Loveless by Alice Oseman

Loveless is the fourth book by young adult contemporary novelist Alice Oseman, who also wrote such popular titles as Radio Silence and the acclaimed graphic novel series, Heartstopper. It was published in 2020 by HarperCollins Publishers.

Synopsis: Loveless is about an eighteen-year-old university student called Georgia Warr who loves romance, fanfiction and her two best friends, Pip and Jason. When Georgia begins her freshman year at Durham University, she has hopes that her epic love story will finally begin, except that she has always been unsure about her sexuality and why she lacks the feelings that come so naturally to everyone else. Through her university experience, she learns that romantic attraction can be expressed in ways other than what many people would call conventional and undergoes of journey of self-acceptance.

Loveless is a heartening coming-of-age novel that explored both cultural and sexual diversity in a way that was sound and relatable. It insightfully reflects asexuality through the development of Georgia’s character and the friendships she makes with fellow Pride Society ‘Soc’ members. It also handles the development of its quirky characters well, for example Rooney, a hyperactive, die-heard Shakespeare enthusiast who I found to be extremely overbearing at first until I began to empathize with her sense of insecurity. Another example is Sunil, who mostly felt like a plot device, but I appreciated how the book tried to flesh out his character through his conflict with Lloyd.

I found the drama element to be equally engaging in the way that Georgia’s friendship with her childhood friends, Pip and Jason was threatened and how they overcame those obstacles. I thought it conveyed a definite sense of character growth. However, these dramatic moments also had some of the most unoriginal troupes that felt akin to almost every American teen drama I’ve ever watched.

Loveless is definitely worth reading for the insight and representation it provides. Though it speaks mostly to younger readers, a lot can be learned from it by older readers as well, other than popular colloquialisms. Loveless was a fun contemporary book that I could enjoy reading without having to think too deeply about it. A refreshingly inclusive read!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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