Where Ideas Grow

A blog for students of creative writing at York St John University

A Review of Alice Oseman’s ‘Loveless’

“And the worst part of it was – even though I’d longed for these things, I knew that they’d never make me happy anyway. The idea was beautiful. But the reality made me sick.”

Alice Oseman

Georgia, the protagonist, has never experienced anything sexually or romantically but believed she wants it. She feels pressured to ‘catch up’ to everyone else, who has already hit certain milestones by the time her y13 sixth form prom comes around.

Loveless (2020) is the fourth young adult novel of best-selling author Alice Oseman, most known for her Heartstopper graphic novel series, which is now a Netflix series. Her prose novels are less lighthearted and serious in tone, dealing with darker and more adult issues. Loveless is about a young woman’s journey to accepting herself at university and figuring out who she is. In a society that is so focused on romance and women’s relationships with men, Loveless is a breath of fresh air.

Georgia proceeds to rush into activities that she is not comfortable with, but feels that she has to be, and forces herself to try to be something she’s not. This strikes a chord because we all strive to be accepted, to do everything everyone else does, so we feel we are a part of something, and not on the outside. Loveless, however, drives home the message that you should only do things that you are comfortable with, and take your time to figure out what you want and not follow anyone else.

Alice Oseman is the perfect innovator for young people accepting themselves in a world which is throwing all the wrong assumptions at them and presuming how they should be, when Alice Oseman is carving out a new path; Accepting yourself as you are, is always better than pandering to what someone else thinks you should be.

I have never read a book on asexuality, but the way Alice Oseman writes explains the topic in an empathetic and understandable way. Loveless perfectly captures and shows an understanding of sexuality that is less talked about but still on the LGBTQ spectrum. The sensitivity, empathy and enduringness of the characters, their individual journeys and how friendship and platonic love can sometimes be stronger than romantic love.

Critical Reception

Loveless has won Bookseller’s 2021 YA Book Prize
Recommendation: 8/10

Thandiwe Grant

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

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