may reads: mini reviews

How the fuck is it the end of May??

Also, know I missed April’s mini reviews and it was honestly because I read so damn much that month. And didn’t have any energy to actually sit down and remember to review them. June will be a better month, I hope, as I am trying to approach reading differently and to review as I go. I may not share the reviews right away, but I will write the notes that way when I sit down at the end of the month, I don’t get overwhelmed.

May was a bit easier as I hit a huge reading slump and didn’t read near as much as I would have liked. Even fanfics this month, were just not working for me the way they normally do.

Also, instead of reviews, I’m just going to list all the books I read in April and May with little brief comments.

Books Read for April and May

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
4/5
One of my new favorite classics. I literally read this because there is a queer retelling coming out soon and I wanted to have a good frame of reference for the story. And now I love this book.

Lost In The Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
4/5
I am always here for a Peter Pan retelling. This book was magical and heartbreaking. And I loved it so much. Aiden Thomas is an auto-buy author for me now.

Body Broker by Daniel M. Ford
4/5
I’m such a sucker for a private investigator novel. This is the first in a series and it was so pretty face paced. I read it in two days.

The House In The Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
5/5
Literally one of my top favorite books now. A new comfort fic. It’s just everything I didn’t know I wanted in a book. Deals with a magical system that is highly prejudiced and layering the finding a family and a place where you belong. It’s like a big gay hug.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
5/5
Trans boy falls in love with a ghost. That’s it, that’s all I needed to know. But it is so much more and had be in tears on and off through the whole damn book. Finding your place in family as a trans person and claiming your magical powers. Ugh. So good.

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
4/5
Sapphic regency romance. Science bros being science bros and being out done by women. Yes, please. Also, I’m a sucker for the romance tropes in this one.

In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado
5/5
I will be doing a in depth review/post in general about this on my Instagram because I’m still processing it. It is the most unique memoir I have ever read and I really feel like I can’t do it justice. It just needs to be read by anyone who is queer and has had experience or loved ones experience same sex domestic violence. This just doesn’t get talked about enough in queer communities.

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Now on to the fanfics. This may be the last month I do fanfic reviews. I love doing them, but I also feel like I need to be posting these in a different space or at the very least find a community who is as deep in this as I am so I’m not just talking to the wind.

Fan Fic Reviews

Total words for May2,604,015 words
Total Fics for May: 73
Shortest Fic: 2,000 words
Longest Fic: 124,927 words

I’m not going to put content warnings because if you click through the link, AO3 tagging system is brilliant and you can read those to see if this is a fic for you. More often than not, AO3 authors are heavy with the tags that way you know what you’re getting.

Blackbird by violenttulips – Drarry
(What’s this? A fanfic that is NOT Good Omens? Don’t worry. Literally the rest of them are.)
Harry was bitten by Greyback, he thinks is life is over. But of course, Draco says, “the fuck you say, I’m going to keep bothering you until you are you again.” I adore fics where Draco deals with Harry’s mental health with a tough love approach, with some fluff. Also, I really love the author’s expansion on werewolf culture and how it’s brought into this fic that Harry and Draco have to navigate. Fave Thing: Hermione and Draco friendship. I LOVE when this shit happens. Because both characters are so damn smart and they have so much to learn about and teach other.

The Best Laid Plans by hope_in_the_dark – Good Omens Human AU
Meet-cute. Sort of. Okay, Crowley hits Aziraphale with his car. Oooops! But ugh, the cuteness, the pining. I love it. Also, I love when Adam is related to Crowley somehow and the shenanigans they get into. Also, bisexual and asexual Crowley is always a fave of mine. This is a new comfort fic that I will be downloading to my phone. Fave Thing: Adam and Anathema are the biggest shippers. So cute.

Ghostwriter by bisasterdi – Good Omens Human AU
Aziraphale is forced to ghostwrite an autobiography of Crowley. It becomes so very obvious, the playboy persona that Crowley has to put on in order to avoid his crime family is not at all the true Crowley. This is a beautiful strangers to associates to friends to lovers. I loved seeing them poke through each other’s walls and masks to reveal something incredibly sweet. Fave Thing: How Soft they are with each other.

