Diversity Spotlight Thursday

Diversity Spotlight Thursday | Asexual Main Characters

DiversityThursday

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. The goal: talk about diverse books! The meme features 3 diverse books—1 diverse book you read and enjoyed, 1 diverse book that you haven’t read yet, and 1 diverse book that hasn’t been released yet.

For my final Pride Month Diversity Spotlight, I want to talk about Asexual main characters in YA. Let me tell you, they’re few and far between. There are plenty of books with characters who could be read as being on the ace spectrum, or ace side characters, but the ones that spotlight an ace MC are hard to find. Fortunately, it seems like more of these stories are being published.

Please Note: I do not identify anywhere on the ace spectrum. In seeking out these stories, I will try to provide #OwnVoices reviews whenever possible. Additionally, I’m unaware as to the identity of the authors (with the exception of Tash Hearts Tolstoy, which I’ve just learned is #OwnVoices! Yay!). If you’re an allo reader, please please seek out ace reviews of these books.

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A Diverse Book I Read & Enjoyed

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

This book was easily one of my favorites this year. While the main character is asexual—and talks about how she came to terms with that identity—the story actually focuses on solid friendships as well as YouTube culture. The story is about Tash’s web series going viral, about what that means, and about figuring out where to go in the future. There’s a side of romance, but it takes a backseat to the pure character development as Tash grows.

As an added bonus, I’ve now learned that this is in fact #OwnVoices for the ace rep!

My review is . For #OwnVoices reviews: check here and here.

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

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A Diverse Book on my TBR

We Awaken by Calista Lynne

I’m not usually a fantasy reader, but this book sounds so intriguing. Both of the main characters are asexual ladies—sign me up! The main character, Victoria, discovers her asexuality through her relationship with Ashlinn, a girl who brings her messages in her dreams.

Most of the Goodreads reviews I saw felt that the asexual rep was on point in this book, although the writing left some things to be desired. I’m still going to give it a try at some point.

Check out this #OwnVoices review here.

Goodreads | Amazon

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A Diverse Book Releasing Soon

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann (January 23, 2018)

Okay, so this isn’t technically releasing “soon” BUT it sounds so good that I couldn’t resist including it on this list.

The word asexual is in the first line of the blurb, so we don’t have to wonder if Alice is asexual—but she doesn’t see it as her defining quality, which I think is refreshing. We love labels, labels are great, but it’s nice to see characters who are more than just their sexual orientation. As if that isn’t enough, there’s a gorgeous, smiling black girl on the cover of this book. I’m about it!

The story follows Alice as she develops a crush on her coworker and wonders how to tell him she’s asexual. If that isn’t a story that needs to be told, then I don’t know what is.

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

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Have you read any of these books with ace rep? Do you know of any other books with ace MCs that I should add to my TBR? Let’s talk in the comments!

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14 thoughts on “Diversity Spotlight Thursday | Asexual Main Characters”

  1. This is the first I learn of Let’s Talk about Love.

    Calista Lynne is ace (though, in the interview I read, she was not certain where she fell under the ace umbrella, which is a common experience among aces).

    As it so happens, I’ve read more than 40 fictional stories with ace characters, though some of them are short stories and not all of the ace characters are MCs. If you specifically want novels with ace MCs which are written by ace writers, here are my recommendations (besides We Awaken, which is already on your TBR):

    Blank Spaces by Cass Lennox
    Open Skies (ace is actually #2 main character, not #1 main character)
    Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (okay, this is recommended all over the place so you probably already know about it, but just in case you missed it)

    If I could expand the recommendation list to novels where the ace is not necessarily the MC and/or where the writer’s orientation is unknown, then I could make a longer list.

    1. Wow thank you so much for sharing these recs! I hadn’t heard of Blank Spaces or Open Skies, so I’m definitely going to check those out.

      I think ace books are particularly hard to find because (a) there aren’t as many as they’re are especially L/G books and (b) not all authors who ID as ace want to be public about it – which I totally get. There’s a lot of pressure for #OwnVoices stories, which is wonderful, but I do think we have to be careful in pressuring authors to talk about their personal lives. Especially with the amount of crap ace folks have been getting this month (and all the time) on Twitter in particular.

      1. Oh, and here’s a recommendation list for novels (or novellas) with ace MCs where a) I don’t know the writer’s orientation or b) I know the writer is not ace:

        Crush by Caitlin Ricci
        Breakfire’s Glass by A.M. Valenza
        This Song (Is) Not for You by Laura Nowlins
        Of Monsters and Men by Caitlin Ricci
        All the Wrong Places by Ann Gallagher
        “Cold Ennaline” by R.J. Astruc

        And here’s two recommended novels by ace writers which have an ace supporting character (i.e. the ace is not the MC)

        How to Be a Normal Person by T.J. Klune
        Cracked! A Magic iPhone Story by Janine A. Southard

  2. Well, I now have Tash Hearts Tolstoy on my TBR thanks to your review ; and I think I’ll have to add Let’s Talk About Love as well – it sounds like such a great – and much, much needed book! 🙂 Lovely post, Christine!

  3. I don’t think I’ve read any books that have ace (or aro, for that matter) rep. Definitely planning on seeking out and reading some, so thanks for this list!

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