Hi, everyone! For today, I wanted to do something a little special for the holiday today
(technically yesterday, but we’ll ignore that). Valentine’s day can be rough for a lot of us in the ace and/or aro community: it’s one of the days where people, whether they intend to or not, constantly invalidate ace and aro folks by upholding romantic love and sexual attraction as the pinnacle of everything and as “just a basic human thing that everyone does.”
I…don’t really want to get into that discourse right now. Instead, I want to show all the ace and aro folks out there that, regardless of what some people say, we’re valid and we have some awesome representation in books (though, we can always use more…obviously). I tried to look into the deep depths of the internet to find the less well-known pieces, along with having some more popular books, and I think I got some good ones!
I broke this post up into three parts: books with asexual characters, books with aromantic characters, and books with both ace and aro characters or aro-ace characters. Just a sidenote: I haven’t read any of these books, but I’ve tried my best to search out some positive rep! So I take responsibility if any of these books are actually harmful, and I’ll make edits accordingly.
So, yeah, I spent a lot of time researching for this post, so I hope you all enjoy! And make sure to check out the resources I used, which are listed at the end of the list, because they have a ton more books that I didn’t even start to cover in this list.
BOOKS WITH ASEXUAL CHARACTERS
Jughead, Vol. 1 by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson
So I never read the original Archie comics or watch the show on Netflix, but I heard that there was an ace character, and lo and behold, there is! Jughead is canonically ace, which is awesome. I’m not usually one for comics, but I might have to try it out!
Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt
This looks like a horror books where the protagonist, his daughter, and his coworkers rent out a floor where, ten years before, a mass murder happened. One of the characters (I can’t tell if they’re a protagonist or side character?) is asexual.
A Study of Fiber and Demons by Jasmine Gower
…So a group of not-friends and an amicable professor research “demonwaves,” a form of demon magic. The ace character is part of a polyamorous trio, and how cool is that? Apparently most of the characters would be considered unlikeable, and I’m ready.
Fourth World by Lyssa Chiavari
Imagine a sci-fi take on The Lost City of Atlantis, and that’s basically what this book is: two teens on two different worlds team up to find the city of Elytherios. Looks like both protagonists are on the ace spectrum: one of them may be demisexual and the other, ace.
Banner of the Damned by Sherwood Smith
Your standard fantasy novel about politics and magic and everything. Not only is there an ace main character, but the world-building/character-building is so different compared to “mainstream” fantasy. Like, imagine: women characters that are actually given agency and power and aren’t used as sexually abused plot devices.
Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver
A book that seamlessly includes fantasy, sci-fi, and dystopian genres, where a group of friends works together to take down a tyrannical government. Ya know, like ya do. An asexual protagonist that carries a huge amount of anxiety? Wow, it’s me. Overall, there’s an extremely diverse cast: queer identities, racial identities, and non-monogamous identities all rolling into one.
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Two friends research the origins of extraordinary abilities while in college, but they eventually become nemeses as they grow apart. One of that main characters is asexual, so that’s cool. Also? I love some “friends to enemies” and anti-heroes tropes.
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
Wow, look, a horror book with three kick-ass girl protagonists who try to figure out a mystery before it’s too late. It’s totally my jam. One of the protagonists is ace! I do have to say, though, I know for a fact that there’s ace-antagonism in this one, so take caution if you’re sensitive to that.
BOOKS WITH AROMANTIC CHARACTERS
Baker Thief by Claudie Arseneault
A superhero book in which a baker steals a magical gem from an officer; little do people know that these gems that can grant superpowers hold witch souls, which is what the baker’s sister is. Hello, we have enemies to lovers with aromantic characters! So that’s awesome. Also, as you’ll see soon enough, this author loves aro, ace, and aro-ace characters, and I”m here for it.
Viral Airwaves by Claudie Arseneault
Sci-fi books with your classic group of Queers™️ who take down a gross tyrannical government. I’m pretty sure no one is allocishet, and that’s my favorite thing about this book, which I have not read. There’s an enby aromantic gay character, too!
An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows
A fantasy novel in which a woman accidentally travels to another world, where a kingdom is under siege. The aromantic character is in a polyamort trio with two other women! And her aromanticism is (supposedly) not seen as something to be “overcome” at all!
