Review: Loveless by Alice Oseman | be prepared for A Lot Of Emotions

Loveless

by Alice Oseman

“All I had to do was wait, and my big love story would come. I would find the one. We would fall in love. And I’d get my happily ever after.”

Published July 9, 2020 by HarperCollins Children’s Books

435 pages

Genre: YA contemporary

Date finished: July 22, 2020

Content warnings: aphobia, alcohol abuse

goodreads

5

Summary:

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?

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My thoughts (spoiler free)

It feels surreal to be writing this review. Frankly, it feels surreal to have read this book, which I’ve been anticipating for about two years — and in a way, I’ve been waiting for my entire life.

Five stars doesn’t seem like enough to express the depth of how much it meant to me to read this book. It was like Alice Oseman somehow looked inside my brain, pulled out the essence of me, and wrote a book about it. Reading this, I felt like I was eighteen again, starting college and so unsure of who I was. Somehow, this book managed to put into words so much of what I’ve felt over the past few years, which is both terrifying and beautiful to read.

This book follows Georgia, who’s never had a relationship or even a crush, but who is absolutely obsessed with romance. As she starts university, she’s determined to finally get that authentic teen experience, but all of her plans to find love backfire on her.

Essentially, this is an aro-ace coming out story like I’ve never seen before. And if you’ll allow me, I’m going to get personal for a moment.

I think realizing that you’re aro or ace is different from many other identities. So much of the pride we see is about celebrating love and sexuality and connection to other people. Asexuality and aromanticism is about a lack of attraction. There’s a sense of loss that comes along with that, a feeling of being, well, loveless. You can’t have what everybody else supposedly has. Your version of pride will never be defiantly walking down the street holding hands with the person you love because odds are you’re not going to have that person. It’s slightly terrifying to realize that you might spend your life alone, a fate that society has taught you is to be avoided at all costs.

“I felt like I was grieving. I was grieving this fake life, a fantasy future that I was never going to live.
I had no idea what my life would be like now. And that scared me. God, that scared me so, so much.”

In Loveless, Georgia’s process of self-discovery allows her to feel all of this. She loves romance, and the realization that she won’t ever have an epic romance of her own is nothing short of a devastating loss. The book shows that it’s okay to feel that way, since there is a certain amount of grief in letting go a version of your future that you always imagined. But the book doesn’t stop there.

I have never, ever read a book that prioritizes and celebrates platonic relationships as much as this one does. Georgia’s realization of her identity is also a realization that she can have an epic love story — a love story that’s about friendship rather than romance. This book shows that friendships can be just as, if not more, important and fulfilling as romantic relationships.

I’ve never read a non-romantic book that’s so full of love.

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

Georgia isn’t the only one in this book who struggles with feeling loveless. Every single one of the main characters feels in some way or another that they’re not worthy or they’re unloveable in some way. I love the way that this shows the pressure that everyone, not just aro or ace folks, feels in regards to romance — everyone feels like they have to have a certain amount of experience by a certain age or prove that they’re worthy of love. The expectation that all people experience love in the same way or want the same thing is so unhealthy, which is a major theme in this book.

“In the end, that was the problem with romance. It was so easy to romanticise romance because it was everywhere.”

Speaking of other characters, let’s talk a little more about them, shall we? Because I adore them all.

Pip and Jason are Georgia’s best friends, who end up going to uni with her. Pip is basically the definition of a disaster lesbian, and Jason is essentially the human form of the teddy bear emoji. I would protect them with my life.

Then there’s Rooney, Georgia’s roommate, who I can’t even talk about without wanting to cry because I love her so much?? She’s kind of a mess and I will love her until my dying breath.

And of course, there’s Sunil, actual ray of sunshine, and my new favorite Osemanverse side character! Not only is he quite literally the Best Person In The Entire Planet, but he has impeccable taste in podcasts and bands. And he plays the cello!!!! (That last bit is unimportant but it made me love him even more.)

Despite all the emotional stuff and the fact that I cried at least 57 times while reading, this book is absolutely hilarious. Possibly the funniest of Alice Oseman’s books?? Shenanigans with Shakespeare, bouncy castle battles, hilarious misunderstandings, and so much banter. Anytime Pip and Rooney were on the page together, I immediately started grinning because their dynamic is so entertaining.

As usual, Alice Oseman’s writing style is easy to get immersed in. Reading it feels like I’m being told the story by a good friend. I flew through this book within a matter of hours, only taking one break for snacks, because I simply could not tear my eyes away from the page.

