Publishers Weekly Review
College student Alice Johnston, 19, is in the closet-sort of. Her friends and family know that she is bisexual, but what they don't know (and what Alice isn't really ready to tell them) is that she's also asexual. Alice is hurt when Margot, her roommate and girlfriend, breaks up with her, but she isn't surprised. Giving up on love seems to be the best solution until Takumi enters the picture. Registering an unprecedented "black" rating on Alice's "Cutie Code," Takumi makes Alice's heart beat faster than normal, and their developing friendship allows Alice to slowly begin to reveal things about herself, her friendship with Feenie and Ryan (her now-engaged best friends from high school), and her family. Debut novelist Kann thoughtfully tackles what it means to be asexual and gives Alice a platform to discover who she is and what it means for her relationship with Takumi. Asexual readers will appreciate the visibility, and those-like Alice's ex-who know poorly understand it, will gain a better sense of what love without sex can look like. Ages 13-up. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
Recently dumped, Alice Whitley prepares for a not-so-great summer. She's working at her local library and living with her best friend, Feenie, and Feenie's boyfriend, Ryan. Then she meets Takumi, and he totally breaks Alice's Cutie Code (her internal barometer for how cute someone is). Takumi leaves her tongue-tied and flustered. Alice thinks she's sexually attracted to Takumi, which is momentous because Alice identifies as asexual. She's never felt sexually attracted to anyone before it's why her ex-girlfriend dumped her. This is overwhelming for her, so she goes to therapy to sort out her emotions. Amid all of this, her parents are pressuring her to declare a pre-law major, and they refuse to pay for any other career path. In the end, it's a happily-ever-after, but the journey is tantamount. Readers will fall in love with Alice's (sometimes immature) personality and cheer her on as she comes out to Takumi. Though it lacks discussion on the full spectrum of asexuality, this is a timely, nuanced, and diverse debut.--Gilfillian, Courtney Copyright 2017 Booklist