Icing on the Cake by Etheostoma – Good Omens Human AU
Crowley needs a decorator for his bakery, Aziraphale is perfect. Bakery flirting and pining idiots. That’s it, that’s all I needed to know. This became another comfort fit that I will be returning too. I love when authors say in their synopsis “the *insert topic* here no one asked for” because um, I did! In my mind, anyways. But yes, I will always read bakery romances. Or restaurant rivals romances. Food and romance. Yes. Fave Thing: Icing….for reasons.

Only Ever Yours by Caedmon – Good Omens Human Regency Romance AU
Regency romances are some of my favorites. Also Caedmon is one of my favorite Good Omens fanfic authors. CW: Nobility/Servant power dynamics. If that is not your thing, I understand. I usually have a hard time with super imbalanced power dynamics, yet, the whole “I was sent to spy on you” and the “oops, I fell in love with you” is just a thing that gets me every time. There is a lot of discussion about negotiating relationships with power dynamics in this that I really appreciated. Fave Thing: The Regency swooning with feather light touches and holding your breath all the damn time.

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Whew, okay. I’m trying to decide how I want to carry on with this blog. I’m feeling pretty uninspired, but could also be honest with myself that this month was just a difficult creative and reading month in general. I may get struck with inspiration later and keep doing reviews or at least talk about the books I enjoy. Not sure yet.

Also, I realize I am posting this and there is still one day left of May. Shhhh. It’s okay.

march reads: mini reviews

March was a strange reading month. I started several books but still haven’t finished any of them. Jane Eyre, which I started end of February, both book club books, and two different graphic novels.

But!

I binged Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo in one day. Did I do so that I would have a book instead of just fanfic reviews? Yes, yes I did. And also, I’ve been wanting to read this series for years and finally got the first three e-books on sale.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
3.5 Stars

I wanted to like this soo much more, and I know that many have told me the first trilogy is a a slow-ish read compared to the rest. But I am okay with that. Bardugo’s world building is fucking brilliant. Also, I feel like younger me, had I read it when it came out, I would have given Mal a chance at being worthy of the love triangle, but as a 30 year old who doesn’t have time to wait around for dude to realize “it was you all along”….noooope. Maybe I’ll change my mind about him in the next two books! We shall see.

Alina, sweet child. I want to shake her. With love. And tell her she needs NO MAN. Okay, that could be my gayness coming out. Whatevs. Point is. I am excited to see how she transforms and grows in the next book. I am always here for a coming of age with magic story and again, I love this world that Bardugo has created.

Am I already in love with The Darkling? Yes. Would younger me be in love with him? Yes. Do I really have a “type”? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. And hello, he’s being played by Ben Barnes. I’ve been in love. SO…

I’m not sure what else to say about it. I used to be so good at reviews damn it, but I won’t lie, I’m rushing this post a bit because I am determined to post it tonight as close to the end of March as I can. I don’t like April Fool’s Day, so today is actually March 22nd, thank you.

Anyhoo. I cannot wait to read the rest of this Grishaverse series!

Top Five Fan Fic Reviews for March

Total words for March: 3,227,462 words
Total Fics for March: 93
Shortest Fic: 1,073 words
Longest Fic: 477,981 words

I’m not going to put content warnings because if you click through the link, AO3 tagging system is brilliant and you can read those to see if this is a fic for you. More often than not, AO3 authors are heavy with the tags that way you know what you’re getting.

Also, I can’t keep up with trying to track all the fics I bookmark, whew. One day, I might be able to. But I’m cutting it down to sharing my top five fics.

