This week (20th – 26th of October) is Ace Awareness Week. I am super excited about this week, it’s my first since I came to terms with my sexuality. I am always very keen to remind myself that there are others like me out there and I am intrigued in their personal story and experience. Inspired by this, I have created a list of reading recommendations with ace characters. While I have not read any of these yet, I have looked at numerous reviews that say these are some the best ace representation.
Let’s Talk About Love, Claire Kann
A very popular YA contemporary at the moment, this book follows Alice after she is dumped by her girlfriend for being asexual. She has sworn off love. But when she meets Takumi she can’t stop thinking about him. With a terrific representation of a black biromantic ace character, this book is especially relatable to any ace who has been dumped. On top of this it has an excellent display of discussing boundaries and is a fun romantic romp.
Quicksilver, R J Anderson
This book has many high reviews and is definitely one I’m interested in reading. This is a sequel to Ultraviolet and is serious but light-hearted. It has a great coming out scene and attempts to dismantle many stereotypes. It is one of the first to use the word ‘asexual’ and is still one of the most successful books with ace representation.
Tash Hearts Tolstoy, Kathryn Ormsbee
Another very popular contemporary, Tash Hearts Tolstoy has messiness about asexuality and internalised acephobia that some readers may find relatable. Plus, it was a great display of being oblivious to innuendo or flirting.
Radio Silence, Alice Oseman
A good representation of bisexual, demisexual and asexual, this book manages to cover multiple sexualities. I love that the romance takes a backseat to friendship, something that you don’t see enough of. It was excellent at showing how powerful friendship is to asexuals and that it is no less worthy than romance. Additionally, it has a glimpse of what being on the ace spectrum looks like to an allosexual (someone who does feel sexual attraction) that doesn’t invalidate or stereotype ace. As an ace, I find this really intriguing and am keen to read it.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue, Mackenzi Lee
I would be amazed if you hadn’t heard of this or its’ sequel. The main character, Monty, was born to attend a fine boarding school and be a gentleman. Yet he can’t help his roughish ways, earning him the disapproval of his father. So he decides to tour Europe with his sister Felicity and best friend (and secret crush) Percy. This is a fun story that deals with some good LGBTQ+ issues and even apparently has an ace. Plus, if you love the series, the second book The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy, is supposed to be even better.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor
Now, this is a very popular book all over BookTube and book blogs. It has a very interesting and intriguing fantasy world with a criminal underworld. I have already bought the audiobook and can’t wait to finally read this book.
Vengeful, V E Schwab
This legendarily popular fantasy book is one that should be high on your TBR. Plus, the author recently confirmed via Twitter that a main character is asexual. I enjoy how their sexuality isn’t a big deal.
Clariel, Garth Nix
This is a prequel to a popular fantasy series from a few years back with an aromantic ace who is comfortable with their sexuality. This is a popular fantasy world that I am interested to explore – all the more since I found out it has ace representation.
Chameleon Moon, Roanna Sylver
The only dystopian on the list, it is unusually hopeful for a dystopian. Not only does it contain an asexual representation, but it also demonstrates the effects of PTSD and anxiety. And everyone is a superhero!
Beneath the Citadel, Destiny Soria
This story has multiple LGBTQ+ characters with a story that isn’t focused on sexuality and just have it as a normal part of the story. Additionally, it is a fantasy book with a wonderful ‘found family’ element.
Sawkill Girls, Claire Legrand
Another suspense novel, this one follows a dangerous mystery in a small town. It has a good demonstration of the life of an asexual in a small town, and everything that goes with that.
Fourth World, Lyssa Chiavari
In this novel, there is not only one ace protagonist but two. With main characters from two different times and places, this story explores how everyone has s different experience. One of the leads is demisexual while the other is sex-repulsed and has a fiancé (a situation I’m very intrigued to read).
Before I Let Go, Marieke Nijkamp
This is a mystery novel with numerous trigger warnings that make me think it is darker than any of the other suggestions on this list. With a questioning ace who’s sexuality isn’t tied to the narrative, this representation merely part of the story, not the focus. Warning: suicide, parental neglect, emotional abuse and attempted murder.
City of Strife, Claudie Arseneault
A book with several asexual characters on different points of the spectrum, plus an all queer cast, it is bound to have someone for everyone. The story is inspired by D&D and is a fun fantasy world. It is particularly good at showing some questioning asexuals and some who are clear on themselves, and how labels can change. Warning: abuse, violence, torture, racism and mind control.
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire
This fantasy mystery covers plenty of representations, from a biromantic ace to the effects of life and trauma on young people. Obviously, a warning for children/ young people dealing with difficult issues.
We Awaken, Calista Lynne
A YA fantasy that has two asexual teen girls as one helps the other comes to terms with their sexuality and the fantasy challenges of the plot.
I hope this list gives you some reading ideas for Asexual Awareness Week. And to my other aces, I hope this post and list of books help you know you are not alone, there are others like you out there!