Why I Became a Reviewer

I think I tweeted and posted about it on Patreon and forgot to put anything up here; I’m so sorry about that, peeps. For those of you who don’t follow me anywhere else: I’ve had a fracture on my middle finger. It took me a long time to feel comfortable typing again, and when I did, I had to give Shadows Rise priority (by the way, new chapter’s out now so go have a look!).

I have reviews pending that I will have to get through soon. Starting with a book review and then two Patreon polls I didn’t fulfill (sorry for that, guys!), but consider this my hesitant first step towards putting out content again.

You’ve read the title, you must be wondering why I decided to make this post. Short answer: I think it’s a fair question to ask myself. If you haven’t been around that long, back when I started this blog I stated multiple times I wasn’t a reviewer and this would not be a review blog. Clearly my perspective changed. The Nest is no longer the personal writing blog I initially intended and I’m happier with this outcome. Longer answer: I think explaining why and how this change came about might add to a larger discussion. Because I see a lot of debate about who reviews are for and who’s allowed to call themselves a reviewer. What ‘credentials’ reviewers should have, etc. And as someone who, uhm, doesn’t always write the most objective or tactful reviews, and also as a writer who is open to receiving the same sort of criticism, I feel like I actually have something to contribute to that discussion. It’s just my personal perspective; the reasons I do the things I do, who my reviews are for—Spoiler alert: not for the author, and we’ll get to that point of discussion later, don’t worry.

Not a Professional Critic

When I was a kid, I’d always say I didn’t want to be a writer. I didn’t want to be called a writer. I was never going to be a writer.

Yeah, I know. lol

The main reason was that most writers I knew at that point in my life were pretentious jerks and I didn’t want to include myself in that group. I didn’t realize that simply by doing what I was doing in my own spare time, I was already a writer at that point, and it had literally no effect on me as a person. I’m not a pretentious asshole who’s going to look down on someone for how they choose to approach writing or simply for writing something that isn’t my preference. I’m not implying all other writers are like this, just the ones I’d had a personal experience with at that time, by the way. I’ve met plenty of writers since and most of them are lovely people. Some of them are great friends, even. The reason I bring this up is that my experience with reviewing has been fairly similar. I didn’t want to call myself a reviewer because I didn’t feel I had the necessary credentials to do so. I’m not a ‘professional critic’ after all. And for the record: I’m never going to be. I wouldn’t expect anyone to take any of my reviews seriously, or base their own judgment on them. I do reviews for two reasons:


Mine and yours. I enjoy picking things apart. I enjoy riffing on objectively horrible things and turning what could be a harrowing reading/watching experience into something more enjoyable. I’ve had people tell me my commentary series was the only way they were able to get through My Immortal. And shitposting as that entire series was, I take pride in that. I sincerely do. Moreover, writing those posts was also the only way I was able to get through My Immortal with some semblance of sanity left. Not a lot, but some anyway.

For Myself

The biggest reason why I write reviews is to force myself to think more critically. Not just about the things other people create but about the things I like and dislike. What I’m most drawn to in media in general and how that reflects on the things I create.

Thinking back to a conversation about sitcoms I had with friends a while back, I watched The Big Bang Theory for a lot longer than I probably wanted to, exclusively for Sheldon and Amy. Because no matter how much bad there was in that show; and there was a lot of it, something about how those two navigated physical intimacy spoke to me personally.

Boundaries may or not be clear lines for some people and it was genuinely the first time I saw a couple on television trying to navigate experiencing different levels of attraction and dealing with that discomfort. With the pressure of knowing you’re with someone who wants things you may not be able to provide for them. With the ways other people see you and your relationship because of that. And trying to work through those things, finding a middle ground.

The DnD episode and the Prom episode were particularly striking for me in that regard. Where in the first Sheldon uses DnD as a way to give Amy a little more intimacy in a way he’s able to process which, while something I haven’t done myself, I can actually understand pretty well. And the latter where the gang decides to have a prom for themselves and Sheldon is scared of the societal pressures involved with after-prom-sex. Which, proms aren’t really a thing in Brazil the way they are in America (or American movies anyway), but I can understand the whole ‘sex as a milestone’ pressure. The feeling of not being considered an adult, or feeling valid in a relationship, if you’re not doing certain things. And these being pressures inflicted by friends, family, or just society in general; not necessarily the person you’re with.