Drarry

Verba Volant by shushu_yaoi_lj – This is an 8th year fic, which is one of my favorite tropes for Harry Potter fanfic. It starts the summer of the war, after the trials. Draco send Harry a letter, and there is banter and flirting, and it makes my heart happy. There is a also a sweet little mystery surrounding one of Harry’s ancestors and one of Draco’s. It’s precious and heartbreaking. This is also a Veela Draco fic, which is one of my favorite AUs. This fic really filled a lot of my faves.

Crown Witness by slytherco – Criminal-ish Draco and Auror Harry. Another favorite AU/trope. Even though overall, I don’t like when Harry is an Auror. I don’t think he would have been on given all of the trauma. But that’s a personal thing, and I can overlook it for a good criminal/body guard romance plot. Which is what this is. I love everything about Draco in this one. SO much sass and innuendos. Ugh. So good.

Ineffable Spouses

Divine Restorations and Repairs by SylviaW1991 & skimmingthesurface – Good Omens Human AU. Y’all. This might be one of my favorites. Crowley is leaving London and breaks down in Tadfield, and Aziraphale is an angel with umbrella who takes him in and all the pining ensues. Seriously. So cute. SIXTEEN CHAPTER SLOW BURN Y’ALL. But it’s worth it. This will become a comfort fic for sure. This is also what I would consider a found family fic, because FUCK Aziraphale’s blood family in this one.

Misty Mauve by MrsCaulfield – Good Omens Human AU. Victorian rivals to friends to lovers. So. Much. Pining. And slow burn. Can y’all tell I was in a mood? Lol. But really, this one is brilliant, another comfort fic. And sweet sweet Crowley. He tries. So hard. I always have a soft spot for Crowley when he’s trying to do the right thing and everyone misunderstands him. Ugh. Also, Victorian dancing and pining and NO period homophobia. Which I love. Also, MrsCulfield is one of my favorite Good Omens fanfic authors and I am subscribed to all the current WIPs.

Against Expectations by summerofspock and art by Blue_Sparkle – Good Omens Human AU. REGENCY arranged marriage and pining while fucking, and slow burn, and ashjdbfhugiwjgijf. Aziraphale is femme, Crowley is genderfluid as fuck. I don’t want to give too much away, this is a very sweet, sometimes heartbreaking fic because why don’t these two just communicate!?! But I loved everything about this. The art is wonderful nd everything about this one is brilliant.

Fingers crossed I have a better reading month in April. Not that over 3.2 million fanfic words is not good, but I do have a huge stack of books I want to get through. Especially the Grishaverse books before the show comes out! What have y’all been reading lately?

february reads: mini reviews

This month feels like it went by so quickly and that it should have lasted longer? I don’t know. But! I had a really good reading month, comparatively to last year in general. I tried to read in a theme for the month of February: romance and winter thrillers. I’m not sure if I’ll stick to a theme for the following months, but I do want to keep track of types of books I read.

Which reminds me, if y’all have not heard of The Story Graph, an alternative to Good Reads, here is my profile. I’m still figuring out how to use it, but I really like that you can DNF books and it records them. Also, create so many tags. But the BEST part is it tracks your reading stats! Also, you can create your own reading challenges or join others. I have a Reading Challenge to read 30 books this year and have joined a Translation Challenge in order to read more books from other countries.

Anyhoo. On to the reviews.

February Book Reviews

Along for the Ride by Mimi Grace
4/5

Ahhh, romance tropes in the best way! Forced proximity due to road trip, enemies to lovers. So well done. What I liked best about this is it’s not just a roadtrip romance, but the fallout/consequences and how Jolene and Jason interact after they get back and how their lives unfold. I really enjoyed this one a lot and will be reading more of this author’s books.

Anyone But You by Chelsea M. Cameron
3.5/5

Okay, so obviously I was in a romance enemies to lovers mood. I read this book right after Along For The Ride. Cameron’s books have been on my radar for years and I finally went ahead with this one. Because the GRUMPY ONE AND THE SUNSHINE ONE is one of my favorite tropes. There were some issues as the Grumpy One (Tuesday) is more of the Asshole One and it takes a long time to get any kind of redeemable quality. The Sunshine One (Sutton) is very Sunshiney and has a bit of a bastard streak, which I Love. I think the biggest issue I had was that when I read enemies to lovers fics, they are usually in dual POV so I can read BOTH characters internal dialogue and struggle (which is how Along for the Ride was!) are more known. Still enjoyed this and will be reading more of Cameron’s books.

