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Spoiler Alert: A Novel Kindle Edition
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?
“Spoiler Alert is a delight. April and Marcus will melt your heart.” -- USA Today bestselling author Jenny Holiday
"Spoiler Alert is a gentle, funny, and sexy romance that captivated me from the first page and kept me enthralled to the very (happy) end. I adored these characters and every moment of their journey to love. Olivia Dade has crafted an unforgettable story, one that’s earned an immediate spot on my comfort-reads shelf." -- Mia Sosa, USA Today bestselling author of The Worst Best Man
"It’s a path of self-discovery, healing and growth, punctuated by scorching chemistry, whip-smart dialogue and sidesplitting humor.” -- Washington Post
"[A] clever, creative story...Dade handles both the fun and toxic dynamics of fandom and social media with insight and compassion. Given equal weight are Marcus and April’s difficult family histories, as both work through the damage inflicted by parents who judged them to be “flawed.” The result is nuanced, unflinching, and deeply romantic. Dade’s fans and new readers alike will fall in love." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"With considerable empathy and a generous helping of snarky wit, Dade invites readers into the fascinating world of fan fiction while at the same time deftly addressing some serious topics—body image issues and dyslexia—within the context of a scorchingly sexy contemporary romance... a force to reckon with in the romance genre." -- Booklist (starred review)
"Even those new to online fanfiction will find this a charming and engrossing read. Issues of body positivity, dyslexia, and found families are among the topics addressed with sensitivity and realism. The between-chapter segments of fanfic server chats, fanfic synopsis, and truly horrible screenplays add to the fun." -- Library Journal (starred review)
"Indie publishing favorite Olivia Dade’s Avon debut, Spoiler Alert, is a funny and poignant triumph that defies expectation... Dade has gifted readers with a thoughtful, swoonworthy and emotionally satisfying contemporary romance that has the added benefit of a realistic, multilayered and relatable portrayal of the digital world. If you’re into fan culture and practices, it will be an even greater pleasure. Loyal Olivia Dade fans and new readers alike will love it." -- BookPage (starred review)
"I was engrossed from page one of Spoiler Alert until the very happy, sigh-worthy ending. Olivia Dade is consistently one of my favorite authors. Her writing is warm and witty, frequently funny and often achingly poignant." -- Lucy Parker, author of Act Like It
"As funny as it is sexy (and boy is it sexy), Spoiler Alert is a love letter to fandom in all its many forms, and was an absolute joy from the first page to the last. Reading it felt like a hug to the heart from someone who wants you to know that you are perfect and deserve to be loved exactly as you are."
-- Jen DeLuca, author of Well Met
"Olivia Dade perfectly captures fandom, love, and acceptance in this incredible, delightful novel. I loved every page!” -- Jessie Mihalik, author of Polaris Rising
“The journey to self-acceptance is never easy, and Dade doesn’t shy away from that, but she makes it just as beautiful and gentle as the love that blooms between Marcus and April…Geek out with this romantic homage to fan culture.” -- Kirkus Reviews
"Dade's book is a sparkling jolt of fangirling, body-positive swoons...." -- Entertainment Weekly
"Sweet, steamy, and every fanfic writer’s dream. This romance is such a fun take on a fan/celebrity relationship with all sorts of body positivity." -- Book Riot
"This romantic comedy is about love, secrets and stardom — and is sure to sweep you off your feet." -- CNN.com --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Olivia Dade grew up an undeniable nerd, prone to ignoring the world around her as she read any book she could find. Her favorites, though, were always, always romances. As an adult, she earned an M.A. in American history and worked in a variety of jobs that required the donning of actual pants: Colonial Williamsburg interpreter, high school teacher, academic tutor, and (of course) librarian. Now, however, she has finally achieved her lifelong goal of wearing pajamas all day as a hermit-like writer and enthusiastic hag. She currently lives outside Stockholm with her patient Swedish husband, their whip-smart daughter, and the family's ever-burgeoning collection of books.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B083SN82NQ
- Publisher : Avon; Unabridged edition (October 6, 2020)
- Publication date : October 6, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 3139 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 419 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #52,023 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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This was a reread of one of my favorite books of 2021. I loved the banter, the cast group chat, the insertion of little glimpses into Marcus' movie career (hilarious glimpses I might add). April is plus sized and is comfortable in her skin, and the story doesn't shy away from it, it isn't one line that is easily overlooked. Marcus is dyslexic and that plays into so many parts of his life, like it would in reality. I appreciate when these portions of who people are are woven into a story and not used as a "check the box” type prop. One of my top tropes is secret identity, and it works so well with an online fan community! I absolutely love both characters, and having read All the Feels I now have more of an appreciation for all the glimpses of Alex we get in this book. I’d recommend this to fans of the celebrity falls for regular person trope, secret identity, plus size rep, and steamy romance.
