Problematic in more than one way—bullet-point style, because I have other reviews to write:
- The writing style didn't agree with me from the beginning, whether the narrative or the dialogues (nobody really talks like that).
- Alice is a very childish character, more a young teenager than a 19-year-old person. Her "Cutie-Code" would've been OK had she been 13, but otherwise, it was pretty much face-palming.
- Which ties into another problem for me: "Alice = childish" so "Alice = asexual" can so easily been read as "asexual = she'll grow out of it".
- Also, Manic Pixie Dream Girl syndrome.
- The romance itself was nothing exceptional. Most of the relationship building even happens off-screen. Such as: Alice and Takumi fly in a hot air balloon, but we don't see it, we only know about it because she tells her friends. I don't know... Just show me the characters enjoying their flight? (At least that would've been better than the chicken soup part, with all its girl = mother/nurse implications.)
- Takumi taking pictures of Alice without her consent is creepy. And it's even creepier to see that it bothers her for, like, two seconds only before it gets swept under the rug. What's with romance stories trying to pass creepy stuff as "romantic"?
- Just communicate with your friends! That will spare you a lot of trouble.
- Not that the Alice/Feenie friendship is very healthy in itself. I kept feeling that Feenie just wanted to keep Alice in reach, and as soon as Alice started to see other people, then it meant Drama.
- To echo Alice's feeling: yes, having to always educate people about being [asexual / trans / gay / bi / lesbian / anything ] is super tiring. So reading such explanations throughout the book was super tiring, too. It tried too hard in that regard.
- Diversity is great, but Alice and Takumi were so generic that it didn't mean anything here.
I was so disappointed here. Ace representation isn't so widespread, so I was really hoping I'd like this book, and... Nope. Just the same old YA romance stuff as in (white) straight YA romance, only with lessons about asexuality.