This book – publishing October 6 2020 – is so wonderful. It’s a lovely romance, but it’s also a love letter to the fanfic community and writing fanfic that captures the beauty and possibility of it. As I also have found community through fic there were so many passages I just wanted to hug the book to my chest I loved it so much. It’s geeky and heartfelt and just warms my heart.
My first impression – besides the fanfic parts that I loved – was that it had too much sex. This isn’t unusual for a romance and usually it’s just that I’m uncomfortable with all the sex since I’m ace. I want the emotional connection and closeness of a romance instead of the physical connection.
However I am willing to make allowances for this story.
April is fat and has been fat-shamed her whole life by family and friends and boyfriends. She has so much self-confidence and is defiantly in love with her body and it’s beautiful. She knows her body and revels in it and the pleasure it brings – and since she does have a history of being fatshamed I’m willing to accept that the sex showing both her and her partner (Marcus) absolutely loving her body is in fact necessary to the story.
Marcus is dyslexic and has been shamed for it for so long that he adopted a ‘beautiful and dumb as a rock’ persona that he has hidden behind his entire career. But he’s not dumb – he’s very intelligent and thoughtful and I love how April slowly helps him become more confident in himself.
Also they both write fanfic and actually met by beta-ing one another’s fics and becoming close fandom friends long before their in-person meeting. She writes gleefully smutty fics and he writes unapologetcally angsty fics and there are snippets of their past conversations and fics scattered through the book.
Also! He’s 40 and she’s 36 and they are both such avid members of the fanfic community and I think that’s beautiful and realistic – fandom is not in fact a place only for teenagers.
Their relationship is such a warm and supportive one and it’s so refreshing to read in a romance. I will *definitely* be picking up the sequel — which is about Marcus’ hilarious friend Alex and is called Slow Burn so I kind of have to.
*Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for providing an e-arc to review