Hey all, Dani here.
Am I back with yet another geeky fandom focused book review? You bet I am. Look, I am so excited to be seeing more books with characters who are geeks with geeky interests and hobbies. These are characters and stories that I can relate to, as someone who reads and watches a lot of geeky content, and who has gone to conventions and gushed about love of fandom with others. It’s wonderful.
Oh, and this is another of my overdue reviews, because I read this book last August and it was released last October. But in exciting news, the companion/sequel is coming out in a couple months. I do believe that this next book follows another one of the actors from the show, so that should be really cool.
All right, so, let’s just go ahead and jump into the review.
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?
Rating: 5 stars
This was my first Olivia Dade book, but it is not going to be the last. I’m pretty sure I read this book in just one day. It sucked me in and I couldn’t stop until I finished it. I love books like that.
Also, this is another one of those books that utilizes the online friends but real-world strangers trope. So both Marcus and April have been online fanfiction friends for a while, but that isn’t something that is immediately shared when they meet in person. In fact, when Marcus finds out that April is his online friend, he worries about how she would react to him being her online friend, especially considering his celebrity status, so he keeps his identity a secret.
And both characters also have their struggles. April is “overweight,” which was also a cool fact for me as I am not a super skinny person myself. And…I read this one a year ago…so I had to check other reviews to confirm that I remembered it right…Marcus is dyslexic. So in this story we see the issues that come up with that, which includes stuff like parental emotional abuse (Marcus’s parents don’t seem to recognize his dyslexia and berate and put him down frequently for not being smart or whatever), as well as all of the fat-shaming and struggling with self-respect and self-acceptance.
I think I’m definitely going to want to re-read this book, because I remember really enjoying it. I loved getting the glimpses at some of the fics they were writing, and to see their online banter, and then to see their real-world interactions when they had their awkward publicity stunt first date, and then how the relationship progressed from there. I was rooting for them and enjoying seeing the various parts of their lives, from the fanfiction, to the actual show the fics were based on, to just the fandom celebrating and criticizing a show they have connected to.
Fandom can be complex and complicated, and yes sometimes it is toxic and draining, but I feel like we need to show off and celebrate the good parts of fandom, but it is not helpful to ignore the drawbacks to fandom. So I really love reading fandom-centric stories and watching fandom-focused shows and movies, because overall I still enjoy being a part of the fandom community.
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All right, that is all from me for today. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.