With Ace Week just around the corner, it’s time to talk asexuality. As you may already know, I identify as ace. And although, in hindsight, it’s been a part of my identity all my life, it’s something I’m still coming to terms with. So when this book popped up on NetGalley, I jumped at the opportunity to request it. And without further ado, here’s my review of How to Be Ace: A Memoir of Growing Up Asexual by Rebecca Burgess.
Many thanks to Jessica Kingsley Publishers and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
How to Be Ace by Rebecca Burgess
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Date of Publication: 21st October 2020
Genre: Graphic Novel/Non-Fiction (Memoir)
Format: eBook (184 pages)
Content & Trigger Warnings:
References to rape and sexual assault, harassment, death threats, aphobia, OCD, anxiety, panic attacks
In this graphic memoir aimed at teens, we learn about asexuality and mental health as told through Rebecca’s personal experiences.
We all want to see more of ourselves reflected in books, right? Well, this was that book for me. As an ace with anxiety and endometriosis, I’ve never seen so much of myself reflected in one book. And since it’s own voices representation, I can live knowing that someone out there understands. That’s kind of wonderful, you know?
Additionally, How to Be Ace is relatable, enjoyable, supportive and educational. It’s also incredibly inclusive! The author makes it explicitly clear that asexuality is a spectrum – not a one-size-fits-all. And within that, there’s a clear message that all ace identities are equally valid.
I also loved how relatable this was. From the amplification of sexuality at university to the raging aphobia that exists in our very sexual society, it’s all covered here. For example, it was refreshing to see the inclusion of the resistance that aces experience. It’s that little reminder that you aren’t alone and that you aren’t the problem. I thought this was handled very sensitively in that respect.
Personally, I wish this book existed in my late teens. It would have made the next decade of my life so much easier to navigate. It’s not preachy at all – just personal, relatable and supportive. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who thinks they might be on the asexual spectrum. There’s even a list of helpful resources at the end which is great.
- Own voices representation for asexuality, OCD, anxiety
- List of resources
- Not overly educational
Read this if you…
- Are ace or think you might be on the asexual spectrum
- Want to educate yourself on what asexuality is
So that’s my review of How to Be Ace by Rebecca Burgess. I hope that you’ve enjoyed it! Please do pick up a copy if this has piqued your interest and let me know what you think if you do.
For more information on asexuality and support if you’re ace, check out the following online resources:
- The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN)
- Aces & Aros
- Ace Week
- Six Ways to be an Ally to Asexual People (Stonewall)
- Acephobia & Anti-Asexual Hate Crime (Galop)