I was looking for a book about aromantic peoples. And I found a book about aromantic people called Common Bonds. As the publisher description says, this book is “featuring aromantic characters and centering platonic relationships.” The main editors are Claudie Arsenault, C. T. Callahan, B. R. Sanders, and RoAnna Sylver.
It is heavy on the fantasy element, or realistic fantasy. Even if the story is more real (college students yapping away in their dorm room or hanging at the local bar) there can be supernatural elements. However, there are more warriors, online/multiple player gamers in with demons, dragons, dwarves, sorcerers/magicians, and curses.
Most stories are relatable even if you are not aromantic, even with the warriors, werewolves, magic, and the occasional succubus. Most stories will explore genders, pronouns, and even the spectrum of aro and ace. Many of the stories I was sure of the friendship relationship and other times it was a bit murkier for me, especially with the poems. Sometimes the stories felt forced, sometimes they flowed smoothly. It is an experience book. The beginning has warnings for possible content triggers (such misgendering, death, anti-queer sentiments), but I would add the trigger of forced sex, group/orgy sex, and kink. This is not for kids. I would even think 14 and up should be a case of “know thy reader.” Therefore, I would say at least 16 and up.
Maybe I liked this book. I am not sure. It has things I dislike in a book, and things I like. It is a collection of stories that highlight a little-known sexuality, misunderstood even in the community, therefore, I like that. I think it is a book you should only take in small doses and not binge read. I am curious what others think.
Contributors include: Morgan Swim, Vida Cruz, Camilla Quinn, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Syl Woo, A. Z. Louise, Cora Ruskin, E. H. Timms, Thomas Leonard Shaw, Jeff Reynolds, Marjorie King, Avi Silver, Ren Oliveira, Mika Stanard, Ian Mahler, Adriana C. Grigore, Rosiee Thor, Polenth Blake