What made it so fantastic?
1) Its maturity in how it handled complicated emotional issues. Just like me, they have rocky relationships with their parents. They recognize their parents’ short comings but still get hurt by them in spite of it. Just like me, they know that random people’s opinions don’t determine my self-worth, but old wounds unexpectedly crop up when least expected. Reactions and hurts are analyzed afterwards, instead of simply taking them as the truth of that moment. The pair are mature enough to admit they were wrong, to consider someone else’s emotions, to use that consideration to temper their own. I could relate to both in their doubts and insecurities. In making your friends your family. In not wanting to hide anymore and being brave enough to go through with taking off the protective mask.
2) It was hilarious. I can’t remember the number of times I guffawed. Especially as we get to know Marcus and then read some of the drivel he has to act. I can’t decide which is my favorite. Maybe the kelp. But good grief, craggy sponges indeed. It was hilarious in an intelligent way, where some of the humor came from paying attention or not taking yourself too seriously.
3) Its reflection on fat shaming. This isn’t a book that preaches or is treacly. It’s not a tragic tale or a finger-wagging epistolary. It’s a vulnerable look at how society’s condemnation of the imperfect can hurt, even when it’s well-meaning people who care. Even though I didn’t struggle with this issue growing up, there were other ways where I was ‘wrong’ and needed fixing. Reading this made me catch places where I’ve fat-shamed unintentionally and how I’ve subconsciously absorbed those messages. Times where my family has tried to be ‘helpful’ but was hurtful instead. Health challenges have meant weight gain and now I sometimes resent it when I hear that more exercise or a better diet would solve my problems, when vacuuming my living room or flipping my bed now is enough to make me feel exhausted. Why do I care if other people might decide I have a muffin top? Why do I worry about making sure I ‘hide my flaws’ when I’m in pictures?
4) Its vulnerability helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin. Reflecting on ways I’ve let well-meaning messages hurt me and make me afraid. Seeing the courage to confront that pain and to decide that your opinion is the only one that matters and is enough. Seeing Marcus’s struggles because of how his parents handled parenting challenges and made him feel less rather than more. Seeing how those wounds made him hide behind a golden retriever facade and lie to his best friend out of fear that she’d treat him just like they did. Marcus and April’s challenges helped me heal from some of my own.
5) Its fantastic OTP. April is someone I would be friends with. She’s a strong, confident, capable female who excels at a STEM job. She’s the kind of woman you can admire and are proud to call your friend. She also doesn’t define herself by men and she isn’t afraid to embrace her intellect or her femininity. She’s the kind of protagonist and woman we need to see more of. Marcus is... the kind of guy that more people should write. He’s what toxic males aspire to be in their puny ideas of masculinity (he’s ripped, handsome, could have any woman he wants), even though he’s so much more. He’s proof that being in touch with your feelings doesn’t make you effeminate or [insert derogatory descriptor here]. It also doesn’t make you a wuss (even though he might argue with me about his bravery) or someone to disrespect. He’s also not perfect nor does he always have the answer. And even though he’s wounded, he’s not a bad boy jerk. Neither of our OTP tries to change their partner or is focused on the superficial aspects of a relationship. He’s someone who is more than a pretty face.