Powers of Darkness: The Lost Version of Dracula by Bram Stoker & Valdimar Asmunddson; Translated by Hans Corneel De Roos
3.5/5
Read for Most Horrific and Gothic Book Club

It has been ages since I’ve read the original Dracula, and it’s a lot longer than this one. But the best part of this version is the Forward, the foot notes, and really exploring the idea of kind of a darker Dracula. It’s kind of hard to explain, there are a handful of characters who were cut from the original that I LOVED in this one. Specifically one of the Bride’s is more present and has a motivation to be around Thomas Harker (aka Jonathan Harker). And there are a few servants who not present that give a bit more of a creepy castle vibe. I think next time I read this, I will read Part One from this book and read the rest of the original. Also, if you are a Icelandic fan, pick this one up!

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
3.5/5

Okay, I read this book purposely because Rachel (IG is Bookish Winter Witch) read it and she LOVED it up until the ending. And I had to know what that meant! So, I went into this knowing the ending wasn’t probably going to be the best. And yes, without being spoiler-y. This book is a perfect winter thriller. Creepy as fuck, complicated sibling dynamics, set in the Swiss Alps, the main character is dealing with heavy PTSD and is supposed to be on vacation. But then murder. The ending is…not well executed in terms of the Murderer and their Motivation. It just does NOT fit the rest of the book. Also, there is an epilogue that doesn’t fit either and sets up for a sequel. All the issues aside, I loved it up until I hated it.

February Top Ten Bookmarked Fan Fics

Total words for February: 2,788,806 words
Total Fics for February: 104
Shortest Fic: 1,900 words
Longest Fic: 236,410 words

I’m not going to put content warnings because if you click through the link, AO3 tagging system is brilliant and you can read those to see if this is a fic for you. More often than not, AO3 authors are heavy with the tags that way you know what you’re getting.

Smitten At First Fright by Oopsynini – Good Omens Human AU. Aziraphale is an agoraphobic, disabled tenant immediately smitten with the resident gardener, Crowley, who is equally as smitten. There is so. Much. Softness. Which feels almost equally balanced by very difficult and heartbreaking  situations as well. My heart broke and I cried the entirety of the last chapter and a half. Again, happy endings only! But fuck, what a journey. 

If you do want to read this, please please read the tags for this one. There are some very triggering things around hospitalization.

Fave Things – the slow reveal about Aziraphale’s trauma, Crowley’s refusal to wear a “proper fitting” shirt, Protective Sweet Crowley, all of the ridiculous pet names Crowley gives to Aziraphale. 

The Professor, Old Crush, and New Love by AccroV – Human AU. Aziraphale Fell gets introduced to his new colleague, only to find out it is ex-best friend and first love, Anthony Crowley. Let the pining begin!

Seriously though. So. Much. Pining. This fic alternates between present day and high school flashbacks where we get to see their first meet, relationship, and breakdown. It was so beautiful and emotional.

Fave Things – gender fluid Crowley, nice Gabriel (I KNOW!), and all the fluff and awkward flirting.

The Bookshop Around The Corner by mordelle – Human AU. Aziraphale’s godson, Adam, sent his drafted romance novel (in secret!) to AJ Crowley, renowned book critic who really seems to despise romance. A spin on “You’ve Got Mail”. There is so much more to Crowley than “grrr romance” and the background and reveal of everything is just kind of heartbreaking and leaves you rooting for him the whole time. 

Advice: do no read if you are in the midst of emotional hangover revolving around miscommunication. Because this whole thing is miscommunication, or rather lack of communication period. And agh! I cried so much. It was impossible for me to set aside, I binged it in one sitting. I really really enjoyed this one and will re-read it again. 

