Olivia Dade’s Spoiler Alert is basically an Ashley Poston novel for adults. Though it’s not quite a retelling of any kind, it does play on a lot of fandom and pop culture references–Game of Thrones, I think, is the most obvious–and go through a great many of the tropes that are common in celebrity falls in love with a fan romance stories. I’m a pretty big sucker for these kinds of plots and it was no different with Spoiler Alert. And honestly, this is one of the best of these books that I’ve had the pleasure to read. That said, there was one thing that I absolutely could not stand about this novel.
Diverse characters for the win!
One thing that is very clear after reading this book is that it deserves an immense amount of praise for its characters. Spoiler Alert was such a refreshing take on this long-retold tale in so many ways. I’ve often found that the celebrity dates a fan trope almost always involves some sort of resistance and PR stunt involving a bad boy dating a good girl to appease producers who want him to clean up his image. And thank everything that Dade’s novel had nothing to do with this. There was still a plot about Marcus’ image, but it was so much better than the bad boy trope.
Speaking of which, our famous boy has dyslexia! I loved, so much, how this was incorporated into the story. I won’t go into details because, spoiler, but I can say that it made this novel incredibly refreshing. This, alongside the impressive intellect of both main characters, is something I could not have appreciated more. Intelligence in this story is the new sexy and I love everything about it.
And, perhaps most importantly, this book is body-positive in the most wonderful of ways. From the cover through the entire novel, an emphasis is placed on body positivity. Of course, you do experience moments in which struggles at the hands of awful people who fat-shame affect the main character, but the overall message within the pages of this book is a good one. And the character development from this own voice’s author is phenomenal.
While I do think that the relationship between April and Marcus was a bit rushed in the beginning, I absolutely loved the development that it got as everything progressed. I was especially fond of how the relationship paralleled that of the character Marcus plays in his show and April’s favorite character from both the books and their adaptation, Aeneas and Lavinia. It was such an incredible way to portray the growth their relationship would see as they faced a multitude of issues that all primarily revolved around the idea of trust.
I feel like the relationship kind of followed that of a typical relationship, one with a honeymoon phase that is soon followed up with the moment in which everyone realizes that the honeymoon is over. Quite frankly, I found their relationship infinitely more interesting after the honeymoon phase when everything got a lot more real. It was there, I think, that Dade really shined.
Poston > Dade
Unfortunately, there was one thing that really took a lot away from my ability to love this book. And, to Dade’s credit, it’s nothing that I really fault her for. I have personal preferences and distaste that dictate what I read and Spoiler Alert is genuinely an exception to the books I typically pick up. I anticipated really enjoying it more so than others in its genre, so I picked it up. I’m glad I did, but at the end of the day, there’s a reason that I typically turn to YA novels.
In that same line of thinking, there’s a reason why I prefer Ashley Poston’s celebrity and fan fall in love and then go to a con story than Olivia Dade’s Spoiler Alert.
The reason? Sex.
I don’t like to read about it in the novels I pick up. This is why I don’t really bother with reading books from the romance genre. I don’t like to read about it. I do very much enjoy reading everything that leads up to sex. I like reading the right before moments, those anticipatory pieces that don’t actually involve anything graphic. And Dade’s novel has a lot of sex. More, I dare say, than most romance novels I’ve read in the past. The sheer amount of sex is a contributor to why I didn’t really care much for the honeymoon phase of Marcus and April’s relationship.
In the end, this is my personal preference. Frankly, there’s a lot to love about Olivia Dade’s Spoiler Alert. It’s one of the best novels of this trope that I’ve ever read and I am so glad for that. I’m not in love with it for the reason I mentioned above, but I definitely feel that this book deserves a massive amount of praise. In the end, I’ll probably stick to Young Adult rather than delving further into romance. Occasionally I might pick one up if it seems to have an exceptional plot as this one did.
At the end of the day, if you like Poston’s kind of stories or this trope in general and also really enjoy explicit scenes in your romance novels, I’d definitely suggest picking this one up. You’ll probably fall head over heels.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.