Happy Pride Month! If you’re anything like me, you’re gathering all of your books into a rainbow on your bookstagram, or adding as many LGBTQ+ novels into your TBR as you can find. (It’s okay, we all do it.)
My favorite thing about recent young adult lit is the representation we’ve received from diverse books. I’m fortunate enough to use my platform to talk about a less-common queer identity: asexuality. As much as I love YA, I never seemed to find a book that represented me — until recently.
Simply put, asexuality is someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction to anyone. These are five novels containing asexual-spectrum characters… and thank you.
Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee
Whenever I’m asked which asexual novel I recommend, it will ALWAYS be Tash Hearts Tolstoy. I read this book right after I came out, and it still stands as one of my favorite novels. It’s about family, friends, romance, identity and becoming a viral sensation on Youtube. You know, relatable stuff.
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
If you like YA books and rom-coms — especially when they’re together — I recommend Let’s Talk About Love. This #ownvoices novel contains a biromantic asexual main character, and depicts intersectional discourse, from sexuality to race to mental health. Plus, it has a super adorable romance and takes place in college, how cool is that?
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
I read Radio Silence last year, and I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did! Not only does this book contain an entire cast of queer characters, but a major supporting character is demisexual, and I was so surprised because it was the first time I saw that identity represented on-page in a YA novel. While this novel isn’t #ownvoices for asexuality, it still marks a major step toward representing all identities under the ace-spectrum.
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
If YA contemporary isn’t your thing, this novel is perfect for you! With magical intrigue and whimsical elements, you’ll fall right into the story about an asexual girl who goes to a home for other children with unique powers that send them to different worlds within our own. There is a multitude of diverse characters within Every Heart A Doorway as well, and even though it’s less than 200 pages, it’s an unforgettable tale. This book is #ownvoices, as Seanan McGuire is asexual herself.
Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp
I recently read Before I Let Go, and it’s an atmospheric book for anyone who prefers dark YA contemporary. The main character, Corey, is asexual and the book recounts her story of visiting her hometown after a tragedy involved with her best friend, Kyra. The author, Marieke Nijkamp, is asexual herself and makes this an #ownvoices novel.
From what I’ve learned in my seventeen years, the internet is the best place to discover new people and ideas. If it weren’t for social media, I might’ve never found the term asexual, and well, I wouldn’t be here right now sharing these books with you. Being able to share a big part of my identity online has made my life amazing in so many ways, so as long as we readers continue to push for more diverse books, everyone can find the book that makes them feel represented.
(Picture courtesy of Jill Stebelton)