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!
Author: Margaret Rogerson Series: Sorcery of Thorns (#1.5) Publication date: September 17, 2023 Genre: YA fantasy My rating: 4/5 stars
This is just a miniature review, as this was a miniature book! This lighthearted novella was a delightful follow-up to Sorcery of Thorns, a book which I (along with practically every bookworm out there) positively adored. Magical grimoires, a librarian warrior, a demon who likes to take the form of a cat, a potent blend of magic and adventure…needless to say, the strength of its predecessor set the bar high. And Mysteries of Thorn Manor certainly rose to the challenge; it was exactly the right mix of cozy and entertaining, with light drama and a splash of romance.
Author: Amanda DeWitt Publication date: September 13, 2022 Genre: YA contemporary My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Okay, so. The blurb on this one had me 100% sold–a heist in the vein of Six of Crows featuring an all-asexual cast? You’d be hard-pressed to find a more perfect intersection of my interests. The thing is, this marketing tactic really did the book a disservice. This is not like Six of Crows, minus perhaps the found family element and some teens engaging in illegal activity. It was a fun read, and the ace rep was wonderful, but I’ll admit, I felt rather let down. Were it not for my extreme soft spot for good ace rep, this would likely have been a lower rating. Read on for a better breakdown of my thoughts!
Author: Tori Bovalino Publication date: June 21, 2022 Genre: YA fantasy horror My rating: 4/5 stars
A modern take on the Goblin Market fairytale. Queer rep galore. Themes of belonging, family, duty, bonds, and bargains. Old English villages. Witches. Creepy-as-heck body horror. You’ll find it all in Not Good for Maidens, a dark YA fantasy full of bargains gone wrong, temptations too strong, and yearning to belong, unfolding over two timelines and two continents.. Read on for more of my thoughts, including some favorite quotes of mine from the book!
Hello, friends! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything on here that is actually from me, as opposed to a review or tour. But with 2022 officially underway, I wanted to do a brief recap of some of my 2021 reading. Apparently, my list of all the ace books I’ve read so far got super popular near the end of last year (if anyone knows how/why it took off, please let me know, because I’m as surprised as you). This past year, I read ten more books with asexual representation, and so, staying true to the format of that old post, I wanted to share those with you as well!
Obligatory disclaimer: while I am ace (and somewhere on the aromantic spectrum–labels are confusing, man), and therefore am an OwnVoices reviewer for this type of content, the ace experience is not a monolith. I try to keep my assessments of these books as objective as possible, but in my final “notes” on each of them (especially on the quality of representation), I’m purely expressing my own opinion. If you felt differently about any of them, feel free to comment and let me know!
On a related note, part of my reading goal for 2022 is to read at least 15 books with ace representation (for any and all ace spectrum identities, including demi, gray-ace, and so on). If you have any I haven’t read yet and want to suggest some for me, I’m always looking for more.
[Edit: for part 3 of this series, featuring all the ace books I read in 2022, click here!]
Author: Emily Victoria Publication date: February 2, 2021 Genre: young adult fantasy My rating: 4/5 stars
Self-aware magic-AI-robot-person! A world inspired by ancient Greece! Pirates! Aro-ace protagonist! And so much more! This Golden Flame is a solid debut with adventure, diverse representation, and lots of wholesome character friendships. I’m so happy to be able to bring you this review as part of TBR and Beyond Tours’ blog tour for this book! Read on for my review, some more info about the book, and a chance to win a copy for yourself!
This is a post I’ve been thinking about writing for a while now–I get asked on a semi-regular basis what my favorite books with asexual representation are. As someone who identifies as ace, I like being able to see characters whose experiences more closely reflect my own, but I’ve quickly found what so many others have seen as well: there just isn’t a lot of ace rep out there. Thus, I figured it might be a good idea to compile all the ace books I’ve read so far, along with some thoughts on each one, to help readers out there who are in the same boat as me!
[UPDATE – Find Part 2 of this list, with all the ace books I read in 2021, HERE, and part 3, with my 2022 ace reads, HERE!]
So, for all the aces out there–and anyone else who wants to see more asexual characters–here’s a list of books I’ve read in the past couple years with solid ace rep, in the form of main characters or side characters, along with notes on how the rep is portrayed and any relevant warnings. When I have a review on my blog (or Bookstagram) for the book, I also have included a link to that!
Author: Minerva Cerridwen Publication date: September 15, 2020 Genre: fantasy, LGBTQIA+, novella My rating: 5/5 stars
In today’s divisive society, uniqueness can become a point of shame rather than pride. The Dragon of Ynys is a perfect balm to soothe everyone and anyone who feels hurt by the lack of acceptance that is often so prevalent–it will make you smile, lift your spirits, and reaffirm your belief that there is good in the world, all in the span of roughly 100 pages. I seriously cannot adequately express how much I loved this book.