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Does anyone know of any good young adult books with asexual characters?


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I’ve searched high and low and haven’t found hardly any books with ace characters besides weird side characters. I’d love to see an asexual protagonist. Also most books that have asexual characters usually have the character as aromantic as well as asexual which in my opinion is just lazy writing. I wish more writers who wrote asexual characters knew about the split attraction model. It’s just frustrating trying to find good books with ace characters. Please give me recommendations, thanks! 🙂

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You could check Wattpad? I know it isn't really the same as getting a book from a library, but there might be some books on there you could read online

People are really open about it on there, almost everyone I know on Wattpad is in the LGBTQ+ community

Warning: Watch out for badly written stories, there might be some

Sorry that this wasn't the best recommendation, but I also haven't read any good books with an asexual character 😕

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The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King has an important ace character: King Roland. It isn't very subtle about it, but he's not written as a token character. Roland is written as a full character, and his being ace has influence on the plot without overshadowing anything.

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Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann (biromantic ace protagonist) I believe it's a love story

 

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (aro/ace protagonist) Feminist historical fantasy. It's actually the sequel to The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue which can be summed up as a gay, historical European road trip novel. The narrator of the first book is far from asexual, but it largely features his aro/ace sister who is the narrator and protagonist of the second book. I really that book series, but there is some controversy around the author poorly representing trans people in a book that comes out this year. So I'm in a kind of weird place with my feelings about her at the moment, but I really love her other books. 

 

Those are the only good ones I can think of at the moment with ace main characters. Full Disclosure by Camryn Garret has an ace lesbian supporting character and Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro also has ace side characters. 

 

There's this book with a gay ace main character called Vanilla by Billy Merrell. I started reading it a while ago and then stopped because I wasn't in a good place with my identity to read it. The general opinion seems to be that the book itself is not aphobic and that it accurately represents asexuality. However, there are a lot of aphobic attitudes in the book, most of it is really not validating at all. 

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Tintin? It's for all ages, but maybe not what you are looking for hahah.

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8 hours ago, Ekbekah said:

I’ve searched high and low and haven’t found hardly any books with ace characters besides weird side characters. I’d love to see an asexual protagonist. Also most books that have asexual characters usually have the character as aromantic as well as asexual which in my opinion is just lazy writing. I wish more writers who wrote asexual characters knew about the split attraction model. It’s just frustrating trying to find good books with ace characters. Please give me recommendations, thanks! 🙂

Moving away from YA, you'll find more books, if you don't mind gay or m/m romance novels.

However, have you tried the Listopia lists on Goodreads?

There's a lot of overlap in these lists, but I hope they help:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/61456.Asexuals_In_Fiction_

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/44480.Asexuality_in_YA_Fiction

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/105434.Aro_and_Ace_Spectrum_Characters_in_SFF

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5 hours ago, mintteaa said:

There's this book with a gay ace main character called Vanilla by Billy Merrell. I started reading it a while ago and then stopped because I wasn't in a good place with my identity to read it. The general opinion seems to be that the book itself is not aphobic and that it accurately represents asexuality. However, there are a lot of aphobic attitudes in the book, most of it is really not validating at all. 

Thanks for the warning. Personally going through a profound identity adjustment of my own, and everything is triggering. I'm a big YA fiction fan and never minded the girl getting the boy/girl in the end, but after a very upsetting experience, I now find myself **angry** at the all the amatonormative bullshit. I'm pining for more ace characters of any prominence, be they quirky side characters or not. Don't know about others, but I personally only want to read in stories that take place in the here and now. Fantasy, manga, and historical fiction is kind of out. Sorry to be an old fuddy-dud.

 

To call it slim pickings is an understatement. But maybe that will change now in the next couple of years?

 

I work in public library admin, and have an advantage being friends with all the librarians responsible for buying new titles for the collection. Maybe I'll put a bug in the ear of the J/YA librarian to keep a lookout. 

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6 minutes ago, IvoryBill said:

I'm pining for more ace characters of any prominence, be they quirky side characters or not. Don't know about others, but I personally only want to read in stories that take place in the here and now

Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann and Full Disclosure by Camryn Garret are both realistic/contemporary. They are both romance stories, though. 

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My favorite is "Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow" by rainbow rowell. 
The word "asexual" isn't used, but he dates a girl because he feels like he's supposed to, then enjoys kissing a guy but doesn't want sex.

 

It's a fantasy that makes fun of the chosen one archetype and a clever magic system based on sayings.

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9 minutes ago, mintteaa said:

Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann and Full Disclosure by Camryn Garret are both realistic/contemporary. They are both romance stories, though. 

