(This post was originally published in 2020.) Currently, I’m trying to devour my NetGalley/Edelweiss/non-blog tour books that I promised to read so I can have a clean slate in 2021. I’m running a little behind, hence no post yesterday and a late post today, but I’m still making good headway. I absolutely loved Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade, which I scored on NetGalley!
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Find out more about how I review books here.
The summary, from Amazon:
Olivia Dade bursts onto the scene in this delightfully fun romantic comedy set in the world of fanfiction, in which a devoted fan goes on an unexpected date with her celebrity crush, who’s secretly posting fanfiction of his own.
Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. The world may know him as Aeneas, star of the biggest show on television, but fanfiction readers call him something else: Book!AeneasWouldNever. Marcus gets out his frustrations with the show through anonymous stories about the internet’s favorite couple, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone discovered his online persona, he’d be finished in Hollywood.
April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s long hidden her fanfic and cosplay hobbies from her “real life”—but not anymore. When she dares to post her latest costume creation on Twitter, her plus-size take goes viral. And when Marcus asks her out to spite her internet critics, truth officially becomes stranger than fanfiction.
On their date, Marcus quickly realizes he wants more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. But when he discovers she’s Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to keep from her.
With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?
Buy Spoiler Alert here.
April has decided to share her passion for the hit TV show Gods of the Gates after years of keeping it contained behind an avatar. She shares a photo of her in cosplay online and it goes viral. April expects the good, the bad, and the ugly to come along with it, because she’s plus-sized, and just that happens. In response to a hater, Marcus, an actor from the show, asks April out on a date.
The two meet up and the attraction is mutual. Marcus, however, has an internet persona of his own that he can’t reveal. He also writes fanfiction about Gods of the Gates as a way to “fix” the bad writing on the show that has frustrated him as of late. If this secret were to come out, Marcus could lose his job and any chance of being hired again. When April reveals that she writes fanfic on their date, Marcus realizes that she is his internet bestie, Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, or Ulsie for short. Despite years of friendship, Marcus doesn’t think it would be wise to share that he already knows April, just in case she does let it spill that he writes fanfiction in response to the show’s poor writing. He plans to tell her eventually, but as their relationship becomes more and and more involved, it becomes harder and harder to tell April that he has been hiding something from her since day one.
OMG, this book was phenomenal. I laughed, I cried, and I had to find some relief after particularly hot love scenes. I loved how body-positive this book was while also acknowledging the crap April, as a fat woman, has had to put up with from people who genuinely do care about her. I also liked the addition that Marcus is dyslexic and enjoys writing and reading with tools that help him express himself and do so with ease.
The communication between this couple was spot on. At times when they did mess up and become upset, they sat down, thought about things, and realized that if they had communicated better, the entire incident would have been avoided. April and Marcus truly love one another and want the best for each other.
I really appreciated that the characters were “older” – 36 and 39. I’m 30 and most of the romances I read are about people in their twenties. I liked reading about people older than me. I felt like it gave me a swoon-worthy romance of my own to look forward to.
Finally, while any reader can enjoy this book, it is especially fun for Games of Thrones fans like myself. This book is full of scathing commentary that completely mirrors fandom gripes about the final season of Game of Thrones – destruction of character arcs, lazy writing, female characters being treated like crap – and the show’s producers R.J. and Ron have eerily similar names to the now hated D.B. and Dan of GoT fame.
This book was a romantic masterpiece for a nerd girl like me. I’m really excited for the next book in the series. (Check out my review for it, published in 2022, here.) My thanks to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for giving me a copy in exchange for my honest 5 star review.
Find out more about how I rate books here.
Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What an excellent romance. I laughed, I cried, I fanned myself, I highlighted every hilarious reference to the awful final season of GoT. One of the best romances I have read this year and I am excited for more from the author!
Book Club Questions
- Explain the relationship dynamic between Marcus and April.
- How does fandom play a role in this story?
- Why do Marcus and April make a good couple? What holds them back?
- Would you consider this a friends to lovers romance? Why or why not?
- How do we make friendship connections with people through the internet?