Title: Spoiler Alert
Author: Olivia Dade
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Narrator: Isabelle Ruther
Length: 13 hours (416 pages)
Publisher: Avon; HarperAudio
Release Date: October 5, 2020
Recommended for fans of: fandoms
Content Warnings: fat shaming, toxic parents
Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he’s known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster. Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately.
April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction.
Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide 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?
This romance was cute and heartwarming. I loved how fanfiction and fandom in general was so normalized in this story. It made me miss going to comic conventions so bad!
Marcus is the star of a Game of Thrones type show…who secretly writes fanfiction that criticizes the show’s storylines. As an actor, Marcus presents a public image that hides his sensitivity, intelligence, and insecurities about his Dyslexia.
April is a plus-size fan of Marcus’s show who earns the star’s attention when finally finds the confidence to post a photo of her cosplay on Twitter. After they go on a date, the secret identity trope comes into play, because it turns out Marcus and April are longtime Internet friends through the fandom.
Both protagonists had complicated relationships with their parents and grew up feeling shamed and misunderstood. This added emotional depth to the storyline and created opportunities for significant character growth.
Chapters were interspersed with scenes from fanfic the characters wrote or scripts Marcus acted in. Some of these were entertaining, but these transitions were a bit confusing to follow in the audiobook.
I didn’t totally swoon over the romance, but I did really enjoy this book. The characters had a very healthy relationship with open communication (aside from Marcus’s secret identity…which is actually a pretty big deal). Even though this book wasn’t perfect, it had a lot to love, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun romance with unique representation.