Book Review: Loveless by Alice Oseman

Book: Loveless by Alice Oseman | Genre: contemporary, YA | Page count: 435 | Published: July 9th 2020 by HarperCollins Children’s Books

Blurb (taken from Goodreads)

The fourth novel from the phenomenally talented Alice Oseman – one of the most authentic and talked-about voices in contemporary YA.

It was all sinking in. I’d never had a crush on anyone. No boys, no girls, not a single person I had ever met. What did that mean?

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?

This wise, warm and witty story of identity and self-acceptance sees Alice Oseman on towering form as Georgia and her friends discover that true love isn’t limited to romance.

My thoughts

Buckle up; I have a lot to say about this book. There is so much amazing representation in Loveless. This book isn’t about me, but I can imagine how seen members of the LGBTQIA+ community felt when reading this. Now let’s get into this review!

Characters

I loved the main character Georgia and her two best friends Pip and Jason so much. No friendship is perfect and theirs goes through some tests, but watching them come out stronger in the end was heartwarming. Georgia’s roommate Rooney was an interesting character. I didn’t love her, but she had her own struggles and I was rooting for her. Rooney isn’t an expert at navigating human sexuality, which hurts Georgia’s journey, but her progress reminded me of the quote pictured below.

Loveless has great supporting characters. Sunil is the best. He starts off as Georgia’s college parent, but develops a real friendship with her. He teaches Georgia that sexuality exists on a spectrum and advocates for more inclusivity in the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s easy to imagine Sunil as a real person and that’s what makes him such a likeable character.

Plot

Alice Oseman validates a number of identities and experiences over the course of this five part novel. Asexuality and aroace (aromantic-asexual) identities are rarely talked about and she explains them really well.

It became fairly obvious where the plot was heading early on, but there were some surprises, so that didn’t really take away from my overall enjoyment of the book.

I loved the twist on the soulmates trope. Platonic relationships are important!! Grand gestures don’t have to be reserved for straight couples in movies and Loveless proved that.

Now I have some complaints to make. My interest fluctuated as I was reading because there was too much filler material. I seriously did not need five pages of Pip and Rooney having a pool noodle sword fight in a bouncy castle. Also, Sunil gave a speech about how important Shakespeare Society was to him multiple times, and each time it was exactly the same. I’m convinced that this book could have been 100 pages shorter but still had the same effect.

I didn’t particularly enjoy the use of the enemies to lovers trope. I won’t spoil it, but the characters in question acted more like children than university students and it got on my nerves. Enemies to lovers should be about misjudging someone and then falling for them once you get to know them better, not hiding your feelings and being mean to your crush as a way to flirt!

What made me happiest was the genuine apologies that the characters gave each other. They reflected on their actions, took accountability for them, and made a plan to change their behaviour. Even though Georgia is the main character, we get to see her friends grow as much as she does.

Writing

It’s been months since I last read something written in first person POV and Alice Oseman blew me away, at first. I thought it was so cool to read a book that was published by an author only a few years older than me. The writing is super easy to read and it’s so honest. But eventually, I started to get tired of all the “love/hate that for me,” “I’m literally deceased” and other millennial expressions. There were a couple other minor things that bothered me, like the constant ellipsis when Georgia talked and the redundant sentences. All in all, her writing style is modern and it’s casual, I don’t hold it against her, especially because this story is one that needs to be told.

Final Thoughts

Despite my complaints, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s definitely relatable regardless of your sexual orientation. It’s about stepping outside of your comfort zone, the power of love, and freeing yourself from societal pressure to fit into a box. I was very much invested in the characters and their respective journey’s toward self-love and acceptance. I’m looking forward to reading more of her books in the future!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Loveless by Alice Oseman”

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