Review: How Not to Summon Your True Love by Sasha L. Miller

This is the book cover of How Not to Summon Your True Love, which shows a naked young man covered with soap suds with a book strategically covering his genital area.

This review is part of the series of reviews of asexual fiction published by LT3 press which I am doing for Asexual Awareness Week.

So, What Is This Story About?

Cy is dumped by his boyfriend, Alex, and he assumes that it’s because he’s asexual and doesn’t want to have sex. After all, who would want to stay with someone who never wants sex, right? While he’s upset about the break-up, he goes through a ‘magic’ book he inherited from his mother, and he decides to try a spell for summoning one’s true love just for the heck of it. After all, magic is not real, right?

Upon completing the spell, he discovers that there is a wet, naked man in the middle of his room.

Magic really does exist – and he’s just summoned a random stranger who was in the middle of a shower – oh snaps!

(seriously, what is up with me reviewing two books in a row which involve the protagonist seeing the second most important character in the story naked and wet via a shower?)

What Kind of Sexual and/or Violent Content Does This Story Have, If Any?

Aside from the wet naked man suddenly showing up, I would give this a solid G rating. Nothing sexual happens in the story, nor does anything particularly violent happen (there is some threat of violence, but frankly it is tamer than what one would find in most Disney cartoons).

Tell Me More about This Novella

It’s a fantasy story set in the contemporary United States. It lampshades its own highly clichéd nature multiple times – here is an example:

Cy didn’t know what that meant, either. It all sounded like a bad fantasy novel. He was the chosen one with the special power who just so happened to come by a sidekick who could navigate the strange new world he’d landed himself in.

One advantage of this being such a clichéd fantasy story WHICH IS ALSO set in the contemporary United States was that it did not have to do much world-building, so it could focus on telling the story it wants to tell without having to make long digressions to explain things.

Essentially, it’s a road trip story, albeit a road trip in which the protagonist is being PURSUED BY THE MAGIC MAFIA. I think that tells you right there just how serious this story is (not).

So, Asexuality?

On the asexuality content scale I described in the introduction, I would say that this story is a 3. Asexuality is relevant to the plot in two ways: a) it’s the reason why Cy doesn’t think he will ever be able to make a romantic relationship work and b) something which I am not going to discuss because it is in spoiler territory. However, I overall felt that this was more of a story where the protagonist happens to be asexual rather than a story which explores asexuality.

Though I do not connect to Cy’s asexuality on a personal level since my own experience of asexuality is very different, his experience as an asexual still seems plausible.

And there is a cake reference, which made my eyes roll (I do not identify with cake culture) but at least it shows that the writer did some research on asexuality.

Was This Written by an Asexual?

Sasha L. Miller identifies as bisexual.

Hey Sara, Do You Like This Story?

I do. I do like it. It’s an easy and quick fluffy read. I like the tongue-and-cheek style, and of course I like fiction about asexual characters who never have sex. I think this is a good read for anyone wants a light-hearted story about asexuals who don’t have sex.

The eBook edition of How Not to Summon Your True Love is available here (as well as at various other eBook retailers), and the paperback edition is available here.

Tomorrow, I am going to post the next review, which is going to be about Dragonborn by Maeghan Friday.

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One thought on “Review: How Not to Summon Your True Love by Sasha L. Miller

  1. Pingback: For Asexual Awareness Week, I Am Going to Review Asexual Novel(la)s | The Notes Which Do Not Fit

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