All the Feels by Olivia Dade
Spoiler Alert #2
November 16, 2021, by Avon
Before I begin my full-on squeeing over this book, I need to add a disclaimer that Olivia is a complete auto-buy author for me. Once I read her self-published book, Teach Me, a few years ago I was all in and have never looked back. And beyond that, I consider Olivia a friend so you can consider that when reading this review for sure.
Okay, but moving on to this actual book, All the Feels is the follow-up to the fanfiction bestseller Spoiler Alert, which was on my top books of 2020 list so I was so excited to read this! We got the best glimpse into Alex and Lauren’s relationship in the previous book with Alex going into a quiet rage over the God of the Gates showrunner’s treatment of Lauren. We’d seen him basically torpedo his career at the end of the last book. We back up a bit here and see the beginning of their relationship when those same showrunners had hired Lauren to watch Alex and keep him out of the public eye after one too many of his antics got him in trouble. Technically you do not need to read Spoiler Alert before reading this book, but you would be missing a lot of nuance to the beginning of their relationship.
Alex is seen by the public, and by the showrunners, as this affable, gorgeous actor who just gets into trouble…a lot. Hence, the hiring of Lauren to babysit him, who is the cousin of one of Alex’s show’s producers. Lauren is the mental health practitioner at an ER and had taken a break because of the high stress she’d experienced in that position. The two of them being thrown together creates this wonderful sort of tension from the start where Alex just wants to needle her because Lauren is so organized and responsible. And Lauren can take his humor to an extent, but her tough exterior hides a soft center that he can hurt occasionally unintentionally. Through the ‘minding’ of Alex and his attempts at getting to her they’re spending a ton of time together and becoming friends and I love the way that this slowly develops a friendship over the course of the book, which is the entire basis of their relationship. Because they develop that friendship they’re oh so slowly peeling back the layers of the other, revealing bits of themselves in their conversations.
I love both of these characters so, so much. Like I said, Lauren has a soft center, who just needs a break from the trauma of the ER. And normally I’m extremely all about the heroine, and while I love Lauren, Alex absolutely gives her a run for her money here. I was completely unprepared to love him as much as I did, I should have known that Olivia Dade would deliver another hero that would steal my heart. He is hilarious, kind, and truly would do anything for someone he loves. One of the things I thought was so well done is the way Alex loves Lauren and her looks throughout. Alex loves the way Lauren looks, when he calls her bird-like and round he genuinely loves those things. They have to work on their communication to get on the same page that these are positive and beautiful attributes, and I felt that was really true to real life – miscommunication and how to work from there.
There are so many moments I laughed out loud at in this book, and moments that made me cry. One of the best things about this book that ties it into the first is the love of fan fiction. There’s a scene with only one bed that cracked me up to no end. And the ending scene – obviously no spoilers – but truly made me cry. And has made me seek out fic based on that trope because I love it so much.
There’s so much to love about this book and these characters, but my favorite is that over the course of the book the two realize they are both worthy of love.
CN: off-page domestic violence in the past; verbal abuse and belittling of FMC by side characters; MMC has ADHD; off-page violence