Spoiler Alert: It was fucking amazing.
This was the CUTEST. I was literally squealing at every chapter.
Cue the synopsis:
This book follows Marcus Caster-Rupp, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, and April Whittier, a hardcore fan of the show. Marcus, frustrated with the direction the show is taking, has started writing fanfiction, where he meets April. The two are close friends but have no idea of each other’s identities. Flash forward to two years after they meet: April posts a picture of her cosplaying a Gods of the Gates character, which goes viral—trolls pour in commenting on her plus-size take, and Marcus asks her out to spite the critics. The date was meant to be a one-time publicity stunt, but Marcus learns that April is actually the woman he’s been talking to online for years, and decides he wants to pursue a real relationship with April.
First of all, both the main characters were SO HOT. They had amazing chemistry and a really swoon-worthy relationship. I loved April and I am so glad we finally got a beautiful, fat, nerdy love interest!! Both characters were extremely fleshed out and still maintained their hobbies and interests after getting together. I also really appreciated that it featured both of them learning to set boundaries with people that have hurt them in the past and learning to move forward with love and compassion for themselves.
The writing was amazing and the story was so well plot out. Often, I leave a romance book with at least one conflict seeming unrealistic, but in this book I found the relationship’s ebbs and flows to be extremely natural. The novel contained both perspectives, but did tend to focus more on Marcus’s perspective, which I really enjoyed, since, as a lesbian, I definitely related to his desire for April. :^)
One of my favorite things about this book was the level of nerd culture—this is like Fangirl on steroids, and IMO, more adorable. There are tons of excerpts from fanfic and server chats, and part of the story happens at a convention! I think what really sets the bar high in this book is the way fanfic is framed—it’s not really seen as a “guilty pleasure” in the way it’s typically associated, and all of the characters who write are genuinely proud of their work (as they should be!). Particularly, April tends to write more “Rated E” fics, and I really liked how that wasn’t framed as weird, since that is indeed a huge part of fanfic!
Finally, what I really appreciated, and what really sets this book apart is the representation; both of the characters are over 30 and features a woman who is fat. It is so rare to see a fat love interest, especially in a woman over 35, and it made me super happy to see. This book is super body-positive and a perfect tribute to nerd culture. I am already looking forward to rereading it.