Written by: Olivia Dade
Reviewed by: Mary Warren
Spoiler Alert follows the relationship between two fanfiction writers. The story kicks off when April, a plus-size confident woman posts a picture of herself cosplaying her favorite character from a Game of Thrones style TV drama. Then the trolls come out to troll. They go so far as to tag Marcus, the star of the show, hoping he’ll join in. Marcus, incensed in more ways than one, calls April gorgeous and publicly asks her on a date to shut down the bullies . Marcus writes fanfiction for the show he stars in… he is also April’s long time online writing partner. He figures that last part out on their first date which has sparks flying everywhere.
April is a fat positive, sex positive, confident woman. While this book does deal with fat shaming and fatphobia, April never questions her worth or attractiveness. Marcus is always attracted to April in the body she is in. This is very important for fat women to read. We need stories where the main obstacle to our happily-ever-after isn’t the body we live in. This book lets the love and desire be strong and unwavering.
Marcus starts this story torn between his public persona, an affable, lovable but empty-headed golden retriever, given life to mask his dyslexia and his true self which is more withdrawn, serious and intelligent. Marcus’s desire for April and the way he admires her body is important for fat women to read. We spend so much of our lives being told our bodies are sources of shame, so reading Marcus’s desire is incredible. I found their setting of boundaries and explicit consent to be refreshing, and neither detracted from the intense spice.
In Spoiler Alert, fatphobia, ableism and toxic relationships are addressed with firm boundaries and healthy communication. This sort of modeling provides a roadmap and vocabulary for setting healthy boundaries so that readers can express needs and limits in their own relationships. Olivia Dade provides this therapy packaged in a fat-woman romance, tied up in a rom-com bow. I could not have loved this book more. Olivia Dade wrote a story to heal lots of fat girls’ hearts.
This book is the reason I started Fat Girls in Fiction. I can not recommend it enough.