READ: Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

Published Oct 2020

416 pages

Read this if you love: fanfic, steamy open door romances, cosplay, chick lit with heavier undertones

I have mixed opinions on this book so bear with me while I try to explain myself. I found the overall plot of the story super intriguing. It’s got that kind of You’ve Got Mail trope where the two leads don’t know that they already know each other, and communicate with each other electronically and in person, not knowing that they are the same people. I love this trope and I’m definitely a sucker for it.

I also loved the fanfiction element and the whole notion of a super fan falling for a huge celeb and vice versa. There’s also a lot of character development as both parts of the ship are dealing with some stuff and finding their confidence while falling for each other. That’s all great. Cheers for the hot hunk genuinely falling for the larger, curvy girl that society doesn’t value like it should.

However. A lot of the book was really consumed by the issues each character is dealing with and they each have to tip toe around each other’s personal triggers and how their parents and society have failed them. Which means the book was heavier than I was necessarily expecting and in my humble opinion it verged on preachy. I don’t know how much to complain about this without sounding like a jerk.

As a human being, I think it’s great that we’re talking about this stuff and learning how to interact with each other better. As a curvy girl myself, it’s awesome to see hunks falling for girls my shape. It doesn’t happen a lot in fiction. But the main character is so messed up by her past, that she self sabotages situations and honestly I think she expects more out of her love interest than is maybe realistic. It’s kind of amazing that they get together because she really doesn’t make it easy for him. Which in real life, is totally understandable and happens and we’re all going through our own thing. But as a girl reading some fluffy romance, it kind of took away from the fluff and lessened my enjoyment because it was stressful AF. Other readers might love all these same things about it though that I didn’t. Awesome, different strokes for different folks, right?

Overall, I still enjoyed it and plan to read Dade’s other books, especially the sequel coming out soonish. But I’m also kind of going in with my guard up that maybe her books won’t be my thing in the long run. Because as a reader, at the end of the day we get to be selfish and stick with the books that are checking our boxes.

Have you read Spoiler Alert or other books by Dade? What did you think? What are your favorite literary tropes? Tell me all your thoughts in the comments section – bonus points if you include a book rec for me to try next!

Book Review: Sweet Potato Queens’ 1st Big-Ass Novel

Grade: A

I can still remember stumbling across The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book Of Love several years back and just falling in love with the whole idea of SPQ and more importantly, falling in love with Chocolate Stuff™, a recipe I’ve devoured several times over since first reading about it (it is seriously that good). The SPQ’s Queen Boss Lady, Jill Conner Browne, has written several nonfiction books that will help you fall in love, get married and / or divorced, have children, cook great food and more.

So when their first fictional book came out, The Sweet Potato Queens’ First Big-Ass Novel: Stuff We Didn’t Actually Do, but Could Have, and May Yet, I was pretty eager to get my hands on a copy, which I did, but somehow in the mix of life, love and babies I forgot I’d gotten it. I know, lame. But it was a lucky thing in some ways, because a couple weeks ago I was lamenting the complete and utter lack of anything good to read in my bookshelf that is literally overflowing with books I have yet to read except none of them were the RIGHT book that would fulfill my need for a light hearted, funny, feel good literary experience, when I saw my forgotten copy. It was like fate.

I really had no idea what kind of novel I was delving into – but with good faith and fond memories of Chocolate Stuff™, I jumped in and found the perfect light read – chick lit in all the glory that once gave the genre a good name. It tells a tale about overcoming and surviving life’s not so fabulous moments in the company of good people – a coming of age novel where things don’t always go right but they do eventually work out – with the help of good friends and good food.

The novel begins in the fictional childhood of SPQ Jill Conner Browne and eventually settles into her life as a young adult and beyond and her friendships with Mary Bennett, Patsy, Gerald and Tammy – it (fictionally) tells the story of how the Sweet Potato Queens came to be and the lives and friendships of each SPQ. The general theme of this story is that sometimes you have to step in and create your own success and embrace your inner Queen – because if you won’t embrace it, who will? I devoured this book quickly and I’d eagerly recommend this to any fan of “chick lit” – any woman who’s experienced the pros and cons of life – and anyone who likes good humor, good food and good writing.

You can visit the Sweet Potato Queens online at www.sweetpotatoqueens.com.