Plot: April is a geologist and fan fiction author for a popular TV show. In a quest to live more authentically, she shares a picture of a cosplay outfit she created for her favourite character on Twitter. Being a curvy lady, her image goes viral. One of the people who notices is one of the main actors on the show, who wades in to fight off the fat shaming bullies and as a show of support, as her out on a date. Also, he also writes fan fiction with April’s online persona and have for years and they don’t know. Shenanigans ensue.
Oh book, let me count the ways in which I enjoyed you.
Let’s start with the obvious. April is fat. This is not a journey of her (a) getting thin or (b) hating herself for being thin until the power of Magic Dick fixes her. April starts the book loving her body and food. There is no justification in the book for her size. It’s not that she eats salad and works out all the time but she’s been “screwed over” by genetics. There’s room for those kinds of stories, obviously, but having a plus sized person who just lives unapologetically is so rare and very enjoyable. Marcus has his own story arc, but that arc has nothing to do with him “discovering” that he’s attracted to a plus sized woman, overcoming shame over such an attraction, or dealing with concern of the public fall out of a Man Like Him being seen in public with a Woman Like Her. What I am saying that this is a love story in which a character is plus sized, and that of course informs the way she interacts with the world the way any person who deviates from society’s definition of normal does, but it does not define her or the story. And the story is so much richer for it.
So what is the crux of the story? Both April and Marcus are in crucial points in their lives, having made choices to pursue certain goals and hide huge parts of themselves from the world because of fear of exposure, of judgement, of losing things they worked towards and value. They are both now in their late 30’s and finally learning to accept who they are and trying to figure out what that means for how they choose to live next. They both have scars from growing up in families that are incompatible with them, who choose “gentle”, ceaseless judgement and disapproval as expressions of love that are so bang on it made me want to hurt things. Fortunately, this book is chock full of sweetness and jokes and portions of terrible scripts (see title of this review) and surprisingly interesting facts about both geology and how a movie set works that you will be laughing out loud when you’re not fanning yourself, so don’t expect too much angst here.
This book has been reviewed a couple times by cannonballers already, but if they didn’t convince you to go read this book, let me. Read this book. It’s funny, it’s smart, it’s hot, and it celebrates consent in a way far too rare in romance.