“Rooney: Might have to go back to good old-fashioned Meeting People In Real Life.
Georgia: ew.
hate that for me.”

I don’t even know what else to say about this book, because I don’t know if words can even properly express how much it meant for me to read this. If I had read this as a teenager, it genuinely would have changed my life. I’ve been anticipating this book for, I don’t know, two years?? Since long before we even had a title or synopsis. Not only did it live up to my expectations, but it far exceeded them. I already want to reread it.

I’ll just say this: I’ve read more books than I can count about love in so many different forms, including books that I love, books that have shaped me. But until now, I’d never read a book that tells me so plainly that the kind of love that I feel is just as worthy and important and powerful. And that means more to me than I can ever say.

“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.”

Similar books:

x Margaret 

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55 thoughts on “Review: Loveless by Alice Oseman | be prepared for A Lot Of Emotions

  1. margaret!! you put all of my thoughts about this book into words that I (still) haven’t quite been able to sort out. your review is so good and lowkey made me tear up 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This book review is absolutely AMAZING, Margaret! I’ve obviously become interested in Alice Oseman’s books since reading Radio Silence earlier this year, but wow: I immediately added Loveless to my TBR because you pitched it so well and your raving makes me want this book in my hands yesterday.

    I can’t even begin to explain how much I love when books focus on platonic relationships because, as you said, they’re just as important as romantic relationships – sometimes even more important. And to be entirely honest with you, whether it’s my own fault for not diversifying my reads or the lack of aro-ace main characters in YA books, I’m not sure that I’ve ever read a book with that representation. It makes my heart swell to know that this book exists, and that it does such a great job at existing, that it becomes relatable and realistic. I love, love, LOVE that.

    I’m so beyond myself excited to pick up Loveless. A book that has amazing main and side characters and it has the ability to make me cry and laugh at the same time? Sign me up!

    Fantastic review, Margaret! Thank you for sharing this! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, thank you, Lauren!! 💜 I’m delighted that you’ve become an Alice Oseman stan, and I’m so glad I could convince you to give this one a try too 😀

      Yesss, any book that focuses on platonic relationships is automatically a win from me. And this one did it PERFECTLY. If you ever need more aro-ace book recs, hit me up!! There aren’t a ton out there, sadly, but there are still some great ones.

      I’m so excited for you to read Loveless too!! Thank you so much for your lovely comment 💜💜💜

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a beautiful review. I know we tend to use the 😭 emoji as a sign of emotion, even if we aren’t actually crying, but I’m being 100% honest when I say that I’m crying in my living room right now because of this review.

    I’ve known about this book’s synopsis for a while now, but reading your words made me realize how much I need this book in my life right now. I’m also glad you found it hilarious, I’ve loved Alice Oseman’s humor in the past, but that makes me even more excited! Everything about this book and your review speaks so much to what I’m going through in my life, and I don’t know if I’m emotionally ready to read the book just yet! But just know that I’m so glad you loved it, and I can’t wait to experience this story soon. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh thank you so much, Xandra!! I don’t know whether to apologize or be incredibly touched that my review made you cry 💜 Thank you!

      Yess I think you’ll love the sense of humor if you’ve enjoyed it in Alice’s books in the past 😀 I really hope this book can be just as impactful for you as it has been for me. I can definitely understand needing to be in the right emotional place to read it — my DMs are always open if you need to talk about anything! 💜

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  4. I loved, loved, LOVED Loveless, and I’m so glad you did too! 💜 I love everything you mention in your review, and yes, this was so damn entertaining – for example, Pip and Rooney’s clueless fumbling made for some great content. Ahh, I loved these characters, and yes, Sunil was incredible, one of my favorite characters this year. Fantastic review!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such an amazing, thoughtful review! I have this one on my shelves and cannot wait to get to it. I haven’t found any books that touch on the aro-ace experience to this degree, and I’m so so excited to read this story. Thank you for such a great review, I’m so happy you enjoyed this! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a beautiful review Margaret ❤️ I feel sad that you’ve had to wait so long for a book that makes you feel as seen as Loveless, but I’m also really glad it’s lived up to your expectations. Making a deep personal connection with a book is the best feeling and everyone should be able to experience it. Hopefully more books like this will follow suit! 🌈❤️ X x x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. this is such a beautiful review, margaret! i’m so, so happy that this book exceeded your expectations and resonated with you so much (ah, it’s been so long since i’ve felt that way about a book 😭).

