diversity spotlight thursday

Created by Aimal, you can check out the rules here. Basically, every week you list:

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

If you check out my Diversity Spotlight Thursday tag on the right, you can see my other Diversity Spotlight Thursdays! Today I’m going to be talking about books with asexual characters! If you’re looking for more books that have asexual characters, I 100% recommend going to the Aromantic and Asexual Speculative Fiction Database, which is a great way to discover new books! This was put together by the amazing Claudie Arseneault, whose book City of Strife I have featured below!

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City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault

Isandor, City of Spires.

A hundred and thirty years have passed since Arathiel last set foot in his home city. Isandor hasn’t changed—bickering merchant families still vie for power through eccentric shows of wealth—but he has. His family is long dead, a magical trap has dulled his senses, and he returns seeking a sense of belonging now long lost.

Arathiel hides in the Lower City, piecing together a new life among in a shelter dedicated to the homeless and the poor, befriending an uncommon trio: the Shelter’s rageful owner, Larryn, his dark elven friend Hasryan, and Cal the cheese-loving halfling. When Hasryan is accused of Isandor’s most infamous assassination of the last decade, what little peace Arathiel has managed to find for himself is shattered. Hasryan is innocent… he thinks. In order to save him, Arathiel may have to shatter the shreds of home he’d managed to build for himself.

Arathiel could appeal to the Dathirii—a noble elven family who knew him before he disappeared—but he would have to stop hiding, and they have battles of their own to fight. The idealistic Lord Dathirii is waging a battle of honour and justice against the cruel Myrian Empire, objecting to their slavery, their magics, and inhumane treatment of their apprentices. One he could win, if only he could convince Isandor’s rulers to stop courting Myrian’s favours for profit.

In the ripples that follow Diel’s opposition, friendships shatter and alliances crumble. Arathiel, the Dathirii, and everyone in Isandor fights to preserve their homes, even if the struggle changes them irrevocably.

One of the characters in this multi-layered epic fantasy is asexual (forgive me, I can’t remember his name – there are so many characters in this book!). I believe that in the second novel, City of Betrayal, his asexuality is discussed even more. There are all sorts of LGBT+ characters in this series – the representation is truly fantastic.

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We Awaken by Calista Lynne

Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.

But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.

While I’ve heard mixed reviews about this one, We Awaken remains on my TBR simply because the representation of asexuality is so good. It also sounds sweet and fluffy, which is what I’m in the mood for every now and again.

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Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop 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 think pretty much everyone I know is excited for this book to come out in January 2018! One, because of that amazing cover (the model is so beautiful!) and two because of the asexual rep. I’m convinced that this is going to be a firm favourite once it is released.

What are your favourite books that have asexual characters? Comment below, I’m always looking for recs!

2 thoughts on “diversity spotlight thursday

  1. colorfulbookreviews says:

    Forgive me if this is ignorant, as I’m still just learning about asexuality and aromanticism. Would you consider books to fit those categories only if the character identifies as such in the text, or would this also potentially cover books that don’t have sexual or romantic content or plot?

    I’m not sure if I’ve read any books that fit the former, but there are many that would fit the later.

    Like

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