Ace Week, originally called Asexual Awareness Week, was founded by Sara Beth Brooks in 2010 after she discovered her own asexuality. Initial campaigns were conducted through social media platforms, but in 2011, Brooks organized a committee to overhaul this and target mass media, educational organizations, medical professionals, and sex-positive communities. Now going into its 12th year, the event maintains the same general outreach strategy while allowing each year to have its own “flavor.” To celebrate its longevity, explore these six asexual books that have been published since the start of this movement.
1. Wren Martin Ruins It All by Amanda DeWitt (2023)
Pitched as Netflix’s Love is Blind meets Casey McQuiston’s Red, White, and Royal Blue, the book follows Wren Martin, the asexual student council president, whose first order of business is to abolish the annual Valentine’s Day Dance. But after his rival, VP Leo Reyes, recommends getting a sponsorship from Buddy, the “not a dating” app, as a solution to his budget problems, Wren finds himself exploring the complexities of falling in love when he starts to develop feelings for one of the app’s mysterious users.
2. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (2017)
This book may contain triggering material. CW/TW can be found here.
For fans of Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, and Philip Pullman. Some children fall down rabbit holes. Others slip through a crack in a wardrobe. Most are sent back to their regular worlds. And all end up at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children to recuperate. Nancy is one such child, who longs to return to the magical world that rejected her. But for now, she develops friendships with the other misfits and adapts to life at this peculiar house. It’s almost cozy…
If you just ignore the smattering of murders that have been targeting the children.
3. Being Ace: An Anthology of Queer, Trans, Femme, and Disabled Stories of Asexual Love and Connection ed. by Madeline Dyer (2023)
In a mash-up of sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary stories, this anthology collection highlights the diversity that comprises the asexual community and its members. From surviving haunted cemeteries to space adventures to lessons in outsmarting a water spirit, the sub-identities of the spectrum are each given their chance to shine in 14 unique stories.
4. Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland (2019)
Note: this book may contain triggering material for some readers. CW/TW can be found here.
Kamai and her mother are Soulwalkers–with the ability to visit others in their sleep. But everywhere Kamai goes, the enticing black door follows. Her mother warned her about opening the door, so instead, she touches the harmless wood, finding it warm and beating–with a pulse. But when tragedy strikes, opening the door is the only option. Comprised of an intoxicating blend of court intrigue, romance, and a seductive mystery that threatens Kamai’s soul and kingdom. Perfect for fans of Labyrinth and the Phantom of the Opera.
5. Every Bird A Prince by Jenn Reese (2022)
7th grader Eren Evers only feels like herself when she’s on her bike. While her friends navigate crushes, Eren races on the muddy trials with the wind in her face. But when she rescues a strange bird on her daily ride, she discovers that a forest kingdom is under attack by the vile Frostfangs–and they need Eren’s help. Of course, this is a tremendous task to place on a middle grader, so the birds enlist one of Eren’s classmates to help, forcing her separate worlds to collide. But when it becomes clear that the Frostfangs are hunting in the mortal world, Eren will be forced to embrace her innermost truths, no matter the cost.
6. Wander the Night by Sydney Cobb (2023)
Pitched as V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic meets Rory Power’s In a Garden Burning Gold, the novel follows Robin Goodfellow, a servant in the Green Court of Faerie, where magical deceit and fickle monarchs reign forever. But when it’s discovered that the heir to the throne is none other than the boy Robin helped raise, he will have to reveal his true identity and rebel against everything he’s ever known in this epic fantasy Inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsommer Nights Dream.
Granted, these six books may not have found their way into the mainstream and may only occasionally appear across someone’s Instagram feed. But these books help to tell the story of asexuality and what it means to be asexual. While several sub-identities have yet to find their place in the book market, the continued support from readers worldwide helps ensure that books not yet written will find their place in the hands of someone who needs them most.
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Browse these books and more on our Bookshop LGBTQ Representation Bookshelf.