    i’m really excited to read this!! i’m pretty sure radio silence is the only contemporary book i’ve ever rated 5 stars lmao, and i love the diversity she includes in her books! also, she writes three-dimensional and complex characters, which i feel like is harder to do in contemporary 🥺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Caitlin!! 💜 Wow, that’s some high praise for Radio Silence – I hope Loveless can be just as wonderful for you, and I hope you’re able to find a book that resonates with you just as much as this one did for me 😊 Yesss her diversity and characters are always spot on!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh no I am NOT ready for this book. This review is amazing btw *insert heart eyes*

    I ahhh I truly am not ready. Which I’ve said alreadt wow. Alice is such an inspiration and I’ve only read Radio Silence of her novels, still must get to IWBFT. Which I’ll def do before reading this one. But ahh its going to break me. We love books that prioritise friendship over romance eeppp

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I absolutely adored this book – it put me through sooo many emotions. This is the first book I’ve read where being aro-ace is the main focus, and I knew it would affect me but I didn’t realise quite how much.

    I’m demisexual, so my journey has not been quite the same as Georgia’s, but until I read that chapter where she’s grieving for her future I never quite realised how lucky I am. I might be on the ace spectrum but I do still get to experience that typical “love story” and I hadn’t really taken notice of that before. It hit me hard. Not to mention all the scenes of Georgia trying to force herself to feel and do things, or hating herself for her identity – that shit HURT. There were lots of tears.

    This book is so, so important and I know it’s one I’ll come back to time and time again. I’m so grateful that it’s out in the world and getting so much attention because I know this will help so many people with their own journey. I’m so glad you were able to put your review into words because honestly, I haven’t managed it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy that you also loved this book, Abi! I’ve read so few books that explore aro-ace identities, but of them this is undoubtedly my new favorite.

      I think “there were lots of tears” is a good way of summing up my experience with this book too. I’m really glad you were able to get something out of it even if it doesn’t align exactly with your experience!

      Ahhh yes, every time i think about all the people who are going to see or understand themselves through this book for the first time, I get emotional all over again 😭 I’m so excited for the reception this has gotten so far, and I just want everyone to read it!! Thank you so much for your lovely comment 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my gosh, this is such a beautifully written review, Margaret!! I’ve been wanting to read Loveless SO badly and this review has only amplified that desire haha ❤ It sounds like such an incredible book and I'm so happy that it resonated so much with you ☺️ Tbh I'm not sure if I'm ace, but I love my friends so so much and my platonic relationships mean the world to me, so I'm really excited to experience Georgia's story. Thank you for writing this wonderful review! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Margaret, this is the most beautiful book review I’ve ever read! Thank you so much for sharing all your thoughts and doing it so eloquently. I truly enjoyed reading it.❤️ I am so happy you loved this story so much and now I’m very much looking forward to reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh Margaret reading this review made me all emotional 🥺 I’m so just so, so happy you loved this book and could relate to so many parts of it, too, this is so important and beautiful🥺 I have loved Alice’s previous work and am looking forward to discovering Loveless and its beautiful focus on platonic relationships, too!! 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  13. margaret, this review is so, so beautiful – i loved reading every word of it and it made me tear up!! 🥺🥺 the only alice oseman book i’ve read so far is radio silence, but i adored it and have been wanting to read loveless for the longest time!

    honestly, hearing about the emphasis on celebrating friendship and all the lovely characters and reading those beautiful quotes makes me want to drop everything and pick it up right now. and i’m so so happy you were able to connect with it!! ❤ i can’t repeat enough how much i loved reading your review, maragaret, and i’m even more excited to go into loveless now 🥰🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you SO much, Ash! 💜 Radio Silence is also a favorite of mine, and I think you’ll enjoy Loveless if you liked that one 😀

      Ahh I’m very glad I could get you excited about this book! I hope you’re able to pick it up soon, and I hope you love it too!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. wow, margaret, thank you so much for writing this! i just finished writing my own review for loveless and i was definitely not as eloquent and i feel like i couldn’t really express the ways in which this book resonated with me because i could finally see myself in it, but it definitely was amazing.

    like you put, it is a non-romantic book but it’s not devoid of love at all. it made me so happy to see a celebration of platonic love and love in all forms. i loved rooney the most, much like you i think, because even though i couldn’t relate much with her, i felt for every thing she was going through.

    again, amazing review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lais! 💜 Oh I can’t wait to read your review – it truly is SO hard to properly express how much a book means when you resonate with it so much. And yes, there was so much love in this book!! Rooney was amazing 💜 I did not expect to love her this much, but she’s absolutely a new favorite character for me!

      Liked by 1 person

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