*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD*
Having read Loveless just prior to the release of Netflix’s ‘Heartstopper’, I was thrilled to see Alice Oseman get the recognition that her writing deserves.
Oseman secured a deal for her debut – Solitaire – when she was just 17 and it was published while she was at university. Radio Silence and I Was Born For This followed, before Loveless made it four novels for the prolific writer.
On top of that, everyone now knows that Oseman also created the graphic novel series Heartstopper, which has delighted Netflix audiences since its adaptation earlier this year.
Loveless follows the story of 18-year-old Georgia, as she starts university in Durham, and worries about never having had sex. Throughout the novel, she finds herself surrounded by new friends, new scenarios and new terms such as ‘aromantic’ and ‘asexual’.
Despite imagining herself in romantic and sexual relationships, Georgia’s increasing awareness of her lack of sexual relationships leaves her feeling broken and ‘loveless’. She is obsessed with the idea of a (fan)fiction romance, and desperately craves the feeling of being madly in love. It is only when she meets Sunil, leader of Pride Society and wearer of the unfamiliar purple striped badge, that we get the first inklings of where she might discover her sexuality.
Tackling the ‘A’ in LGBTQIA+ isn’t often done in literature, TV or film. Oseman’s inclusive novel creates a stunning display of what love can mean if you truly want to find it.
By taking her own aro/ace experiences and using real-life locations in Durham, Oseman creates a very real scenario. She perfectly captures the contemporary university experience through a combination of prose and group chats.
A tender, messy novel, Georgia spends most of it desperately seeking romantic or sexual love, but blind to what is right in front of her: her tender, messy friendships.
I feel very personally invested in Georgia’s story. I am only disappointed that I didn’t come across this beautiful book sooner.