Happy Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week! Running from February 19-25, 2023, this week we’re celebrating aromantic rep, so check out these titles! (Representation is included/highlighted with each title, where I know it.) As usual, all links are affiliate and earn a percentage of income for the site, so please use them if you can!
Please note this roundup only features titles that were not previously featured [with covers] in other Aro Awareness Week Roundups, so make sure you check these posts for more!
Books to Read Now
Every Bird a Prince by Jenn Reese
The only time Eren Evers feels like herself is when she’s on her bike, racing through the deep woods. While so much of her life at home and at school is flying out of control, the muddy trails and the sting of wind in her face are familiar comforts.
Until she rescues a strange, magical bird, who reveals a shocking secret: their forest kingdom is under attack by an ancient foe—the vile Frostfangs—and the birds need Eren’s help to survive.
Seventh grade is hard enough without adding “bird champion” to her list of after-school activities. Lately, Eren’s friends seem obsessed with their crushes and the upcoming dance, while Eren can’t figure out what a crush should even feel like. Still, if she doesn’t play along, they may leave her behind…or just leave her all together. Then the birds enlist one of Eren’s classmates, forcing her separate lives to collide.
When her own mother starts behaving oddly, Eren realizes that the Frostfangs—with their insidious whispers—are now hunting outside the woods. In order to save her mom, defend an entire kingdom, and keep the friendships she holds dearest, Eren will need to do something utterly terrifying: be brave enough to embrace her innermost truths, no matter the cost.
Funeral Girl by Emma K. Ohland
Sixteen-year-old Georgia Richter feels conflicted about the funeral home her parents run―especially because she has the ability to summon ghosts.
With one touch of any body that passes through Richter Funeral Home, she can awaken the spirit of the departed. With one more touch, she makes the spirit disappear, to a fate that remains mysterious to Georgia. To cope with her deep anxiety about death, she does her best to fulfill the final wishes of the deceased whose ghosts she briefly revives.
Then her classmate Milo’s body arrives at Richter―and his spirit wants help with unfinished business, forcing Georgia to reckon with her relationship to grief and mortality.
Buy it: Amazon | IndieBound
The Butterfly Assassin by Finn Longman
Trained and traumatised by a secret assassin programme for minors, Isabel Ryans wants nothing more than to be a normal civilian. After running away from home, she has a new name, a new life and a new friend, Emma, and for the first time in Isabel’s life, things are looking up.
But old habits die hard, and it’s not long until she blows her cover, drawing the attention of the guilds – the two rival organisations who control the city of Espera. An unaffiliated killer like Isabel is either a potential asset . . . or a threat to be eliminated.
Will the blood on her hands cost her everything?
Buy it: Waterstones | The Book Depository
Sounds Fake But Okay: An Asexual and Aromantic Perspective on Love, Relationships, Sex, and Pretty Much Anything Else by Sarah Costello and Kayla Kaczyca
True Love. Third Wheels. Dick pics. ‘Dying alone’. Who decided this was normal?
Sarah and Kayla invite you to put on your purple aspec glasses – and rethink everything you thought you knew about society, friendship, sex, romance and more.
Drawing on their personal stories, and those of aspec friends all over the world, prepare to explore your microlabels, investigate different models of partnership, delve into the intersection of gender norms and compulsory sexuality and reconsider the meaning of sex – when allosexual attraction is out of the equation.
Spanning the whole range of relationships we have in our lives – to family, friends, lovers, society, our gender, and ourselves, this book asks you to let your imagination roam, and think again what human connection really is.
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon
Tell Me How it Ends by Quinton Li (April 9, 2023)
(Marin is aroace.)
Iris Galacia’s tarot cards do more than entertain gamblers.
With the flip of her fingers she can predict the future and uncover a person’s secrets. Under the watchful eye of her mother, she is already on thin ice for pursuing a passion in the family business, but then cracks start to form, and eventually she falls through.
She is given an ultimatum: earn a thousand coins or leave the business, and the family.
Enter Marin Boudreau, a charming young person who can scale buildings and break off doorknobs, who comes for her help to rescue a witch who’s been falsely imprisoned in Excava Kingdom.
And Marin is willing to pay a high sum for her talents.
But saving a prisoner from royal hands isn’t easy, nor is leaving home for the first time in eighteen years.
Now Iris must learn to trust in herself, Marin, and this new magical world, while racing the clock before the royals decide the fate of the witch, and before any secrets catch up to her.
Buy it: Amazon
This Dark Descent by Kalyn Josephson (September 26, 2023)
The Rusel family is famous throughout Enderlain as breeders of enchanted horses, but their prestige is no match for their rising debts. To save her family’s ranch, Mikira Rusel is left with only one option: enter the Illinir, a cutthroat, cross-country horserace known for its high death rate as much as its flashy prize money.
To have any chance of success, she’ll have to recruit Arielle Kadar, an unlicensed enchanter who creates golems in place of enchanted animals, and Damien Adair, a lord in the midst of a succession battle. Both her accomplices have reasons of their own to help Mikira – and their own blood feuds to avenge.
In a world as dangerous as this, will hidden agendas and conflicting desires butcher their chances of winning the Illinir. . . or will another rider’s dagger?
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound
Dear Wendy by Ann Zhao (April 16, 2024)
Sophie Chi is in her first year at Wellesley College (despite her parents’ wishes that she attends a “real” university) and has long accepted her aromantic and asexual identities. Despite knowing she’ll never fall in love, she enjoys learning about relationships and putting that research to use to help people. And what better way to do that than by running an Instagram account that offers advice to the students at her college, somewhere in between classes, morning runs, and extracurriculars? No one except her roommate knows that she’s behind the incredibly popular “Dear Wendy” account.
Meanwhile, Joanna “Jo” Ephron is also a first-year student at Wellesley but when they create the account “Sincerely Wanda” to show one of their roommates why she needs to dump her boyfriend, they don’t expect it to amount to anything more. After all, Jo’s account isn’t meant to be serious—not like Dear Wendy’s. But it seems more and more students appreciate her humorous answers to followers’ dilemmas, and she may end up encroaching on Wendy’s territory a little. And now the two accounts might have a rivalry of sorts? Oops. As if Jo’s not busy enough having existential crises over the fact that she’ll never truly be loved or be enough, gender, and her few friends finding The One and forgetting her!
Tensions are rising online, but Sophie and Jo start getting closer in real life, especially after they realize their shared aroace identity. As their friendship develops and they work together to start a campus organization for other a-spec students, can their growing bond survive if they learn just who’s behind the Wendy and Wanda accounts?