Alice had her whole summer planned. Nonstop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting—working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating—no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.
But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).
When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library-employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
I will admit that as of late, my book shelves have been filled with heavy topics and themes. After finishing a rather sad and difficult book (A List of Cages) I turned to this with hopes that this would be a lighter read.
This book came along at just the right time, because it was. It covered so much more than romance too, and it general just gave off a positive vibe.
In addition to sexuality and romance, this book covers racism and the complicated relationships between Alice and her siblings, parents, and best friends. Throughout the book, you see Alice struggle through her various relationships. Her parents adamantly want her to pursue law, but Alice has no passion for the career. Her two best friends have plans to get married, and she begins to feel more and more like a third wheel.
I loved watching Alice’s struggle and gradual progress with accepting her sexual identity as she developed feelings for Takumi. Especially after the way her girlfriend and others have treated her after finding out her aversion to sex, she also had some self-worth issues, and I liked seeing how supportive her friends were.
But I do feel like this book could have been improved with another round of editing to improve the flow. I also wasn’t a fan of the writing style. Alice has a very “modern” voice, maybe what some people would call the “teenage attitude”, and the book had a lot of brackets in it.
(I mean it.)
(There were a lot of brackets.)
(It was annoying.)
The writing style, honestly, is what almost turned me off the book in the beginning. It took me a while to get used to, and I still feel like those bracketed sentences could have stood proud as sentences without the parentheses surrounding them.
I also wanted to see more of Takumi’s development. The book focused a lot on Alice and her struggles, which I liked, but as they were exploring a relationship together, I wanted to know more about Takumi. For instance, he mentioned sometimes that he wasn’t as perfect as Alice thought. If this was an insecurity he had, I would have liked to see more about that. Was it something he did? Was there something he always felt like he failed at?
Still, Let’s Talk About Love has a lot of good themes. If you’re looking for something light and hopeful, especially if you’re struggling to find your place in the world right now, pick it up!