Fave Things – Harriet and Crowley’s sibling relationship, Adam and Warlock, Crowley trying just so damn hard. 

Work of Heart by WickedWriter – Human AU. Aziraphale is a grumpy librarian volunteer who is immediately drawn to and confused by Crowley, another volunteer who is flashy, cocky, and wears very inappropriate clothing to reading circle. Ugh, I loved this one. It was painful at times how completely oblivious Aziraphale is when it comes to Crowley trying so dang hard and being a soft little disaster. 

Fave Things – Crowley reading horror stories to kids and Aziraphale is not impressed, the Kilt, cooking class instructor Crowley.

Win A Date With Anthony J. Crowley by Caedmon – Human AU. Crowley is a world famous rock star, Aziraphale wins a Date with Crowley. The date goes exceedingly well and Crowley is utterly charmed by the fact that Aziraphale has no idea who he is.

This fic is precious. So much sweetness. So much fluff. There is a heavy thread of stalking and harassment, it is handled well and doesn’t take away from all the fluff! It definitely went a place that I didn’t think of and this is going to be a comfort fic for sure.

Fave Things – the flirting, Crowley being so damn sweet, HEALTHY COMMUNICATION.

Something That Happens To Other People by Caedmon – Human AU. Crowley is a hot shot political reporter who fucks up and is demoted to the society pages, forced to cover a wedding for an American heiress and her fiancé. (Anathama and Newt! So cute). In his first meeting, he is introduced and immediatley smitten with Aziraphale, the wedding planner known as the “angel of love”.

There is a lot of romance clichés and they work so well. I think my favorite part of this is the open communication (after the initial “there’s no way he likes me”). There is a large upset and lack of communication towards the end, but again, I only read happy endings!

Fave Things – Anathama shipping Crowley and Aziraphale all the damn time, the pining, Crowley courting and wooing Aziraphale in all the ways he deserves.

Silent As The Grave by miraworos – Human/Fantasy AU. Aziraphale Ange is a location scout and finds a perfect castle to impress his boss, but he just has to convince the recluse and charming Count Crowley. This fic has all the makings of a cozy Gothic romance.

Hauntings, mysteries upon mysteries, this story was just so good and I enjoyed the atmosphere of it so very much.

Fave Things – Gothic Romance, supernatural murder mystery, Crowley being mysterious and sexy as fuck, Aziraphale being smitten and protective of Crowley.

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Whew. Okay, I think I may change the formatting of my reviews for the fan fics. I’m having a hard time keeping up with them and I only wrote a few reviews, not including a handful of others that I forgot to take notes on. Hmmm. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to leave me suggestions.

What books or fics did you read last month?

january reads: mini reviews

How is it already the end of January? How is it 2021? What even is time?

Yeah, I have no answers either. What I do have are some mini reviews of books and fanfic that I’ve read this month. Yes, fanfic. I am tracking them this year. I kept moaning about how much I haven’t “read” and after talking to loved ones and working through society shames, I have realized, fanfic absolutely fucking counts.

Fanfic writers are unsung heroes of fandoms, and there are some absolute gems just waiting to be found. So, I decided to start sending them to friend’s and someone recommended to me to possible start reviewing them because they bring me joy. And as everyone can sense, we all to find our joys right now.

Okay, I’m running out of things to talk about, so here we go.

January Book Reviews

Vessel of Starfire: Outlaws of Interra Book 1 by Allison Carr Waechter
5/5

It’s been such a long time since I’ve read a fantasy and Waechter’s book reminded me why I love this genre. Being immediately thrown into the world of the criminal family, the Vindicata, I was deeply impressed with the world building, the diverse characters, the queer and neurodivergence, the family relationships. I am so ready for the next book.

Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King.
DNF
Read for Most Horrific and Gothic Book Club

I think I read only about four or five stories. As much as I love the horror genre, I have such a difficult time reading King more often than not. Mostly because there just always seems to be a character who is racist, or homophobic, or transphobic, or fatphobic, and I have recently not been able to read around these things anymore. I used to be able to just roll my eyes and keep reading, especially if it’s older books (not saying it was “excused” even in the past), but I am not able to really do that anymore. Especially when I have a plethora of books that aren’t like this that are waiting to be read.

January Bookmarked Fan Fic

So, I actually have read over 3 million words of fanfic in January, but have decided that I will only post to ones I have personally bookmarked as re-reads. Yes, I do re-read fanfics.

I’m not going to put content warnings because if you click through the link, AO3 tagging system is brilliant and you can read those to see if this is a fic for you. More often than not, AO3 authors are heavy with the tags that way you know what you’re getting.

Top 5 Fics of January

Come Set Me Free by Slow_Burn_Sally: A Good Omens Human AU. Aziraphale is a bookseller, married to Gabriel, a life guru. Gabriel inheirts some land and a mansion, decides to hire someone to take care of the greehouse and garden. Enter, Crowley. A man with a troubled past. Aziraphale is immediately crushing on the man, but he’s straight (or so Gabriel and Aziraphale assume, bi-erasure is a thing) so it’ll be fine.

I loved this one. I have a such a soft spot for fics where Aziraphale is with Gabriel and learns that he is not being treated right, and it takes Crowley treating him like all humans deserve. I love watching the friendship develop, seeing the mutual pining, and it should be noted, I ONLY read fics that have happy endings.

Fave things: gardener Crowley, bisexual Crowley, protective as fuck Crowley, soft Aziraphale (both literally and emotionally) slow burn.

Acts of Service by seekwill: A Good Omens Human AU. PRIEST AU. Aziraphale is the new reverend, Crowley works in “security” and is mysterious. But obviously, they take a liking to each other. Quite a bit of angst and drama in this one, and it’s so good.

Fun fact: I started re-reading this as I sat down to type this review because I needed to remember which Priest AU this was (I read just about all of the ones that on AO3, I regret nothing…) and it’s just as good as when I first read it.

Fave things: how very smitten Aziraphale is with Crowley, the reunion on Christmas night, the ENDING.

If Not Now, When by ineffablefool: A Good Omens Human AU. Speaking of fics with asexual representation. LITERALLY EVERYTHING INEFFABLE FOOL WRITES IS PERFECTION. Ace-friendly fic, fat positive. In every story, Aziraphale is fat, soft, beautiful. Softness. So much soft. Crowley is trans, which is always one of my favorite canons. I don’t even know what to say here, except watching the disaster that is Crowley fall in love with Aziraphale and their relationship unfold is just beautiful.

Fave things: trans Crowley, fat/soft/beautiful Aziraphale, non-sexual intimacy, BELLY KISSES.

Arise, My Darling, And Go Forth by NaroMorea: A Good Omens Human AU. Another Priest AU. This time, both Aziraphale and Crowley are priests. Also, this one is more angst than fluff. It broke my heart in many places, watching Aziraphale struggle so much with his love for Crowley. But it is very worth it.

Read the tags for this one!

Fave things: praying the rosary together, domestic fluff because they live together

Serpents and Pyramids by boredom: A Good Omens Human/The Mummy AU. That’s it, that’s all you have to know…

Just kidding.

Ezra Fell (Aziraphale) has always wanted to be an adventurer like his mother. But fast forward to his adult years, he is engaged to a politically aspiring Gabriel, and never seems to do anything right. He has a chance for adventure after and is soon paired up with Anthony J. Crowley to take him to find a lost amulet. “Enemies” to friends to lovers ensues, and Ezra learns what it means to really be loved and cared for.

Also, Crowley has a secret.

Fave things: Crowley being so dang protective of Ezra, the secret of Crowley’s, and everything about the ending.

Whew.

I just realized, according to this months reads, looks like I only read Good Omens fics, lol. I do actually read for my Wolfstar and Drarry ships as well.

What books or fics or poems have you read this month?