These moments in this crappy ass show were pivotal to my own issues and me trying to figure myself out. And the point I’m trying to make is that I’m very critical of things like pandering sometimes because I wish I’d seen myself in something where I didn’t have to tune out those characters being terrible 90% of the time just to feel that connection. To the point where I don’t want to demand representation, I just want to demand things to be better.

Now I’ve said in the past that I don’t like having labels demanded of me to justify writing the things I write. I don’t write about relationships, so maybe I won’t get to write the demisexual love story I feel the world deserves (I’m sure someone will or has; recommendations welcome!), and I may not insert myself into my stories but I do insert aspects of myself into my characters. Not on purpose, but nonetheless they’re there. My trust issues, my difficulties communicating, the odd and often easy to misinterpret ways of showing affection, the warped sense of self-worth, the god-awful stupid humor I supposedly got from my dad. Not remembering my dad all too well and having take people’s word on that (pats Dani >.>)… These are all things I didn’t always know about myself. Or wasn’t willing to recognize about myself at least. But I’m able to recognize them in my characters. And I’m able to recognize them in things that I enjoy, and characters I’m drawn to, not because they’re like me specifically, but because they’re like me in a small particular ways. Looking outwards can be extremely useful in allowing yourself to look inwards. So, yeah, I write reviews for me. And maybe someone else sees a little of themselves in the observations I make as well.

Criticism isn’t always about placing yourself above something and casting judgment. For me it’s always been “where do I see value in this?”, “why do I see value in this?”, and “in what ways do I wish it could be better?”. And asking these questions about cartoons and fan fiction facilitates asking these questions about myself, my work. Where do I see value in the things I create? Why? Where and how do I wish I’d done it better?

As an Author

I understand how criticism can hurt. And I’m not going to pretend it’s never happened to me. It has. To the point where I was almost discouraged from writing altogether. People’s opinions can be misguided and cruel and reflect on you in ways you didn’t expect or didn’t want. I get the urge to push back against reviews for that reason. But reviews aren’t feedback for you. They’re not meant to be constructive for the author. They’re meant to be by readers for readers. Is the system bullshit? Yeah. Even in Royal Road where we post Shadows Rise I’ve heard authors say that a 4 star review can lower a fiction’s ratings to the point of being harmful, but… Those things should not be on readers. Readers shouldn’t be admonished for a) not knowing how the system works from your side of things and b) not playing along with it for your benefit. If they think your work is a 4-star read, that’s still pretty damn positive, it’s still a huge fucking compliment. And the correct response is “thank you”. If the way Royal Road or Amazon, or Goodreads ratings affect your work is so messed up that it counts as a negative to them, admonishing readers for it isn’t doing jack shit to make that any different. As a writer, those are my feelings. Snapping at the people who are consuming your work and trying to support you ain’t it. And it’s never gonna be it. If you think it is, then well, fuck you.

So that’s gonna be it for now. I got a chapter to finish and then hopefully I can get into a reviewing rhythm again come next month. Hopefully. I miss having activity in here!

Later, peeps.


The Obligatory New Years Post… With a Twist!

Hey, guys! Been a while since I’ve written a non-review post. This isn’t as much of a personal blog anymore, but I’m still a person after all and… The Obligatory New Years Post is an old-school Nest tradition I decided to not let die. I’m not gonna give you the whole “2020 sucked, here’s to 2021 being better” spiel. It’s just a damn number. If we want anything to be better, that’s up to us. So I’m optimistic, but very cautiously so.

I don’t want to analyze this year too much. It’s been horrible in so many ways, but there have been good things too. Right now I’d rather focus on that, and on moving forward. As you guys know, I don’t do the resolution thing. I don’t need any more reasons to call myself a failure by setting long term goals for myself when I don’t know where my head’s gonna be at tomorrow. One thing I want to do this year, though, is read more stuff I’ll enjoy because it’s actually good instead of just because it’s hilariously bad. I have been doing some of that in 2020, but not enough to my liking. I’m not going to pressure myself to read as much as possible in 2021, but I am going to try to give my time to writers who are legitimately good and deserve my attention more than people who write crap I can draw content from.