6) It’s a love story about people who aren’t in their 20s and are finding *that person* (the 1 and only) later in life. And it’s a love story about people who aren’t in their 20s. They’re still single, not because something’s wrong with them, but because they hadn’t found the right one. It’s rare to find a romance about people their age, especially one where being single was just life rather than being their fault.
I can’t recommend it enough. Enthusiastic 5 stars.
I know I’ll be doing a reread- it was that good. Especially right before Alex and Lauren’s story comes out. Can’t wait!!!
Instead I thought this book was just okay. Spoilers mentioned after this because I don’t think I can say why I didn’t like this book without mentioning any.
I thought it was a super interesting premise that Marcus acts a lot dumber than he is whenever he has to do an interview or interact with the public. It’s an interesting way of distancing yourself from the public eye when your whole career revolves around it. Except I didn’t like how the author actually executed it. When they were leaving the museum date and the paparazzi surrounded them and Marcus basically takes off his shirt to distract them from harassing April, it felt…kind of creepy on his part. Not sure why but I just really didn’t like it.
Which another part of the museum date I really didn’t like was when they got hot and heavy during the earthquake simulator when they were surrounded by lots of other people, including families with kids. I guess it was the author trying to show that the characters had such great chemistry but instead it came off as the characters having no social awareness and them being gross/creepy, which kind of surprising that an actor wouldn’t be at least a little concerned with his actions in public. If the author had just tweaked the scene a little and made it so the earthquake simulator only fit two people at a time, I would have loved that scene.
In the beginning of the book I really loved the author’s message on body positivity but then it quickly turned preachy and I felt like every page was the same message over and over again.
And another thing, I was kind of disappointed we never got to see the folk band perform after all the times April mentioned them. It would have been a cool date idea, especially if Marcus got recognized while there and the crowd swarmed him, separating him and April, or just something adding to the conflict and tension of the story. For all the lip service the book gave about Marcus being famous, it never actually felt like it. Instead there was a lot of time with Marcus kind of just hanging out at April’s house. It almost felt like why even bother to make him famous in the first place if you’re not going to use it to the fullest extent?
Also, April got more unlikable the longer the book went on. I get it, her relationship with her mom was very much not good. However, if you’re going to accept an invitation to someone’s birthday party, and you know it means a lot to them, and you deliberately set out to ruin it by dropping a bombshell on them that completely redefines your relationship with them, then hey maybe wait until the end of the party to tell them instead of ruining the party right at the beginning? Or just why even bother showing up?
Okay, okay, one last thing, I swear. I liked the idea the author had of showing us the chats between April and Marcus’ fandom personas, but I hated the fact that all the chats were from months ago so they didn’t really have a bearing on the plot and instead of introducing tension to the story, it felt like it undercut the tension by a lot.
This book had the set up to be my favorite book ever, and the fact that it wasn’t has left me with lots of emotions, as you can no doubt tell from this extremely long review haha.
Top reviews from other countries
I feel like if you wanted to read a story VERY MUCH LIKE THIS, Rainbow Rowell's FANGIRL is probably a better fit.
Talking about comic con, cosplay and online fandoms that great and can be incredibly supportive.
April feeling oh-so-confident and being headstrong about what she now wants out of life. Haters gonna hate!
April's job. It's different and kind of cool (other than an opening of this, you really don't hear much else about it except for Ross-Level rock jokes).
I think there was one joke that I found funny.
Cons (Warning Spoilers):
The characters almost had zero personality; anxiety and being good at your desired job is NOT a personality.
The hype over Marcus' fame really didn't come through at all. There was maybe three incidents where people too not-so-discreet photos of them out and about, and that was it. There was no "rush to outrun the paparazzi!" or outrageous headlines making the front page for some made-up scandal.
Aprils' co-workers band. It only ever gets mentioned, no performances happen.
April's backstory; while sad, just felt like a glossed-on tag to her character arc.
April's dating history; glossed-over mentions, no sit-down heart-to-hearts about it.
Aprils' sudden flip from hot to cold about people commenting on her weight, despite claiming she won't let it affect her publicly. Then refusing to listen to Marcus, when she knows he struggles with putting thoughts into words properly.
