Loveless by Alice Oseman
HarperCollins, 2020. ISBN: 9780008244125.
(Age: Older adolescents - Adult) Brilliant in its explanation of love, captivating in a beautifully empathetic consideration of friendship and human relationships, Alice Oseman's new book reveals some of the ways in which human beings are different. In this emotive tale, Oseman focuses on the areas of love, loyalty, sexuality, friendship, support and kindness.
Having successfully been offered a place at University after completing her schooling, Georgia is assigned to share a room with a young woman whom she has not met before. Learning to adapt to such a situation prompts her to seek a considered understanding of who she is herself, and to ponder what drives her. When she joins a dramatic society, Georgia meets new people, and in this world of play-acting, she becomes aware of, and is deeply puzzled by, her notion of herself, in terms of what drives her, and in what loving friendship means to her.
When she finally discovers the reason for her inability to 'fall in love' or to desire a sexual relationship, she is stunned, initially. She is determined to come to terms with her diagnosis and is moved deeply when her dear friends pledge ongoing, loving support. Knowing that she is 'aromantic' and 'asexual', Georgia realizes that she had often felt intimidated, indeed throughout her adolescence, by her indifference to the idea of romance or strong sexual attraction to anyone else. The diagnosis finally enables her to face life with a new sense of who she is, and to think about what is important to her in this newly considered version of herself.
This compassionate story would be appropriate for older adolescent and adult readers.