Book Review: How to Be Ace by Rebecca Burgess

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Title: How to Be Ace- A Memoir of Growing Up Asexual

Author: Rebecca Burgess

Genre: Graphic Novel/Memoir

Number of Pages: 208

Rating: B+

Recommended?: Yes

Growing up, Rebecca Burgess felt societal pressure to feel sexual attraction to other people and eventually couple up and get married. For a kid who cared about comics more than boys (or girls) and had a disinterest in physical intimacy that lasted way past puberty, they were made up to feel like they were messed up or deficient. How to Be Ace is a compelling account of all the different ways human beings can be ‘intimate,’ and how it feels to lack interest in something that society is perpetually obsessed with.

The artwork is really cute, brightly colored, and the story is easy to read while also being informative and full of detail. I related a lot to Rebecca Burgess’ feelings and my own frustration with my lack of sexual attraction. They handle a lot of different topics including how asexuality is handled in the media, the asexual spectrum and the diverse range of what ace people feel and what they’re comfortable with, and issues that asexuals run into in a world where even the rest of the LGBTQIA+ community doesn’t always take them seriously.

It also shows how Rebecca finally finds love with another asexual who understands their boundaries. Overall, I thought this was an outstanding graphic novel which I easily finished in one sitting. Sometimes I wished there had been a little less info and a little more focus on Rebecca’s life and their own experiences, and I was also curious about their autism (which was mentioned in the author bio but never brought up directly in the book.) Still, this is a great book for people who are questioning whether they might be asexual or are simply interested in reading more about a rich, complex topic.


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