The sex; DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND ME, I am totally up for reading explicit sex and -normally -the dirtier the better. But it felt so OUT OF PLACE in this story. It was almost like the author thought, 'I keep saying April writes explicit sex in her fanfics so I should totally SHOW explicit sex just because!' It just didn't gel with the way the rest of the story and how it sounded. These two fairly affection people suddenly going from awkward and cliché chat-up lines to using the C-word and F-word every sentence? It was like a child dropping an F-bomb in the middle of class for no reason.
The length of the story. Considering how very little actually happens in a large chunk of the middle of the book, I honestly feel like it could have been 100 pages shorter, minimum. I was starting to skim read just to finish it.
Barely any of the supporting characters have any appearances or personality at all. Except maybe for Alex. The rest just sort of ... pass by.
For something listed as comedy ... there wasn't really any comedy ...
This is what this book did to me, now to any old reader you might love this book, you might find it cute but maybe nothing too different or special… but for someone like me who is fat/plus size (whatever you wanna call it) to feel seen for the first time in her 23 years of life, this was incredible.
I have cried multiple times reading this, because I’ve been in those exact same situations as April, had those exact same conversations from all kinds of people in my life and still continue to do so. Reading about April setting her boundaries and calling out things that hurt her has been inspiring and healing.
Thank you Olivia Dade for writing a story that I can finally see myself in and not shying away from touching the surface of what it’s truly like to grow up and be shaped by fat phobia.
For what I thought was going to be a light read ‘Spoiler Alert’ deals with a lot of difficult topics. They didn’t retract from the easiness of the main character’s relationship a whole lot, there were moments for sure where it causes issues and hurt for one or both of them, but I felt a lot of the time the narrative took an ‘us/me vs them’ stance. It was April and Marcus facing against something together or growing as an individual and overcoming on their own.
I struggled a little to keep up with and enjoy the chapters that were fan fics in some instances but that being said the fandom theme running through the book made it make sense and these chapters always seemed to tie in someway to what was actually happening with April and Marcus, so that part I enjoyed.
This book was enjoyable and it did provide that light-hearted element I was seeking but there is a lot more to this book than the blurb suggests.
What happens when an internationally renowned actor in a long-running series called Gods of the Gates, loosely based on the books by E. Wade (sadly not a real thing, I googled) which were themselves based on The Aeneid, rescues a fan who is abused for her physical appearance on Twitter? Itself very similar in storyline, Marcus is a beautiful man, physically fit (as you would need to be to play the Trojan hero Aeneas) whereas April, an environmental geologist, is, as she herself says, fat, with no intention of dieting or exercising. However, they both share a secret. They both love to write Fanfic about Gods of the Gates and over the last two years their alter-egos BAWN and Ulsie (they both stand for longer names but, phsaw) have become very close. However, Marcus' alter-ego BAWN is highly critical of the way in which the showrunners have taken the latest series and it could ruin his career if anyone ever discovered his true identity. April too feels her professional reputation would suffer if her colleagues in her physically demanding and male-dominated field knew she wrote Fanfic and enjoyed cosplay.
So this is a kind of re-boot of You've Got Mail, Marcus discovers April's alter-ego on their first date but is too worried about his career to confess to his own alter-ego - we all know where this is going don't we?
First off, I don't read Fanfic and I don't go to conferences like Comicon - so this isn't my area of interest. Indeed, I think I saw the ARC on NetGalley and didn't request the book because it didn't sound like my kind of thing. I was half right.
I liked this, despite the unfamiliar world and terminology and the extracts from scripts and fanfic, the characters were real and vivid and likable. What let the story down for me was rinse-and-repeat nature of April and Marcus' relationship. He inadvertently says something, she misinterprets what he says and breaks things off. She realises she overreacted and forgives him. He assumes something and acts accordingly from the best of intentions, it wasn't what she wanted, she dumps him. Yadda yadda. I don't know if this was to show that April wasn't perfect either but it felt repetitive and very one-sided because she was always the one who had to realise he had good reasons for his actions/deception.