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.
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!
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.
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.
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!