3 Empowering Books That Celebrate People on the Aromantic Spectrum

This week’s Three to Read brings you books about aromanticism that highlight non-romantic forms of love. Read on for our exciting recommendations!

Diversity LGBTQIA+ Reads Recommendations Three To Read
Hopeless Aromantic cover by Samantha Rendle, Sounds Fake But Okay cover by Sarah Costello and Kayla Kaszyca, and The Bruising of Qilwa cover by Naseem Jamnia in front of a natural landscape with thin trees and a rising sun.

When most people think of the month of February, they think of Valentine’s Day and all things romance. But now that Valentine’s Day has passed, it’s time to celebrate single people instead! While Singles Awareness Day — an unofficial holiday for people who aren’t in romantic relationships that honors self-love, as well as the love between family and friends — occurs on February 15 of each year, these forms of love deserve more than one day of celebration.

In particular, we want to highlight the voices of people on the aromantic spectrum, as this identity is very rarely represented or celebrated in mainstream media. Thus, this week’s Three to Read recommendations delve into the aromantic experience, providing important advice and representation for those who are a part of the aspec community. Keep reading to learn more about our picks!

HOT PICK

Hopeless Aromantic: An Affirmative Guide to Aromanticism by Samantha Rendle

Hopeless Aromantic by Samantha Rendle, green and white text on a peach-colored background.
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SYNOPSIS:

Not everyone dreams of falling in love, getting married, and having children. And despite what society might tell you, that’s totally okay! In Hopeless Aromantic, Samantha Rendle validates the feelings and experiences of everyone on the aromantic spectrum, providing warm guidance on how to deal with stigma, shame, and finding yourself. If you’re questioning your feelings about romance, this book is here to illuminate what aromanticism is, how to form meaningful relationships as an aro person, and so much more.

WHY:

Rejecting the standard life plan society expects everyone to follow is no easy feat, especially when it seems like you’re the only one who feels the way you do. But Samantha Rendle is here to tell you that you’re not alone. For those who may be struggling with their identity as an aromantic person or who may be questioning whether they fall somewhere on the aro spectrum, this book is a much-needed guide to navigating such feelings. Rendle uses her own life experiences to provide the reader with advice and reassurance, affirming that there is support to be found in the art community.

COFFEE SHOP READ

Sounds Fake But Okay: An Asexual and Aromantic Perspective on Love, Relationships, Sex, and Pretty Much Anything Else by Sarah Costello and Kayla Kaszyca

Sounds Fake But Okay cover by Sarah Costello and Kayla Kaszyca, a pair of purple circular sunglasses.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP

SYNOPSIS:

Forget everything you thought you knew about human relationships because Sarah Costello and Kayla Kaszyca are here to show you how the world looks from an asexual and aromantic perspective. In Sounds Fake But Okay, Costello and Kaszyca deconstruct traditional societal constructs around dating, romance, sex, friendship, and more. Through an examination of the many different kinds of relationships we have in our lifetime — from romantic partnerships to familial bonds to friendships to our relationship with society and ourselves — this book invites us all to investigate the question: what does human connection truly mean?

WHY:

In this book, Costello and Kaszyca share their personal stories as aspec individuals to help explore conversations around micro labels, gender norms, and both romantic and sexual attraction. With the perfect mix of humor and candidness, Sounds Fake But Okay provides a necessary and underrepresented perspective on every form of human connection. Whether you’re asexual, aromantic, questioning, or none of the above, this is a perfect resource for demystifying sex and dating.

DARK HORSE

The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia

The Bruising of Qilwa cover by Naseem Jamnia, a hand dripping blood hovering above a kingdom on a hill.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP

SYNOPSIS:

The Bruising of Qilwa is an engaging debut fantasy set in a queernormative Persian-inspired world. Firuz-e Jafari, a nonbinary blood magic practitioner, finds refuge in the Free Democratic City-State of Qilwa after fleeing persecution in their homeland. There, Firuz gets a job at a healing clinic, where they discover a gruesome new illness that leaves people with strange bruises. As the disease ravages Firuz’s new home, they must wade through sociopolitical rifts and dismantle cycles of prejudice to secure a future for their chosen family.

WHY:

Romance is a core element of many fantasy novels, often playing an integral role in the plot and character development. And if it’s difficult to find a fantasy story without a romance subplot, you can bet it’s next to impossible to find one with aromantic representation. However, The Bruising of Qilwa is an aspec fantasy lover’s dream! The main character Firuz is asexual and aromantic, and much of the narrative centers around the non-romantic relationships Firuz has with the members of their found family. A thrilling and inclusive read from start to finish, The Bruising of Qilwa is a revolutionary addition to the fantasy canon.


For more Three to Read recommendations, check back here every Tuesday, and for some books by asexual authors, click here.

Browse these books and more reads handpicked by the Bookstr team on our Three to Read bookshelf on Bookshop.org.

FEATURED IMAGE VIA JAIDEN CRUZ / BOOKSTR