The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann mini review // the hoemance book club 💕

Hey everyone, welcome or welcome back to my blog. Today I’m bringing you a mini review (what?? on this blog???) of the latest Hoemance Book Club monthly pick! The Hoemance Book Club is the romance book club that I run with Rebecca from BookishlyRebecca. We started this in 2020 and we’ve been really loving discussing romance books with you each month. We have a discord where we talk about the book club picks and also have a general chat section and channels where we can recommend books to each other and organise buddy reads as well as any other bookish and non-bookish things you can think of!

hoemance info:

storygraph challenges:

You can join the Hoemance challenge here on Storygraph and we’ve also put together two separate challenges for anyone interested! There’s the Romance Buzzword challenge for anyone who wants a more laid-back challenge & there’s also the Reading Romance challenge which is just a list of 13 prompts you can add your read books to over 2022!

The Romantic Agenda
Claire Kan
Romance
Adult
336 pages
Rep: asexual main character // Tropes: fake dating

I honestly think that if you love Act Your Age, Eve Brown, you need to pick this book up immediately. The Romantic Agenda is the perfect romance to pair with anyone feeling withdrawals from finishing the Brown Sisters trilogy!

I’ll admit this didn’t totally live up to my expectations, especially after having loved Let’s Talk About Love so so much, but I don’t regret picking it for The Hoemance Book Club. I absolutely loved Joy as the main character and adored Fox from the get-go but, there was something so lacking and possibly too quiet about this book. I just never felt like anyone or anything was matching Joy’s energy which always made this uncomfortable silent feeling with characters like Malcolm and Summer. That being said, this book is the perfect example of why we need more asexual (main) characters in romance novels! I loved getting to know Joy and how she fits into the asexual spectrum (yes, it is a spectrum) as well as getting to see how her preferences differ from Malcolm’s. But, I think what I loved most was seeing two love interests (M and J’s) who don’t step over boundaries and respect their SOs.

It’s absolutely so refreshing to see a character in a book accurately represent me so I will love this book and Claire Kann for that eternally. However, I did only give this book a 3.25 rating for a reason. As much as I enjoyed Joy and Fox and the representation, this just feels like such an undercooked book to me. The ending felt a little rushed (and yet it kind of didn’t which honestly confuses my brain), some of the characters felt under-developed (*cough* Summer) and it focused too much on a romance that the reader knows won’t ever eventuate, which I think a lot of readers have had an issue with. That last point was more so just me being a bit picky because it didn’t bother me for the most part and made sense because we all knew Joy was in love with Malcolm. But, I think I would have enjoyed this more if Claire Kann had even played up the fake dating angle a bit more and we’d gotten more Joy and Fox scenes without Malcolm looming in the background either literally or figuratively.

All of that being said, every love declaration until the end of time will pale in comparison to Fox’s and I’ll die on that hill. Goodnight.

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