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Loveless | Alice Oseman | Review

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?

Eighteen year old Georgia has never been in love. In fact, she's realising, she's never even had a crush. But Georgia loves romance. She's a connoisseur of fanfiction and romcoms and she knows that one day she'll fall in love and have that big, romantic love affair, just like the ones she's read about. Everyone meets the right person for them eventually, right? Plus, Georgia's new uni roommate, Rooney, seems to have no trouble finding people she fancies, and she's more than happy to help Georgia put herself out there.

The thing is, the more Georgia does put herself out there, the more she starts to wonder if there really is a right person for everyone. What does it mean if Georgia doesn't fall in love? What if she can't? Between arguments with her two best friends, Pip and Jason, trying to help Rooney with her doomed Shakespeare Society, and now trying to figure out an extremely important part of herself, Georgia's first year of university isn't exactly turning out the way she expected. 

In many ways, this is a classic coming of age story, full of teen drama, existential doubt, longing, and everything else we're used to from a story of a young person trying to figure out their place in the world. The difference with Loveless is that this is the first novel I've read where the main character is figuring out that they are asexual and aromantic. Of course, one story can never encompass the many different experiences of people who share a common identity, but I feel sure that many young asexual and aromantic people will see themselves reflected in Georgia, possibly for the first time, and perhaps feel a little bit less alone than Georgia does in certain parts of her story.

Georgia makes mistakes over the course of the novel, of course, and she learns a lot about herself and the people around her, to the backdrop of a slightly strange Shakespeare production, esteemed university traditions, and rather a lot of Scooby Doo references. Georgia, along with her new and old friends, Jason, Pip, Rooney, and the older and more confident Sunil, go through a few problems together, but their love for each other is what gets them through. In Georgia's story, Oseman captures both the loneliness that can come from figuring out who you are and the joy that comes from being around people you love. In the end, Georgia knows that as long as she has good friends, she will never be loveless.

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions expressed are the reviewer's own.

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