Let’s talk Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade. As you can possibly tell from my title, OMG SO MUCH REPRESENTATION! First off, I want to thank @heartof.tati on Instagram for having a post about this book! If I hadn’t seen that, I wouldn’t have known this book existed and I don’t know what I would have done without this in my life.
This plus-sized representation goes above and beyond what I was expecting. April is one of the two main characters in this book, and she happens to be a plus-size woman! Now, April isn’t just plus-size for the sake of having a bigger character. Olivia Dade has April show growth in her body positivity, set firm boundaries with those around her, AND speak out about the issue in a public forum. I was simply happy to see a larger woman (like me) in a romance novel. Instead, I found myself frequently crying happy tears. April being unapologetically fat and loving herself, motivated me to go out wearing whatever I want. That shows how much this story resonated with me.
The whole novel revolves around the show and book series Gods of the Gates. The second main is Marcus, who plays a major role in the TV show. He may be the hottest in the series, but he actually struggles with dyslexia! Dade goes into his background and how this struggle helped to form who he is as an adult, but it also gives real examples of someone struggling with dyslexia. Marcus is frequently shown using the speech to text function on this phone to send messages, as well as, having his computer read text aloud for him. As a teacher who sees students struggle reading, it’s so wonderful to see a book showing someone being successful and using the “tricks” to help function better in a world surrounded by words.
Adult Fan Fiction Writers
Yes, we exist! Fan fiction isn’t only for angsty teens and lonely geeks. Everyone can love reading and writing fan fiction. I attempted to dabble in writing myself, but I’ve found that I enjoy reading far more than writing. Anyway, it was so nice to see ADULTS! Legit adults too. Marcus is in his early 40s and April is in her mid 30s. Both, MALE AND FEMALE characters are fan fiction writers. Gah! I hate that I’m kinda embarrassed, as an adult, to admit that I enjoy reading fan fiction. I shouldn’t be! Some fan fiction writers are significantly better than published authors. The absolute truth! I have cried reading fan fiction more than I have while reading printed books.
Other Representation & Trigger Warnings
This book touches on a lot of topics that could trigger people (although the book is fairly fluffy) so I wanted to make sure to mention them. Involves: parental emotional abuse, sexual content, hate speech, fat jokes, ableist language regarding dyslexia, fat shaming. Touches on: alcoholism, body dysmorphia, ADHD.