In that spirit, and since I’ve been reading on Neovel a lot when I manage to stop and do so… I wanna make a list of some of my favorite reads on the platform in 2020. In no particular order of preference, mind you. I love all of these books and I’ve come to see these authors as friends this past year, so no; I am not going to ‘top list’ them on this blog. All my friends are number 1 on my list at all times. >.>

Actually, to make this simpler, I’ll just start with the novels I’ve actually managed to finish.

Continue reading

Patreon Review: The Christmas Tree (1991)

Hey guys, Future Bird here. Sorry this is a little late. I woke up pretty sick on the 23rd and while I did write half of this review then (you’ll notice me mention this in a couple of paragraphs, in fact), it actually got a bit worse on Christmas eve. So I couldn’t finish this in time for Christmas. I’m feeling a little better today though, so let’s do this!

The Christmas Tree is… A weird one. I honestly didn’t expect it to win the vote, but my one patron admitted that he rolled for it. Kinda his loss too because we ended up watching this together.

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It’s free on YouTube if you guys want to experience first hand, but right off the bat: I don’t recommend it. It’s terrible, but it’s not really much fun. It is pretty short though so it’s not gonna hurt you too much to sit through.

It’s two days before Christmas as I write this and honestly, I’m feeling pretty under the weather (don’t worry, pretty sure it’s allergies again), and the only thing I want besides sleep is Stardew Valley, but I’m gonna sit and write this up for you guys. Because you… deserve it?

Okay, I don’t know why you guys keep coming back for crap like this, but I’m not gonna question it, lol.

Before we go into the story of the hellspawn orphans and Mrs. Microsoft Sam… I wanna briefly cover something I found intriguing. Flamarion Ferreira. Now, I don’t usually dig into the names behind the stuff I review. Some things I learn in passing (like the fact Stephenie Meyer has a Bachelors Degree in English) but I rarely go looking into a creator’s background. I want to talk about the art not the artist, but in this case I Googled it because Flamarion Ferreira is a pretty Brazilian sounding name and I was honestly worried about a Video Brinquedo situation (if you don’t know what I mean… Well, maybe I’ll go over those someday), but I actually discovered Flamarion Ferreira worked as an artist in some pretty good stuff, like the original She-Ra, He-Man, The Smurfs, The Ghostbusters, Phineas and Ferb. So… Don’t quit your day job I guess? Because let me tell you the character design and animation in this movie are horrible. And I’m not one to nitpick these things, but oh my God is it terrible. The proportions are weird, the facial expressions are horrible, some scenes are so poorly animated I legit thought the video had frozen when it hadn’t. It’s just that everything is so absolutely static in this movie until it suddenly starts going and it’s jarring as hell.

But what about the story? Well… It sucks too. Nothing happens, then suddenly A LOT of stuff happens… Only to get immediately resolved. And then it ends on a forced positive note.

Let’s go over it anyway. The story start with an orphanage run by the stupidest cartoon villain to ever cartoon villain, named Mrs Mavilda. I don’t know why there’s so much fan art of this stupid character, but I guess she’s memeable or something, because apparently there is a lot.

Yeah, I was pretty shocked about that too, Mavilda. lol

The deal with Mavilda is that she takes the money that’s supposed to go to the children and spends it all on gambling and booze. I don’t know if this is supposed to be portraying an addiction, but holy shit I hope not.

The movie gives us about 5 mins of exposition about Mavilda gambling the orphans’ money away and then Mayor Moneybags dropping literal bags of more money. There’s also a moment where she dresses up two of the orphans to look like they all have new clothes and as soon as Mayor Moneybags leaves she… Undresses the orphans. I would very much like to know who drew this and why they didn’t object.

The real story begins (and yes, the narrator says exactly this… Five minutes into the fucking movie) when Microsoft Sam and family move into town. The dad’s not important, he’s barely in the movie, but even though Imdb says otherwise, he 100% sounds like text-to-speech. The stilted as fuck animation doesn’t help convince me he’s not in fact a robot either. But again, the dad isn’t important, so never mind him.