The Trouble by Daria Defore
A book about a band and its college-aged frontman whose TA for class is a guy he hit on before? Classic. The frontman ending up being allosexual and aromantic? An even better classic.
Syncopation by Anna Zabo
Another band book! This one is where the protagonist, the frontman for his band Twisted Wishes, and a past friend/now drummer, collide for a tour. Guess what, the main character is aromantic pansexual! And it looks like there’s some BDSM (D/s) elements, too, if that’s your thing.
epicene: a short story by Constance Bougie
Here’s a short story about a student with social anxiety and an aromantic crush on another classmate. Sounds to me that the main character is an enby aromantic person with social anxeity, and I’m excited. Also, when I say short, I mean it; it’s less than 20 pages.
Novis by Rachel Tonks Hill
A neat sci-fi novel in which the main character and her two friends attempt to break a curse on a colony that is suceeding in killing the inhabitants. Guess what, one of the protagonists is aromantic! Annnnd, three women kicking ass is always a must-buy for me.
Lost Names by A.N. Mouse
Another sci-fi novel, where two teams are sent after the same thing, but only one make it out alive. Apparently, it’s sad, and you know it’s sad, but you’re still sad at the end. It also looks very queer, and there’s a bisexual aromantic main character!
BOOKS WITH ASEXUAL-AROMANTIC CHARACTERS OR BOOKS WITH BOTH ASEXUAL CHARACTERS AND AROMANTIC CHARACTERS
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
So, obivously, the first book, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue includes Felicity, who is Monty’s sister, but this second one is where she’s center stage. From what I understand, both books are historical fiction “road” trips…and the second one somehow involves dragons? I love it even more, especially since Felicity is aro-ace.
City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault
Here’s another fantasy novel rooted in politics, but you don’t (shouldn’t) even notice it. There’s a diverse cast of characters: characters of color, disabled characters, and almost all of the main cast (if not all of them) are queer! I’m a bit hazy on this, but there are either both ace and aro characters, or an ace-aro character; either way, from what I read, it is very ace and aro friendly!
An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
This sci-fi novel is based in a space vessel that is similar in culture to the Antebellum South, where Aster lives in the lower decks as a slave. Aster’s caretaker is aromantic and asexual, and there is a large amount of other queer characters (including Aster!). Overall, this book deals with racism and slavery, and it definitely isn’t a light read; check the reviews on Goodreads for CWs if you have to, please.
Immoral Code by Lillian Clark
A group of teens does what it takes to make sure one of their own can go to her dream school… i.e. they steal money from her billionaire dad. One of the protagonists is aro-ace! Also, really, I just love groups of friends getting together to do morally grey things.
- The FuckYeahAsexual tumblr blog has a lot of neat info, not just about asexuality in general, but also on recs of media with ace characters.
- This list and this one, which are both Goodreads lists, helped me find a bunch of books with ace characters.
- There’s also this, like, master post of Goodreads lists that supposedly have books with ace characters (though, as you can see if you click, there are a lot of them filed under LGBT+ lists, and not specifically ace lists.
- On to the aromantic info links, I have this one! Also a Goodreads list, specifically of aromantic characters in SFF (science fiction and fantasy).
- Just like with the asexual characters master post, there is also one for aromantic characters on Goodreads. A lot of them, like the ace list, are listed under broad LGBT+ lists, but there are some aro-specific lists, too.
- There’s this list post from Rachel over at Rustling Reads that has over 10 books with aro/aro-ace characters!
- Look, it’s the biggest, most in-depth aromantic and/or asexual character database I’ve ever seen! Thanks to Claudie Arseneault for creating this (yes, the same Claudie Arseneault who has, like, three books on this list). I found most of the books with aromantic characters through this database, so please go check it out. Also, here’s the page that explains the database more.
And that’s it, everyone! Like I said earlier, I hope you all enjoyed this post, and I’m sorry I couldn’t have gotten up earlier (…I’m only an hour late, lol).
I hope all of my ace siblings and aro pals had a comfortable, enjoyable day despite what the holiday can mean to a lot of us. I love you all. ❤