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April Queer Book of the Month: Loveless by Alice Oseman

Loveless by Alice Oseman

@SPL: YA Osema

Alice Oseman, British author of the popular Heartstopper graphic novel series and other YA fiction, brings us another novel with LGBTQIA+ themes and relatable, funny, flawed characters.

Main character Georgia is 18 and heading off to university with her best friends Pip and Jason. A fan-fiction die-hard and hopeless romantic when it comes to books and movies, Georgia has never actually had a real crush or kiss. In an environment where everyone, including her outgoing roommate, Rooney, seems sex-obsessed, Georgia grapples with her feelings of disgust and anxiety when it comes to being romantic or physically intimate with another person. When her journey of self-discovery threatens to ruin her closest friendships, Georgia turns to mentor Sunil who welcomes her into the LGBTQIA+ student society and opens her eyes to a whole new way of seeing herself and her relationships.

Oseman’s cast of supporting characters are white, Latine, Southeast Asian, pansexual, lesbian, and straight (with gay parents) …and they are all loveable drama nerds who will delight readers with their charming, funny banter. Georgia’s introspection feels a bit repetitive at times, but that is the nature of figuring oneself out! The depictions of university life, sexual discovery, and drinking make this book particularly suited to older teens, but many adult readers will relate to the feelings felt, experiences had, and mistakes made during post-secondary school (even though some of the British university culture and traditions are quite different from Canadian ones). Loveless is a compassionate portrayal of characters with aromantic and asexual identities – a down-to-earth, accessible introduction to these oft-overlooked identities for anyone wanting to understand more. What’s more, Loveless is a love story about friendship as much as it is a tale about discovering one’s sexuality.

Alida Lemieux

Public Service Librarian

Stratford Public Library

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