Judy, the wife, and their two kids go live in the orphanage… For reasons (I’m sure they say but I honestly don’t remember) and Judy takes a job as Mavilda’s assistant. So here’s the thing, right… You’d think that someone who hates children as much as Mavilda does would be glad to have someone else deal with the little snot monsters and keep them out of her hair, but… NOPE. Because see, Mavilda has no real motivation, she just antagonizes everyone for the sake of it. You could say she doesn’t like Judy being there because she might find out she’s taking the orphanage’s money, but honestly? Judy is such a moron that the only reason she finds out anything is Mavilda’s own incompetence.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about these little demons:

Alright so the deal with these orphans is that they’re supposed to be cute and innocent and you’re supposed to feel sorry for them, but… They suck. Their character design is so uncanny and they didn’t have enough voice actors, I guess, so they chipmunk a random kid’s voice in several scenes and I can’t understand a word of what these little shits are saying. Like, there are several moments where it’s supposed to be like “aw, now the kids are sad!” but honestly, I was glad, because I didn’t want to see the little creeps dead-eyed-stare-smiling at me again. The little shits made the pine tree outside into their imaginary friend and think it’s going to somehow give them a mom and dad. Yeah, I know, it’s pretty stupid.

There are a multitude of reviews of this movie. The story isn’t what sells it. I think morbid curiosity is the only thing that sells it at this point. The movie itself is a bunch of scenes. Things sorta happen, but… It isn’t really a story. Judy comes in with her kids, they befriend the orphans (none of them have names btw, they’re just ‘the children’), Mayor Moneybags brings more money so there this lackluster back and forth of Judy telling the kids about Christmas and Santa and then Mavilda spending all the money in a poker game.

This lady’s def cheating by the way.

So the next morning Mavilda is hungover—and yeah, they explicitly say she’s hungover, in a kids movie, gotta love it—and Judy finds out she spent all the money. Well, actually, Judy is like “You spent all the money didn’t you?” and Mavilda kinda tries to deny it, but then immediately admits it. For no reason. She could just act offended and fire Judy, but instead she admits it and decides she needs to get her arrested to get rid of her? Don’t worry though, that doesn’t go anywhere. At all. She tells Judy to go pick something up with one of her friends and schemes with him to plant something valuable and call the police on her, but there’s a convenient snowstorm and she never even goes there. So, yeah, that was completely pointless.

The little demon spawn overhear Mavilda talking about sending Judy to prison and cutting down their stupid mom-tree (because it knows too much, I guess?), and they try to warn Judy. And the dumbass tells them to “talk to Miss Mavilda about it” because yes, the woman who unabashedly steals money from orphans is totally going to help with whatever this is. While Judy is off pointlessly trying to go get framed for theft, the little shits are trying to come up with a plan to help… The tree. Yeah. Even Judy’s kids are apparently more concerned about the tree possibly being cut down, okay then. They discuss a bunch of plans; one of which is to go talk to Mayor Moneybags about the situation; which is actually a decent plan, but what the inevitably settle on is going to the North Pole to ask Santa for help. So Judy’s little brats go off in the snow with the dog (there’s a dog, his name is Licorice), run into a bear and one of them gets hurled off a goddamn cliff (I’m not joking, that’s literally what happens). Why that bear wasn’t hibernating? Where the fuck did it come from? We don’t know and will never know.

Cut back to Judy and she’s getting back to the orphanage and finding out that her kids are missing. She sounds as emotional about it as a plank of wood. Meanwhile Mavilda fires Judy because it’s her fault she lost her children, I guess? Logic wtf is that. And one of her friends comes around to chainsaw the mom-tree.

Judy’s response to this is to be ten times more pissed than she was when she found out her goddamn kids were gone (guess that runs in the family then) and put herself and the children in the way of the fucking chainsaw. Lady, just because the brats believe the tree is magical doesn’t mean it’s worth fucking dying for!

The mayor is passing through I guess and sees this go down. So finally he realizes… Hey, I only ever see two kids at a time wear the exact same ‘new clothes’ every time I give this orphanage money! I guess I suck at my job. Half the town shows up out of nowhere I guess. Microsoft Sam comes around just in time for one of the brats to come back and say the other is probably dead in a ditch. In the middle of this whole mess, Mavilda just goes “YOLO, bitches!” and tries to chainsaw the mom-tree herself. At which point…


Again, I’m not joking. Santas rolls around and zaps a bitch. No she doesn’t die, but holy shit, Santa!

