What is up book nerds. This post isn’t going to have a lot of introduction because I am SO excited about it, so lets go.
If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I am a complete and total Alice Oseman stan. Like, I am Nick and Charlie Trash Number 1, Tori Spring’s biggest fan, the whole shebang. So obviously I’ve been ridiculously excited for Loveless, Alice’s newest novel, to come out. I picked my copy up on Tuesday, started it Tuesday night at about 9:30, and finished it just before 1am. Honestly, I couldn’t put it down. I can’t remember the last book that I stayed up reading because I just had to know what was going to happen, so that should give you a hint at what I thought…
Loveless focuses on Georgia Warr, heading off to Durham Uni with her two best friends, Pip and Jason, and desperate to get rid of her “never been kissed” status. Only problem is, the one time that almost happened – with long term “crush” Tommy – she felt nothing but revulsion. So, with the help of new roommate, the romantically experienced, not at all emotionally messed up Rooney, she sets of trying to find out if love really is in her future.
I don’t know if this is a spoiler or not, but Loveless revolves around Georgia discovering what “asexual” and “aromantic” mean and if/how they apply to her. For those of you who don’t know, “asexual” means someone who feels little to no sexual attraction, and “aromantic” means someone who doesn’t experience romantic attraction. Some people are both, some people are one or the other, some people who identify as aromantic or asexual are straight, some are gay, some are bi. This is perfectly embodied by Sunil, Georgia’s “college parent”, president of Pride Soc, my sweet child, and Georgia’s introduction to sexualities other than the the “common” ones of Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual. As a member of one of these mainstream queer orientations (is that a thing? it feels like a thing but it also feels very, very wrong.) I’ve always been in that more accepted category of queerness and never really had to fight to have my sexuality accepted/acknowledged by the community but that’s not the case for ace-aro people, which Alice again deals with amazingly, by introducing Lloyd, the cis white gay former Pride Soc leader who’s upset about, amongst other things, the inclusion of queer people past the LGBT part of the community, and seems to believe that aro-ace people don’t belong (NB: They totally do, Lloyd is a dick and deserves bad things to happen to him, please ignore his trash opinions because he is trash). I hope it goes without saying, but this kind of gate keeping can do one, because Pride is about more than just being a cis white gay guy who likes getting drunk, and if you disagree, you need to learn more about Pride and how it started.
Georgia coming to terms with her asexuality and aromanticism is only half of the story though. One of the biggest takeaways is that friendships are just as important and deserving of cultivation and attention as romantic relationships are. Georgia, Pip and Jason are a little tripod, always there for each other, comfortable and cozy in the way a sofa that you’ve sat in for hours to the point its formed a crease in the shape of your butt is. And that’s amazing. No qualifiers, not “that’s amazing… for a friendship”. Just amazing, and important. And that, to me, was what Alice was saying; yeah, romantic relationships are important if that’s what you’re into, but your friendships are just as vital to being happy. Is there drama? Yes. Do people make mistakes? Yes. Does this matter in the end because people learn to use their words and actually communicate in a healthy way? Yes.
Loveless is a literal love letter to the importance and power of friendship, and to loving your friends. It’s also literally just hit me, as I’m writing this, that Loveless is bit of a joke of a title in reference to this; Georgia is so convinced that she’s weird because she doesn’t have the same crushes as her friends, that she thinks she’ll always be without love (loveless, if you will) but is BLIND to the fact that she has so many people that love her so deeply and completely, she is literally the opposite of Loveless. (How did it take me that long to get that? I finished this on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, what was I thinking?!)
I am genuinely in awe of this book. Not only does Loveless feature some representation that is sorely needed, but it has been so beautifully written, so perfectly crafted, you can tell that it was a labour of love. From interviews, I know that Alice was worried about releasing this to the world, as it’s such a personal story, but I am so, so glad that she did. Although I couldn’t personally identify with Georgia’s journey, I was there for every step, sometimes crying (I didn’t get tears on the book, but my dog was slightly damp afterwards. He wasn’t impressed.) sometimes laughing, and always just wanting her to know she was going to be OK.
If you’ve read any of Alice’s books, you need to go and buy this immediately. Go on, go now. Go get it. It’s a brilliant book and it deserves to be read and loved, and fans of the Osemanverse will love the nods to other books and the little Easter eggs in it. If you haven’t read any of Alice’s books, please re-evaluate your life choices, then go and buy Loveless and Heartstopper Volume 1. You’ll thank me, I promise.
So, in case you didn’t notice from my gushing for the past thousand or so words, Loveless is incredible. Have you read it yet? Let me know what you think down in the comments, or on twitter, and I’ll see you next time.
Loveless – Alice Oseman ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