Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello

I’m typically in the camp of “the book is always better” so after seeing the trailer for the Spoiler Alert movie a few months ago and realizing it was based on a book, I knew I wanted to be sure to read the book before going to see the movie. A week or so before the movie was released, I finally dove in and read Michael Ausiello’s funny and heartbreaking memoir about loving and losing his husband, Kit Cowan. I laughed and cried (a lot!) as I read about how they met, fell in love, and how they navigated the devastating cancer diagnosis that ultimately took Kit’s life. It’s been a week since I finished the book but I still get a little choked up thinking of this story. Being very close to the age they were when Kit passed, I just can’t imagine going through that with a partner and ultimately losing them. It’s just heartbreaking.

But it’s not all heartbreak. Yes, you will cry, probably several times, but I think I laughed just as much (if not more) while I read it. Michael shares so many great little anecdotes from the course of their thirteen-year relationship. Even while Kit was battling cancer, there were still so many hopeful, loving, and funny moments. Kit seemed like a great guy, and he and Michael definitely shared a love many people only dream about. But one of the things I liked most about this memoir was that Michael didn’t sugarcoat things and only share the good stuff. Yes, Kit was a great guy, but he wasn’t perfect. He had flaws, their relationship wasn’t perfect and we very much got to see the good, the bad, and the ugly throughout the course of this book. It made things very relatable and it was even more powerful seeing all they’d overcome and the love they still shared despite (or maybe because of) the hard times.

Last weekend I went and saw the movie and I loved it just as much as I loved reading the book. Jim Parsons and Ben Aldridge did a fantastic job portraying Michael and Kit. And Sally Fields as Kit’s mom was a true highlight! The movie did deviate from the book quite a lot (some characters were changed and the order certain events happened differed, for example) but the core bits were there and it can stand on its own as a wonderful film. Bring those tissues, you’re going to need them! Much like the book, the movie had me crying multiple times. Stick around for the credits for a little bonus moment (which also had me crying again and reinforced the perfect casting for Kit).

You can’t go wrong with the book or the movie, but I do recommend experiencing them both! If you’ve seen the film, grab a copy of the book because it’s got so much more than you see in the film. And certainly, if you’ve already read the book, don’t miss out on seeing the film – it really was fantastic! I’m looking forward to watching it again!

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