Review: Loveless by Alice Oseman

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush – but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day.
As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight.
But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic – Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.
Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along?

Oh my gosh. We don’t need to talk about how much I love Alice Oseman, but it has to be said that this is her best writing yet. I just clicked with it immediately in a way I haven’t with her other books – it captured me from the off and I didn’t want to stop reading. Georgia was such a relatable character who was struggling with finding out who she is, which I think is something we have all found in life, whatever sexuality.

Although I’m not asexual myself, I found Loveless made me reflect a lot on my own sexuality. Almost a year ago, I realised I am demisexual/demiromantic, which means I am only sexually and romantically attracted to people I have an emotional connection with. Some of the stark and raw conversations Georgia and her friends have about sex were so bold and relatable and we simply need more of this in YA. These conversations not only made me chuckle, but it taught me a lot about why I am the way I am with relationships and my sex life.

Give your friendships the magic you would give a romance.

I (mostly) loved the cast of characters. Although they could be annoying at times, I think it was only because they were all learning and discovering things about themselves, which only prompted the story to be more realistic and relatable. The discussions the characters had were not only heartfelt, but incredibly sex-positive and funny. Hardly any books make me actually laugh out loud, but I couldn’t stop chuckling!

The plot was entertaining, and even if a little predictable at times, I still loved it. The diversity was amazing. The casual way Oseman would drop in white privilege and racial issues had me reeling. If she can do it, anybody can do it. It’s just not that hard. The diversity felt natural, added to the story, avoided stereotypes and tokenism. It was executed with grace and thought.

The friendships were also so great and well written. The way this book showed how friendships are just as important as relationship is perfect. I have felt this so many times in my life, and I definitely agree that friendships are just as important and meaningful as romantic relationships are. There is still love and adoration and fear and intimacy. I cannot express how grateful I am for Alice to writing this and these characters and this book.

Because they’re just as important.

I think the underlying most important thing about this book is we need it so badly. We need more books discussing sexuality. Exploring how identifying as a certain sexuality might mean a different life and that this is not weird or bad. We need more sex-positive books that talk openly about sex lives and masturbation and how it varies for different people. We need for teenagers, children and adults to be able to see themselves in books. Loveless taught me so much about asexuality. If all books did what Alice Oseman has done, how much could we learn?

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

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Goodreads | Waterstones

For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.
Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.
Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.

Wow. What a book. I am on such a contemporary kick right now and I knew Alice Oseman wouldn’t let me down! I think this ended up being my favourite novel of hers so far, and she is definitely worthy of auto-buy status.

First off, the characters in this book are just brilliant. Angel reminded me of myself from my early teens, with a passion and love for her friends I only hope has remained with me now. The cast of characters were immense and real, with each character dealing with their own problems. Angel herself is open about her own struggles throughout the book, and her friends are discussed in detail too. The band are vibrant and emotional, and I loved having the POV of both Angel and Jimmy – at first I questioned whether they would have too dissimilar lives from each other but their narratives work together beautifully.

That’s why people get into fandom and bands and stuff. 

The plot, especially once it picked up, was so compelling I couldn’t put it down. The ending all happened so fast, but it meant I just wanted to rush through it and find out what was going to happen. If I had any small complaints about this book, it would be that the ending came across as a little rushed and I didn’t feel as satisfied as I hoped by the outcome of all the character ARCs.

But other than that, this book was excellent. I was blown away by the raw discussions it has about fandom, facing the good and bad side of fame and fortune and the internet. The most important factors for me were the blatant discussions about mental health, paranoia, anxiety and panic attacks that felt so real and naked. I went through everything with Jimmy and Angel, and I felt grateful for being allowed to be a part of it.

They just want something to hold on to something that makes them feel good. 

Overall, another Alice Oseman gem! I can’t wait to read the last one for me, Radio Silence, and for Loveless to come out later this year.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Heartstopper Volume 3 by Alice Oseman

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Goodreads | Waterstones

In this volume we’ll see the Heartstopper gang go on a school trip to Paris! Not only are Nick and Charlie navigating a new city, but also telling more people about their relationship AND learning more about the challenges each other are facing in private…
Meanwhile Tao and Elle will face their feelings for each other, Tara and Darcy share more about their relationship origin story, and the teachers supervising the trip seem… rather close…?

Yay! Heartstopper 3 is out in physical form! My lovely friend Chloe introduced me to the Heartstopper Webcomic around a year ago now and I ended up reading it in one sitting and absolutely adoring it. I’ve been keeping up to date with the online comic every time it’s updated and have introduced a few of my friends to the graphic novels too!

I was lucky enough to go to Alice’s signing on 6th February, which also happened to be the release date of the third graphic novel. I’ve been collecting the physical graphic novels as they are released, as I adore them so much it’s simply a joy to reread them.

The differences in the third book are apparent – this one explores quite difficult topics such as eating disorders. I really appreciated the delicate insightful way Oseman approaches these topics. After some heavy topics in Solitaire, which is the novel Charlie first appears in, Heartstopper can come across as very different in tone.

Another difference in this novel is that it’s set in Paris! I’ve been lucky enough to visit Paris a few times – once on a college trip – and I adore the city. It was so fun to read about Nick, Charlie and their friends in such a beautiful city.

These books are some of the few I see reading again and again. They comfort me so much and have such a lovely, soft aura about them.

You can also keep up to date on Tumblr or Tapas!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Heartstopper Volume 2 by Alice Oseman

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Goodreads | Amazon

Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. An LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between: this is the second volume of HEARTSTOPPER, for fans of The Art of Being Normal, Holly Bourne and Love, Simon. 
Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie’s gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn’t. 
But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family … and himself. 
Heartstopper is about friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us. 

What can I say other than I love Heartstopper and having these books in physical form makes me so happy? I’m actually up to date completely with the webcomic, but I love reading these as they come out.

Anything Alice Oseman ever does will warm my heart and being able to sit down and just devour these books makes me feel so cosy. I read this in about half an hour in the middle of a thunderstorm and it was perfect. Oseman’s art style is lovely and has such a good flow, I can easily flick through the pages.

Volume 2 focuses a lot on Nick coming out and discovering himself, and normalising that it’s okay to question who you are was such a central theme of the book. As always, Nick and Charlies’ friends and family are great and make for entertaining scenes. Some of my favourite scenes are naturally with Nick’s dog and the little ‘borks’ never fail to make me smile!

Overall, if you’re looking for a cute, heartwarming graphic novel that flows beautifully and centres around LGBT characters and coming out, please pick this up.

Or, go and read it on Tumblr or Tapas!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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