Star rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis: via Goodreads–
Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he’s known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster. Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately.
April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction.
Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide 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?
General information: This book was published in 2020 by Avon Books.
Can we talk about all the Game of Thrones references in this book? Because I seriously loved catching the little jabs at the last few seasons. And this book was full of jabs at the last few seasons. (It made my ASOIAF book!fangirl heart very happy).
Fandom references aside, this book was amazing! It managed to combine a cute romance with a serious discussion about difficult topics, such as growing up dyslexic and fat-phobia. Come for the wish fulfillment, stay for the serious meditations on reacting to familial abuse.
But yes, the fandom references- in fact, the whole premise of the book- made my fangirl-self want to start writing fanfiction again, just in case I accidentally meet an actor from the show. No? Too unlikely? Shhh.
The romance was adorable and I loved both characters, they both felt very fleshed-out. I also loved the cast of side characters, such as their zany coworkers and errant family members. Their relationships with their families felt very realistic and well-written. It added a lot of color to the story and I really appreciated how it ended.
My only nitpick is that it didn’t quite hit me emotionally the way other romcoms have. I never had to put the book down because I was so emotionally invested in the characters that I needed a break. It never made me laugh out loud. Really, that’s the only flaw I can find, and it’s totally subjective. A different person may experience the book totally differently (as it always goes with media).
All in all, I highly recommend this book, especially to fellow nerds! It was a love letter to fandom in a way that only a fellow nerd could write, and I really loved it.
Thanks for reading! Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!