Books·Posted on Oct 23, 202221 Ace Books To Read During Ace WeekThat’s right, it’s Ace Week! And as an ace (and aro) person who reads constantly, you better believe I have a big ol’ list of asexual-spectrum books for you.by Alex BrownBuzzFeed ContributorLinkFacebookPinterestTwitterMail 1. Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Let's kick things off with a powerful and bittersweet story about grief and recovery. After Rumi’s little sister dies in a car accident, Rumi is sent to live with her aunt in Hawaii. Crushed by survivor’s guilt, she finds solace and joy in her new friends. Music helps her grieve, and better understanding herself as asexual and aromantic helps Rumi feel more settled.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 2. Aces Wild: A Heist by Amanda DeWitt Peachtree Teen This book has not one, not two, but FIVE asexual teen characters! Jack is the son of a casino CEO accused of having ties to organized crime. The guy who set her up? Her Las Vegas competitor. To clear his mom’s name and take down his mother’s corrupt nemesis, he gathers his online besties to help him plan the ultimate caper.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 3. The Kindred by Alechia Dow Inkyard Press On the distant alien planet of Hali, Joy and Felix are Kindred, people paired together at birth by a chip implant. The only problem is that Joy is dirt poor while Felix is a duke. Their lives are tossed upside down when they’re framed for the assassinations of the royal family, and they’re forced to hide in Florida of all places. This charming sci-fi romance is set in the same world as Alechia Dow’s first novel, The Sound of Stars, another excellent ace-spec YA book.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 4. The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson Heartdrum Lou, a Métis teen, is not looking forward to summer in her Canadian prairie town. She’s stuck serving ice cream at her uncles’ ice cream shop with her ex boyfriend while also trying to untangle her thoughts about attraction and identity. Complicating things are two returns: of her former friend, King, who left home without warning several years ago, and of her father from prison who is now insisting on a relationship with Lou whether she wants it or not.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 5. Everyone Hates Kelsie Miller by Meredith Ireland Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Rom-coms and the asexuality spectrum...two great things that go great together. Kelsie and Eric have been competing against each other their whole lives. But desperation forces them to work together. Kelsie’s best friend stopped talking to her and Eric wants to rekindle his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, and since both will be at UPenn at the same time, Eric and Kelsie decide to go on a road trip together. Sparks fly.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. 6. A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger Levine Querido This YA Indigenous futurism novel is split into two storylines that collide together. In the near future human world, Nina is a Lipan Apache teen trying to find a cure for her grandmother’s mysterious illness and save her family land from a suspicious new neighbor. In the Reflecting World, Oli is a cottonmouth snake person trying to make his way in a land of talking animals and strange sights. Oli and Nina pair up to protect the people they love by blending modern technology, Indigenous science, and Lipan Apache traditions.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 7. What We Devour by Linsey Miller Sourcebooks Fire Lorena lives in a dying world where the only thing staving off total destruction is tossing human sacrifices through a bloodthirsty Door. Years before, the humans overthrew the gods known as the Noble and the Vile, and their human descendants can wield their powers to create or destroy…except for Lorena who somehow can do both. Forced to serve the Crown, Lorena discovers that corruption and exploitation are not solely the domain of the gods.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 8. Funeral Girl by Emma K. Ohland Carolrhoda Lab Georgia’s life is unconventional, to say the least. She lives in a funeral home, can summon or dismiss a spirit just by touching their corpse, and spends her time helping the dead with their final wishes. When the body of her classmate, Milo, turns up, Georgia decides to help his spirit with one last task. But the guilt of her secret and the weight of all the grief she’s carrying around cause fractures between her and her living friends.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 9. Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim Little, Brown Books for Young Readers A gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo? Yes, please! Trapped on a debt collector’s prison ship, Amaya goes against orders and rescues a drowning man. He promises her untold wealth if she helps him get revenge on the Mercado family, who caused the destruction of Amaya’s family. While disguised as Countess Yamaa, Amaya meets Cayo, a boy with a chip on his shoulder the size of Mount Everest. Romance and adventure ensue.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 10. Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor Scholastic Press In a fantasy world inspired by Prohibition-era United States, Ingrid Ellis plots her rise to the top. With her father in jail for violating the magic laws, Ingrid must use all her cunning to secure a future for herself. To prove her loyalty to her rich boyfriend’s odious father, Senator Holt, she agrees to spy on his challenger, Gwendolyn, by getting a job in her campaign. But the more she sees of the possibilities beyond authoritarianism, the harder it is to sabotage her supposed enemy.