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Spoiler Alert: A Novel Paperback – October 6, 2020
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“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
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.
- Publisher : Avon (October 6, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0063005549
- ISBN-13 : 978-0063005549
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.94 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #27,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The sex was even hotter and more explicit that I expected, but if that were all, I would have counted it as a nice bonus and written a pleasant one-sentence review. It was the complexity of the characters and the way they dealt with their challenges, singly and together, particularly the hardest parts with each of their parents, that really got me. I won't say more here, but if this strikes a chord, you should try this book. Also, this book has so much more than just a happy ending. The issues of being friends and lovers and partners and of having each other's backs, and of community and solidarity under siege, are explored in multiple ways. I finished the book with a real respect and affection for these characters.
Recommended wholeheartedly. And now if you will excuse me, I need to go find out what else this writer has written.
"Spoiler Alert" has the perfect trappings of a book made for fandoms. With pieces of fanfics littered throughout, I found myself wishing that "Gods of Gates" was a real series. The series in the novel has many similarities to the way "Game of Thrones" was adapted into a show that fans loved until the showrunners decided to take it in their own direction diverging from the books. It even has a little nod to someone accidentally leaving something modern in a shot, this time a water bottle instead of a coffee cup, which I thought was clever.
Marcus is an actor on the show whos spare time is spent moonlighting as a fanfic writer. Going by the name Book!Aeneaswouldnever, he often criticizes how the showrunners are treating the characters. He actually plays the character Aeaneas on "Gods of Gates", so he has to keep his hobby a secret from everyone or he could be in breach of his contract. April, the female lead of the story, is also a fanfiction writer under the title UnapologeticLaviniaStan. She writes about how strong Lavinia's character is, her relationship with Aeneas, and adds some modern alternate versions of the story. Online April and Marcus form a connection, with April having no idea that she is talking to the lead of her favorite tv show.
April posts a picture of herself in cosplay on Twitter. After she is bullied by fans of the show because of her weight, Marcus steps in and decides to ask her on a date. Neither knowing that they are longtime friends consultants on their fanfics.
The thing that I loved the most about the book is that both of the leads feel real, like people you would know. The description of April being plus sized, her vibrant red hair and her love of all things that are nerdy was like it could have been written about me. While Marcus literally looks like a god, he actually has some things about him as well that are familiar, not only having his own love of fandom, but also having dyslexia and having to over come that. He is also incredibly shy to the point of having to act differently than his actual personality.
As someone who is very engrossed in fandom culture and have been for years, this book felt like a love letter to me and so many others. That the usually plain and unassuming girl can be noticed and celebrates no matter what your size you can have a place in the cosplay community. This is an ongoing issue that I have seen in our world today with fat shaming and fandom policing. It is a good reminder that we are all flawed no matter how imperfect or perfect we seem on the outside. It also touches base on parents who mean well but can be harmful in what they say when trying to make someone the best version of themselves. As someone who has had to deal with that myself I almost cheered reading about the characters standing up for themselves.
If you have been engulfed in fandom yourself, have written fanfics, or have felt like an outsider, you will find a home in this story. I cannot recommend this enough to everyone.
These characters were just SO FREAKING RELATABLE ON EVERY LEVEL. Complex and interesting and fully alive. I loved April and Marcus so much and their personal struggles, while feeling entirely natural and authentic, made them uniquely suited for one another in a way that made so much sense. EVERYTHING about this romance felt as natural as breathing, effortlessly executed, and I enjoyed it so much I stayed up half the night to finish reading it, and am now mad that I didn't savor it more.
Which means it is time to go shopping Olivia Dade's backlist, so ttyl!
But first, we need to get away from having this self-conscness thing about plus-size women in books, it's freaking annoying. I do commend this offer for exploring that hough, but regardless, this book has made me more likely to distrust these so-called illustrated covers that romance books have had the last few years. I think I'll stick with YA contemporary romance, since those can be compelling, but this...wasn't.
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 ...
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.