Top Ten Tuesday | Books with aro and/or ace protagonists on my TBR


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

This week’s theme is a love freebie! I love love – at heart I’m a hopeless romantic, and when I ship a couple I love really hard I love that ‘squeeee!’ feeling it fills me with – but my relationship with my own feelings towards love is a little more complicated. Ever since I was a teenager I’ve been trying to figure out what I am, and while I personally don’t like labels for myself, the more I’ve thought the more I feel like I’m somewhere on the aro/ace spectrum.

In the past I’ve told people I liked them when they showed an interest because it felt like the right thing to do, until these people tried to get closer and I, terrified, pushed them away. For a long time I thought it meant there was something wrong with me, but I think it’s just who I am. I can appreciate that someone’s beautiful, sure, but in the same way I’d look at a pretty vase and think, ‘that’s nice’.

So this week I’m sharing some books on my TBR that feature ace and/or aro protagonists, because I’d like to be reading more of them!


Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann: This YA contemporary about a girl who identifies as asexual, but not aromantic (always an important distinction to make!), has been on my TBR for a while now. I love the cover!

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee: This is one of the first YA novels I heard of that included an asexual protagonist, so I’ve always been keen to check it out.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand: One of the three heroines in this YA horror novel, Zoey, identifies as asexual. I already wanted to read this book but once I realised one of the queer characters is ace, it shot up my TBR!

Loveless by Alice Oseman: Oseman’s work often has ace representation, and it looks like her latest novel, due out this summer, will be focusing on an aro-ace protagonist so I’m looking forward to checking it out.

Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson: This YA novel was one of the first in the genre in which the protagonist both identifies as asexual and defends herself against some of the stereotypes asexual people face.


City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault: This fantasy novel sounds amazing. It follows multiple narrators, one of whom I’ve been promised is a cheese-loving aro-ace priest, and I’d like to get to it soon as Arseneault is a writer who’s on the aro-ace spectrum herself.

The Fire’s Stone by Tanya Huff: I haven’t read any Tanya Huff in a long time, but I really enjoy her work. This novel was written before Huff has heard of the terms aro and ace, but she has since said the heroine of this novel would identify as such if she were to write it now. The heroine of this novel is a princess turned wizardess trying to get out of an arranged marriage with a prince who also doesn’t want to marry her. Luckily there’s a third protagonist, a thief, who seems happy to warm his bed instead…

Clariel by Garth Nix: I love The Old Kingdom series, but still haven’t got to the two latest additions to it because I think I need to re-read the original three first. Clariel is a prequel to the original series, and Clariel herself is asexual.

Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland: The main reason I picked up a copy of this fantasy novel last year is because the heroine is asexual. I love the cover of this one, I need to cross it off my TBR!

Banner of the Damned by Sherwood Smith: The heroine of this beasty high fantasy novel is an asexual scribe, so why wouldn’t I want to read it?

What did you talk about this week?

41 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Books with aro and/or ace protagonists on my TBR

  1. Jolien says:

    Tash Hearts Tolstoy, Sawkill Girls, and Loveless are on my tbr too! I hope we’ll both end up loving them. I’d never heard of Banner of the Damned before but it sounds absolutely fantastic. Now I’ve added another one to my tbr 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nikki @The Night is Dark and Full of Books says:

    I admire you sharing something so personal! I think there’s a lot of people with similar feelings to you, kind of uncertain about where they stand. I would personally love to read from ace/aro characters too, so this post is a great point of reference for future reads. Thanks for sharing! ❤

    If you’re interested, here’s my TTT.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lindseyhabets says:

    Love this post! Totally agree we need more books with aro/ace rep. I read and LOVED both Let’s Talk About Love and Tash Hearts Tolstoy. Also am pretty intrigued about Sawkill Girls. And of course, so looking forward to Loveless!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. acquadimore says:

    …Also here in the “confused, complicated feelings around romance and labels” group.
    City of Strife and Beyond the Black Door are both on my TBR as well. I had forgotten the second one had ace representation, so that’s one more reason to read it – there’s definitely not enough of that in YA fantasy.
    Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. E. Pasternak says:

    Oh, I want to read more aro/ace characters myself! I have a complicated relationship with romance too, though it’s hard to distangle what is my identity and what is caused by my mental health stuff so I’m not naming it right now. But I know the feeling of being more comfortable in fictional romance?
    Sawkill Girls and Loveless has been on my TBR as well but I didn’t know about the rest. Great list! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Greg says:

    I really liked Radio Silence so the Oseman book would definitely get a look from me! And Sawkill Girls is another one I’d like to read, I remember thinking when it came out I wanted to try it.

    Liked by 1 person

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