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!
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: Claire Kann Publication date: January 23, 2018 Genre: young adult contemporary, LGBTQ+ My rating: 1/5 stars (and I considered giving it less than that…)
I. Am. So. Mad. At. This. Book. Seriously, I am one angry ace right now. I was so excited about this book; I had seen it listed so many times in articles with lists of books featuring asexual main characters, and plenty of people had written great reviews of it on Goodreads. I should have realized early on that most of those glowing reviews were not from OwnVoices reviewers; the one highly-ranked review I saw written by someone who is actually ace was quite critical.
It became apparent that the people who praised this book were glad because it taught them about asexuality. The thing is, simply having representation isn’t enough, especially if that representation is bad. And BOY HOWDY was this representation bad. Maybe someone out there can see their feelings reflected in the story told here, but for me–based on my own experience, the experiences of other aces I know, and the little research that actually exists on asexuality–it was inaccurate, full of stereotypes, and generally just not good.
Oh, and the book itself was pretty crap as well, so before I start tackling all the ways in which the book does aces dirty, might as well discuss those problems.