Published by Avon on 6th October 2020
Buy on Amazon
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?
‘Spoiler Alert’ is such a grand tribute to the world of fanfic, the mad world of fandom and the thin but not-impenetrable layers that lie between real life and our online personas as we lurk in the anonymity of the internet. And as someone who’s dabbled extensively in fanfiction for nearly 2 decades, every fanfic terminology, every loving tag and acronym jumped out like a validating nod to why people write what they write. It isn’t a surprise then, that this was a story that spoke doubly to me because of its smile-inducing, breath-stealing familiarity when I hadn’t even gone through a quarter of the book yet.
More fun however, is Olivia Dade’s glorious insertion of celebrities themselves writing their own stories to address their own dissatisfaction, as famous actor Marcus Caster-Rupp finds his niche and his accidental HEA in fandom, thanks to an unwitting picture that April Whittier posts of herself in cosplay.
I was entranced in their story, seeing as it was one that circled around so many broad insecurities of self-worth whether in size (April takes on fat-shaming here and tends to lash out at anyone defensively because of her parental issues) or in measuring the intelligence quotient (Marcus’s fake persona is built on his inability to show the world his true self). But what stood out really was the shuddering zing of energy and the double number of laughs that Alex Woodroe and his minder brought to the middle of the book. That Alex actually stole the show quite literally at the end, made me an instant rabid fan, if I already wasn’t.
In short, ‘Spoiler Alert’ was everything I never knew I needed yet everything I wanted but couldn’t articulate out of a rom-com that took fanfic and elevated it to, well…fiction that deserved its own pedestal. Incorporated into this were shades of fanfic-meta, the need for AUs, the crazy slippages that people wrote into and perhaps more importantly, the continuing discussion of how fanfic provides comforting remedies all that people find unsatisfactory or inadequately done in popular shows. Dade’s writing here is sublime in exploring fanfic’s nuances and for that alone, I’m too hooked to stop.