“Things happen, despite our best intentions.”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Piatkus in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
There aren’t enough books out there that promote body positivity and I love a good bookish/fanfiction element, so I’ve had my eye on this series for a while. I’ve been warned that things could get rather steamy, which is definitely not my cup of tea… But I crossed my fingers and toes and dived into the first book Spoiler Alert anyway earlier this year, and to my surprise those scenes didn’t bother me too much. Instead, I ended up having an excellent time with the first book, and I’ve been looking forward to All The Feels and Alex & Lauren’s story ever since. Now that I’ve had the chance to read it, I have to say that it definitely didn’t disappoint!
All The Feels is the second book, but not a ‘true’ sequel as it evolves around two different characters instead and takes mostly place during the same time period as the first book. And as references to Marcus and April as well as what happened in the first book are made, I do suggest reading both in order to avoid spoilers. The story is mainly set in California, although the story starts in Spain where the last Gods Of The Gates season is being filmed. It’s been great to revisit the different settings that were mentioned in the first book, and especially the road trip part of All The Feels had some wonderful descriptions that will make you want to grab your car and do your own little road trip.
The main focus is of course on the two main characters and their evolving relationship. Having already met both Alex and Lauren in the first book, I’ve been looking forward to dive deeper into their dynamics and see how things grow. While I do have to say that the constant teasing of Lauren was a tad too brutal and there was too many repetition of just how unappealing Lauren’s looks are, Alex’s charm ultimately wins over and I do like it when characters are flawed and present character growth. Both the ADHD and body positivity rep was excellent and I like how this story isn’t just about the romance as we have all those elements in play and more, including family issues, parental pressure, domestic abuse, body shaming, bullying, dealing with fame… Giving us a little breathing space to recover from those sexy scenes (because holy guacamole; steamy is an understatement!). Oh yes, there was quite some skimreading for me involved whenever another sexy scene appeared, but thankfully the story itself had a lot more to offer.
I also loved the inclusion of fanfiction and the fact that you even get fragments of Gods Of The Gates fanfiction is a huge bonus. The writing itself is engaging and it was very easy to just keep turning those pages… And although I liked their initial banter even more, it was great to see both Alex and Lauren grow and connect. As a whole, All The Feels turned out to be a very satisfying romance read despite things getting hotter than a Carolina Reaper pepper. Fans of the genre will have a great time with this story!