why she’s always felt like an outsider in her family and friends.
This is a YA story and it’s based in the UK so already there are two things that are not in my wheelhouse. But I wanted to read this because a friend of mine, the wonderful Jo Lello (tiktok), talked about this story because the main character is asexual and aromantic. I didn’t read Heartless (don’t come after me!) so I walked into an Alice Oseman story with completely fresh eyes. Which, I felt, was probably the way to walk into this.
Georgia was completely believable. Asexuality and aromantics are parts of the LGBTQ+ spectrum that are rarely talked about and often dismissed as not really being on the spectrum. Because of this, there aren’t very many people to look up to, especially if family and friends don’t really understand it either. So, the fact that it took half the book before Georgia discovered there was a name for what she was feeling was both realistic and made her a more understanding character. I loved that the one person nobody expected, Georgia’s roommate Rooney, is the one person who ended up being so completely behind Georgia when she realized her orientation had a name. Georgia was a person the reader can understand, can sympathize with, can cheer for, especially when she discovers what kind of love she wants.
While I felt there were times when Oseman wanted to run off the track and focus on the side relationship of Pip and Rooney. That she had to force herself back into telling Georgia’s story, I still enjoyed it. I felt this was probably a story that a person who was truly ace should have told. Because it was a romance, just not the one Oseman wanted to tell, I think. It was Georgia’s platonic love story and Georgia utterly deserved her story. She deserved not to be the witness to the side love story. And it’s sad that happened more than once. There’s even a small story in the back of this book surrounding the two side characters and if that isn’t proof that this wasn’t the story Georgia deserved, I don’t know what it.
Like I said, I did like the story. I just think Georgia deserved more.
But if you liked Heartstoppers, you’ll probably like this as well.
Another week down and another week closer to the end of the year. October is coming and with it spooky season. So grab your pumpkin drinks, you cozy sweaters and curl up with a good book.