Yeah I read the Goodreads blurb with hope. Right up until the "swoony butterflies." Um, NOPE. That is *madly* triggering for me right now.  *SIGH* 😔

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1 hour ago, IvoryBill said:

Thanks for the warning. Personally going through a profound identity adjustment of my own, and everything is triggering. I'm a big YA fiction fan and never minded the girl getting the boy/girl in the end, but after a very upsetting experience, I now find myself **angry** at the all the amatonormative bullshit. I'm pining for more ace characters of any prominence, be they quirky side characters or not. Don't know about others, but I personally only want to read in stories that take place in the here and now. Fantasy, manga, and historical fiction is kind of out. Sorry to be an old fuddy-dud.

 

To call it slim pickings is an understatement. But maybe that will change now in the next couple of years?

 

I work in public library admin, and have an advantage being friends with all the librarians responsible for buying new titles for the collection. Maybe I'll put a bug in the ear of the J/YA librarian to keep a lookout. 

Sorry you're having a hard time.

How about Finding Your Feet by Cass Lennox? Fair warning though, you'll have to deal with one of the worst tropes in m/f fiction (no one communicating with each other which leads to a ridiculous argument, etc. [I found it annoying and is one of the reasons I don't read m/f romance much]).

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31567740-finding-your-feet

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  • 3 weeks later...
ConfusedTeen.

- we Awaken by Calista Lynne 

- Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire 

- Quicksliver (sequel to Ultreviolet) by R.J Anderson 

- Radio Silence by Alice Oseman 

- the kings name by Joe Walton 

- Before I let go by Marieke Mkjkamp 

- City of strife by Claudie

 

 

 

 

 

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Have you come across Summer Bird Blue? I can't remember specifically if the protagonist was aromantic as well as asexual, she might have been... Anyway, I enjoyed it, it was the first book featuring an asexual character I read and it was refreshing and comforting to have her put some things into words.

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  • 1 month later...
aceghostcoast2coast

Seconding Let's Talk About Love, adding Claire Kann's second book, If It Makes You Happy, and adding:

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand (more paranormal than contemporary, think Stranger Things with eldritch horror and queer girls, but the ace character is a main character and is in a healthy relationship)

The Spy with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke (historical fiction in WWII told from the POVs of two siblings -- one sibling is a bi girl and the other is demiromantic and gay)

 

This list from YALSA contains a lot more that I haven't read, too! http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2019/04/08/booklist-asexuality-aromanticism-young-adult-fiction/

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Perpetual Geek

So this book hasn't come out yet, but there's this Childrens novel called Rick by Alex Gino about an asexual kid that's supposed to come out April 21st. I've actually read it myself. I know it's not Young Adult but I've read some really good LGBTQ novels for children under 12 and this feels like it could be one of them. Not exactly what you're looking for but I still hope you enjoy it if you decide to get it when it comes out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would recommend Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann I really enjoyed it and it was a really relatable and cute love story

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It's already been mentioned above, but I enjoyed the fact that Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire has LGBT characters but that's not the main plot point. I like fantasy and am always looking for stories that happen to have queer characters. And this one features an ace character. I haven't read the sequels, but want to.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm pretty late to this haha, but I am very passionate about both YA books and ace rep, so I have contributions:

  • Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor (one of the three main characters is aroace - the words are used on page, and the fact that they are two separate things is acknowledged)
  • Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller (one of the two main characters is ace and sapphic - the label isn't used on page, but it is discussed, and intentional rep)
  • The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow (one of the two main characters is demisexual - the label is used on page and discussed)

Also a few that I haven't read, but I've either heard great things about or are written by aspec authors (or both):

  • Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland (I believe this is about a bi ace character, although I may be wrong about bi)
  • Immoral Code by Lillian Clark (I think this one has an aroace main character)
  • Loveless by Alice Oseman (this one isn't out quite yet, but it's about a girl discovering she's aroace and I am almost certain it will have amazing rep)
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  • 2 months later...
Rafiah Tajudeen
On 2/24/2020 at 3:42 PM, bakers_dozen said:

Have you come across Summer Bird Blue? I can't remember specifically if the protagonist was aromantic as well as asexual, she might have been... Anyway, I enjoyed it, it was the first book featuring an asexual character I read and it was refreshing and comforting to have her put some things into words.

Summer Bird Blue is a YA or Teen novel about an aro ace girl finding her identity. She’s going through grief because ger sister died in a car crash.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Bird-Blue-Akemi-Bowman/dp/1481487760/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

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  • 5 months later...
random-person

alice osman is an aromantic asexual author and she has 2 books that i have read with asexual charecters. First off all Loveless with an asexual aromantic charecter and radio silence with a demiasexual charecter. Their really good highly recomennd

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fragglerocking

I’m about to read Loveless as soon as it arrives, I’ll let you know how it is.

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I’m a bit late here, but Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire has a heteroromantic asexual protagonist. It’s actually where I first heard of the idea that romantic and sexual orientations are separate, thus leading me to my identity, so this book has a special place in my heart.

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