Ace Books 3: Tokyo Drift (even more books with ace rep!)

Yes, yes, it’s already more than halfway through March, but I am just now getting around to my annual recap of all the ace books I read last year. I ended up only getting to eight in 2022 (not counting rereads, one book that I tabled because I wasn’t in the mood for it, or one book that didn’t actually have ace rep as promised), but a few of them ended up being truly fantastic, so I think I’m mostly okay with that? As always, this list is meant to be somewhat more thorough in its explanations of (a) what type of representation there is, (b) how explicit the representation is, and (c) my personal opinion of the quality of the representation. Where applicable, I have linked my full reviews of these titles; I only have a few reviews, unfortunately, because last year was a really busy time for me. Law school is a crazy time.

As always, please remember that ace identities are not a monolith, and people may always differ in their assessments of the quality of representation. I try to be relatively objective when possible, but please take my opinions with a grain of salt.

If you haven’t already, be sure to also check out my first and second posts in this series!

Main Characters

Hazel’s Theory of Evolution

Author: Lisa Jenn Bigelow
Genre: middle-grade contemporary
Ace rep: questioning aromantic asexual main character
More: This book does not use the words aromantic/asexual in the story itself, but the author includes them in an author’s note at the end confirming that that’s what she was trying to show, and she just didn’t want to force words in unnecessarily . The main character’s parents are very open and accepting of her identity, while also acknowledging that it’s okay to not have all of that figured out at age 13. This might be my favorite ace book I read in 2022!
Note: this book deals with the topic of miscarriage

Not Good for Maidens

Author: Tori Bovalino
Genre: young adult fantasy
Ace rep: aromantic asexual main character
More: the main character discusses her asexuality with her cousin more than once and uses the word “asexual.” It’s always treated respectfully and as a simple matter of fact.
Note: This is a horror book, so check the trigger/content warnings if body horror is a problem for you

Aces Wild

Author: Amanda DeWitt
Genre: young adult contemporary
Ace rep: romantic asexual main character and love interest, aromantic asexual side character, multiple other asexual side characters
More: this whole book is about a group of asexual friends who met online, so it regularly uses the terms “asexual” and “ace,” and it debunks some popular ace myths like the “you’re too young to know” or “how can you date without sex” questions.


Author: Alex Gino
Genre: middle-grade contemporary
Ace rep: questioning aromantic asexual main character
More: this book explicitly addresses the idea of asexuality, including using the term “asexual.” It also points out that sexuality can be fluid. The main character is in 6th grade, and he talks to people who acknowledge that (a) he’s not too young to know, and (b) he can always change later. Very respectful and thoughtful representation.


Author: Jarad Greene
Genre: middle grade contemporary graphic novel
Ace rep: questioning aromantic asexual main character
More: this is the third ace MG title on this list, and I’m glad to finally see rep entering that space. It uses the words “asexual” and “aromantic” on-page, which is a big step for MG books. It’s also the first ace graphic novel I’ve read! That said, this book juggled a lot of topics, and I think the ace rep was sometimes shortchanged as a result; it’s discussed only a few times as it relates to drama it creates for this character (not reciprocating someone else’s romantic feelings).

Side Characters

Girls of Fate and Fury

Author: Natasha Ngan
Series: Girls of Paper and Fire (#3)
Genre: young adult fantasy
Ace rep: romantic asexual side character
More: this character shows up for the first time in book two and is a prominent figure in the second and third books, but the rep is not noted until the very end of the final book. When everyone else is getting coupled into romantic pairs, this character says she has no interest in anything that comes after just flirting. Other characters are respectful and take it in stride. Note that the ace character is also disabled; it is never suggested that her disability and asexuality are related, thus avoiding a common toxic pitfall.

Fire Becomes Her

Author: Rosiee Thor
Genre: young adult fantasy
Ace rep: asexual side character/queerplatonic love interest
More: the main character in this book is questioning aromantic bisexual, and while she is not ace, I felt that that rep also warranted a mention here, particularly because she and the ace character end up in a queerplatonic relationship–something that is rarely depicted in any literature!

One Very Bad Piece of Rep

The Witch King

Author: H.E. Edgmon
Series: The Witch King (#1)
Genre: young adult fantasy
Ace rep: biromantic asexual side character
More: this book uses the term asexual (and features a character with an ace flag) who explicitly discusses distinguishing her romantic and sexual identities. However, I was deeply uncomfortable with how the main character treats this character’s sexuality, which I’ve explained in my review. I would not recommend this one at all if you’re looking for positive ace rep.

Two Notes: Mislabeling and Rereads

First, I wanted to flag a misleading label that threw me off. I read the first book in Libba Bray’s The Diviners series, after being told there is a demisexual character in the book who is a side character in book one and becomes more prominent in book two. The book was excellent, but the ace character barely shows up at all–she is in the background of a handful of scenes, not even enough to be considered a secondary character, and nothing even remotely alluding to her sexuality (or, indeed, much of anything of her personality) is depicted in this book. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does in book two, where she apparently plays a larger role, though!

Second, I just wanted to note that last year, I also reread some ace books! (Interestingly, all were by Alice Oseman.) For one, I listened to the audiobook of my favorite ace rep book, Loveless, a book which I previously read in print. I loved it just as much the second time around, possibly even more so, and this edition featured a bonus story about two of the side characters which was also a delight. And for two, I reread the Heartstopper books, again basking in the delight of knowing multiple ace characters in a single series, including demisexual Aled and asexual Tori. In the TV show adaptation, I’m excited for season 2 to explore asexual Isaac’s story more, too!

Bonus: Podcast/Audio Drama

Just like last year, I have to add one more excellent item to the list: The Magnus Archives. This is a behemoth of an audio drama, made up of 200 podcast episodes with a full cast. The structure is a hybrid of anthology and overarching meta-plot. Though characters’ relationships and sexualities are secondary to the main story (a horror/sci-fi epic), the main character is biromantic asexual, and his development over the course of the series is just [chef’s kiss]. While this may not be a “book” in the traditional sense, it is basically a serialized full-cast audiobook, so it is well worth a listen if you’re curious.
Note: This show features a lot of heavy and unsettling topics–it is a horror anthology surrounding many categories of fears–so be sure to check the trigger/content warnings that are provided in the descriptions of each episode.

That’s all for now, friends. Have you read any of these? Any that are going on your TBR now? Leave a comment, and I’ll catch y’all on the flipside!


2 thoughts on “Ace Books 3: Tokyo Drift (even more books with ace rep!)

  1. bookworm120506 March 18, 2023 / 8:47 pm

    Love this! I really enjoyed Not Good for Maidens, and Aces Wild is on my TBR shelf. I added the MG novels to my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathryn March 18, 2023 / 8:50 pm

      Yay!! Agree that Not Good for Maidens was fantastic, and I hope you end up liking the others too! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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