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 11. Snowstorm & Overgrowth: A Queer Fantasy & Solarpunk Collection by Claudie Arseneault Claudie Arseneault Adult fiction under the Big Five has been much slower than young adult when it comes to publishing #OwnVoices acespec stories. However, in the world of small presses and self-publishing, we’re thriving. Case in point: Claudie Arseneault, who has been steadily putting out asexual- and aromantic-spectrum speculative fiction for years. Her latest is a stellar collection of ace- and aro-spec short, solar-punk and fantasy stories inspired by Québec history and legends.Get it from Kindle on Amazon. 12. June and Devon Come to Life by Sandra Henry Sandra Henry Speaking of self-published, this is a delightful fantasy romance about a demi guy and the queer ghost haunting his castle. June and Devon meet when June literally falls into Devon’s arms while working at Squire’s Castle for a college assignment. Only trouble is Devon has been dead for more than a hundred years. Oddly, with June’s touch, he becomes alive again. How do you have a relationship when one of you is dead?Get it from Amazon. 13. The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann Berkley Books Well-known and much loved for her ace-spec YA novels, Claire Kann branches out into adult romance with this fun, gloriously trope-y novel. Joy is determined to use this vacation as a chance to finally show Malcolm how much she loves him instead of secretly pining from a distance. Fox offers to “date” joy to make Malcolm jealous, but all he seems to be doing is falling for Joy himself. Sorry, but I am physically incapable of saying no to a fake dating storyline.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 14. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire Tordotcom In this series, children who are thrown out of the portal worlds they fell into learn to cope with the blandness of reality. When one of the Wayward Children is killed, Nancy and her new friends investigate. Nancy had spent her time away in a land of the dead, and death seems to have followed her back to the “real” world. I’d read books with ace-spec characters before this, but none had felt quite right. The way Seanan McGuire handled Nancy — and the way she’s handled all of the queer characters in this series — made me feel seen in a way I didn’t know I needed.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. You can also try the audiobook version through Libro.fm. 15. Refusing Compulsory Sexuality: A Black Asexual Lens on Our Sex-Obsessed Culture by Sherronda J. Brown North Atlantic Books Essayist and editor, Sherronda J. Brown, takes a scalpel to the common conception of asexuality and peels back the layers. They offer a different take on what asexuality is by focusing on what it’s like to be Black and asexual in the US. Conversations about the sexualization of Black bodies, the patriarchy, cis-heteronormativity, and anti-Blackness feed into her nuanced examination. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. 16. Ace: What Asexuality Reveals about Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen Beacon Press Through interviews, scholarly research, and her own experiences as an ace woman of color, Angela Chen’s book provides an accessible discussion of asexuality. This is a good starting place for people who are questioning if they’re ace-spec or allosexuals (people who aren’t on the asexual spectrum) interested in learning more. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound here. 17. I Am Ace: Advice on Living Your Best Asexual Life by Cody Daigle-Orians Jessica Kingsley Publishers Best known for his welcoming and affirmative social media ace education project, Ace Dad Advice, Cody Daigle-Orians expands into nonfiction with their forthcoming book. Aimed at young adults, this book is intended to help answer common questions about the asexual spectrum and the ace-spec experience. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. 18. Ace Voices: What It Means to Be Asexual, Aromantic, Demi or Grey-ace edited by Eris Young Jessica Kingsley Publishers Coming this winter, this new collection gathers together a variety of ace-spec identities from a variety of backgrounds to share their stories. The interviewees dive into micro labels, the importance of the internet on the queer and ace-spec communities, and the seemingly infinite ways of experiencing asexuality. Get it from Bookshop. 19. A-Okay by Jarad Greene Harperalley Can’t leave out middle grade! Jarad Greene’s semi-autobiographical graphic novel is about a boy named Jay who’s having a heck of a time in 8th grade. Tormented by a terrible case of acne, the treatment is almost worse than the zits. His friendships are on the rocks, with his best friend not talking to him and his other pals off in different classes. Worse, two classmates, Mark and Amy, both have feelings for him and he doesn’t understand why he doesn’t feel anything back toward either one of them.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. 20. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe Oni Press There was no way I could not include this fantastic graphic novel memoir, not least of which because it’s one of the most challenged and banned books in the country. It is a lovely, honest exploration of identity and one’s sense of self. The story moves through Maia Kobabe’s difficult and confusing adolescence to an adulthood full of questioning and burgeoning understanding. Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound. 21. A Quick & Easy Guide to Asexuality by Molly Muldoon & Will Hernandez Limerence Press I love this Asexuality 101 graphic novel. It’s short, sweet, and to the point, giving the reader all the basics without overwhelming them with details. It’s a solid introduction for those who are unaware of asexuality and especially for those who are questioning and need a little guidance.Get it from Bookshop or from your local indie bookstore via Indiebound.