Book Reviews

Loveless by Alice Oseman Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

‘Give your friendships the magic you would give a romance. Because they’re just as important. Actually, for us, they’re way more important.’

Hi everyone! Today I will be talking about one of my most anticipated reads this year, Loveless by Alice Oseman. If you’ve been around my blog you will know that Alice Oseman is one of my favourite authors! Loveless is her latest novel. Loveless is a book about self-discovery and acceptance, taking care of the important relationships in your life – platonic or romantic – with a sprinkle of university life and theatre nerdiness. 

My Synopsis

It follows the main character Georgia who is navigating her first year at Durham University and her coming out as asexual/aromantic to her friends and some family. This book balances serious moments with parts that had me laughing out loud. I have yet to read many books where asexuality is even mentioned let alone have a main character with this identity! Loveless shares a lot of important messages of self-love and valuing friendships which will definitely stick with me. Overall I really recommend it, (really any of Alice Oseman’s books) as there is something for everyone.

Characters

I always relate a little too much to Alice Oseman’s characters and I wonder how the heck did she know that?? I think she’s really great at writing internet/fan obsessed teenagers struggling with school and love lives etc. Her portrayals are just the best I’ve read. It doesn’t feel like a 40-year-old or someone trying to write about teenager’s lives. I think this comes with Alice only being in her twenties herself, and very in touch with these feelings which often makes her books resound so much with me. 

Setting

I really enjoyed the setting of Durham University and I loved that it was a story about a girl and her friends in their first year. This was really relatable to me as I am in my second year now (what!) and often a lot of the other contemporaries I read are set in high school. It’s a little bit more grown-up in that way especially in the topics discussed. I loved the English major references (hello), especially Rooney using her Norton Anthology as a doorstop… I am personally not a huge Shakespeare fan like Rooney and Georgia but I do want to kind of read … Twelfth Night now? If I read Shakespeare not for class now I blame this book. 

Drama

I felt like it was a little bit slow at times but that could just me as I read this over a few weeks (thx to uni life). A lot did rely on drama which I don’t usually like, but at times I was actually wanting it to happen? It worked as it made sense with what the characters were going through and I knew it would be alright in the end (just some good ol’ angst).

Representation

Alice Oseman has a way of touching on very dark and realistic topics that many teenagers face while still sharing fun stories that are very easy to fall into. It doesn’t feel like these issues are glossed over or made unrealistic for the sake of a fictional novel. We see Georgia through various stages of acceptance – rather than being rushed to an immediate resolution – of herself and even at the end, she is still learning as many of us are throughout life. I also appreciate that this is an own voices novel. Alice has mentioned how it was hard to write as it was something so close to her own experience, and it is very evident how much work and care she put into writing it.

“I was angry at every single romance movie, every single fanfic, every single stupid OTP that had made me crave finding the perfect romance. It was because of all that, no doubt, that this new identity felt like a loss, when in reality, it should have been a beautiful discovery.”

I made a playlist based on the book (especially inspired by this quote) that you can listen to here:

!! Now onto the spoilery section !!


Georgia & Rooney

‘I mean I’m going to be here, annoying you, until we’re old ladies, sitting in the same care home, talking about putting on a Shakespeare because we’re all old and bored as shit.’ She grabbed the bunch of flowers and practically threw them at me.

Oh, Rooney and her plant Roderick…I love how like Rooney, Georgia just kinda brings the both of them back to life. Rooney is definitely a girl we all know in our lives. She’s the life of the party, you’re a little jealous of her ability to just fit in and make friends with everyone, and it’s hard to show her you care for her because she sometimes takes off and you worry.(especially when she’s outside in the cold at 3 am with no key) I really wasn’t sure where her and Georgia’s friendship was going at some points but I’m so happy they worked out. They were roommates! … and became best friends :))

Also when Rooney just signs them all up for the Shakespeare soc haha she knows how to get what she wants. Their reactions were everything.

‘Who are your members?’

‘Rooney Back,’ said Rooney, and then looked around at me and Pip.

We didn’t even have time to protest.

Oh my god, Rooney’s speech at the end of the book really had me tearing up. :’) At first (of course) I thought she was bringing the flowers back for Pip but when she just told Georgia how much she loved her I just melted.

Pip & Rooney 

Okay, I really was ready for that – I kissed your best friend but it wasn’t serious I actually do like you – angst I think because I knew it would add to their whole enemies to lovers dynamic. *chef’s kiss* Their bickering was A+ and the whole bouncy castle battle was my absolute favourite… I love how the only thing that gets them out of their arguing is Georgia fainting because we know they both care for her a lot :’).

‘There’s nothing to do, Georgia,’ he said softly. ‘There’s nothing to do at all.’

Jason – so we all know I’m a Scooby-Doo stan – and Sunil – with the self-confidence of a member of Queer Eye – were the sweetest characters too! Basically all of the other characters were great….except that jerk in the pride soc can choke. I’m so glad Georgia had Sunil as a kind of mentor she could look up to and even though it is still a work in progress… accept herself.

“If our lives were a movie, at least two of us would have got together.”

I love Georgia’s friendships with Jason and Pip. My heart was breaking when they got into a fight but I’m happy she won them back especially the big gesture for Pip and Georgia college proposing to her (okay I’m overusing this face by now but this scene also gets a :’).

“I had been so desperate for my idea of true love that I couldn’t even see it when it was right in front of my face.”

There are so many other great scenes in this book I could go on and on (Tommy falling into the fire and Georgia being upset about her favourite jacket is definitely up there) but if you somehow made it here to the end and haven’t read it yet.. you’d better go and read it for yourself.

At the end of the book Alice shares some further resources on asexuality & aromanticism and I came across a few I’d like to share too. This excellent review of Loveless and the Sounds Fake But Okay Podcast.

Friend me on Goodreads to see more of my play by play reactions!

Have you read Loveless or another book by Alice Oseman? What did you think?

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