Themes: Identity, Self-Discovery, Friendship
Audience: Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Released: July 20, 2020
Quite possibly Alice Oseman’s best novel so far! She has ranked among my favourite authors for a while now. I’ve enjoyed all her books, but perhaps because of its experiential nature, there’s something special about this one. Loveless follows an introverted English Literature student on a quest to find love and herself during her first year at Durham University. It’s equal parts funny and touching, and narrated in a voice that’s as believable as it is engaging.
I can’t remember the last time I related to a character as deeply as I did to Georgia, the novel’s eighteen-year-old protagonist. From the big things—her dislike of large gatherings and the social awkwardness that hinders her efforts to make new friends—to the small details—Georgia’s love of patterned jumpers and cosy nights in—Alice Oseman may as well have been describing me. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the story resonated so strongly with me.
Since I felt such an attachment to Georgia, perhaps it’s little wonder I fell in love with her friends, too. I adored out-and-proud lesbian Pip with her gruffness and wicked sense of humour, while kind, steadfast Jason completely stole my heart. Then there’s Rooney—so much the outgoing party girl on the surface and yet clearly hurting underneath—who I just wanted to hug. I bonded with all three, so when Georgia’s doomed search for love causes a rift between them, it was truly heartbreaking.
I had particular fun reading the chapters devoted to the rehearsals of the newly-revived Shakespeare society, watching Pip and Rooney’s fiery love/hate romance develop through their portrayals of Beatrice and Benedick. The group decides to perform scenes from their favourite Shakespeare plays. Their aim is to showcase the various incarnations of love, which is fitting, since the fact that love comes in many forms—romantic, platonic, familial—is really what this book is all about.
The author obviously has a profound connection with this story. Alice Oseman recently came out as aromantic asexual, the same orientation as the heroine in Loveless, and her experience shines through every word. Georgia’s journey of self-discovery is so incredibly authentic, every one of her emotions and doubts described with vivid poignancy. I truly felt as though I were there with her, holding her hand as she navigated university life, made mistakes, and slowly grew to accept herself for who she is.
For a novel which is as hilarious as it is moving, an authentic exploration of a lesser understood identity, and a cast of characters I would give anything to know in real life, Loveless by Alice Oseman gets 10/10 rainbows!
About the Book
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?
Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush – but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day.
As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight.
But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic – Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.
Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along?
About Alice Oseman
Alice Oseman is an author/illustrator and was born in 1994 in Kent, England. She has written four YA contemporary novels about teenage disasters: Solitaire,
Alice’s first novel Solitaire was published when she was nineteen. Her YA novels have been nominated for the YA Book Prize, the Inky Awards, and the Goodreads Choice Award, and HEARTSTOPPER has been optioned for TV. She can usually be found staring aimlessly at computer screens, questioning the meaninglessness of existence, or doing anything and everything to avoid getting an office job.