You get the fuck away from me, Santa!

Santa, zaps Mavilda with lightnint, magicks some new clothes for the children, parachutes some presents into every chimney and hooray, Christmas is saved!

Oh yeah, he brings Judy’s missing brat back too. Guess she didn’t die in a ditch.

The Mayor makes mom-tree the town’s official Christmas tree so no one can cut it down now and… In the stupidest move in this film yet, Microsoft Sam tells Judy she can’t take Mavilda’s job because they’ll be too busy raising 9 children! He wants to adopt all of the children, hooray! Instead of getting paid to take care of them, they’ll do it for free!

But then she takes the job anyway, so I guess there was no point to him saying that. He could’ve just said “Hey, let’s adopt all the children, honey!”

Then the narrator tells us Mavilda is Judy’s assistant at the orphanage, but don’t worry, she’s good now. He says it’s because she learned you always win when you’re good, but I think the lesson here is, “Be good or Santa will come and electrocute your ass”.

Merry Fucking Christmas. 😐

In all seriousness, Merry (late) Christmas, Happy Holidays. Hope you’re as happy as I am to see the end of this hell year. Hopefully the next one will be better.


Twilight Review: Chapter 03

[First] [Next (Coming whenever)]

Disclaimer: I’m not a professional critic. This is strictly my (clearly biased) opinion and if you like this book; hey, good for you. Don’t read this unless you know you can take a punch and laugh about it. Also… Strong language ahead probably. I hate Twilight with a fury.

I’m not in a good mood today. That’s why I decided to read Twilight and just wallow in my own fucking existential nightmare. Also, I still haven’t watched Alice in Wonderland and the last three reviews I did of this nature were Cursed Child, so… It’s overdue. =.=

This one is titled Phenomenon. Which, is a great Thousand Foot Krutch song. It’s not a great chapter though.

What Happens

Weather report of course! But wait, it’s sorta relevant this time? The roads are icy, Bella almost gets hit by a van in the school parking lot and Edward loses his title of ‘best character’ from chapter two by saving her life and dooming us all to suffer through the rest of this series. Also by being a gigantic asshole.

Let’s Break It Down

Where to start with this one… Well, with the positives, I guess? It’s a much more straightforward chapter than the previous two. Things happen, Bella is insufferable, Edward is an asshole, the chapter ends. Yes, that’s the positives. All of them. It rambles less, that’s the best I can say for it.

Again, I’m willing to forgive the weather report for this one, since the icy roads are plot relevant, but I’m not willing to forgive how much it still lingers on Bella hating the fact it’s fucking snowing. It’s worse than me starting a new Arc of Shadows Rise.

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Now, before I get into the actual incident in this chapter and start pointing out all the ways both main characters are absolute garbage, I want to draw attention to this passage:

When I got out of my truck at school, I saw why I’d had so little trouble. Something silver caught my eye, and I walked to the back of the truck — carefully holding the side for support — to examine my tires. There were thin chains crisscrossed in diamond shapes around them. Charlie had gotten up who knows how early to put snow chains on my truck. My throat suddenly felt tight. I wasn’t used to being taken care of, and Charlie’s unspoken concern caught me by surprise.

I want to draw attention to this for two reasons 1) Charlie is a great dad and I want you to remember that and 2) this was almost good. By itself it’s actually good, except it rings so hollow in the context of how Bella actually treats her dad throughout this. This realization changes absolutely nothing. Bella’s attitude towards Charlie doesn’t change. And considering the fact that following this realization Bella almost fucking dies, there was more than enough opportunity to use this for actual character growth. BUT NOPE. None of that.

With that out of the way, let’s start with why Bella is garbage, because I have less to say about her this time. Not because she isn’t so bad, but because she’s bad for all the reasons I already explained in the first two chapters. Prior to the shocking realization her father would rather she doesn’t die a horrible death, she’s internally bitching about the weather, swooning over the fact she gets to see Edward again at school even though, she points out herself, that’s completely stupid considering how little they know each other.

If I was being honest with myself, I knew I was eager to get to school because I would see Edward Cullen. And that was very, very stupid.

Bella knowing she’s being stupid and doing it anyway, doesn’t help her case in the slightest, my dude. It makes it much, much worse in fact.

She also drops this gem of a line and… Stephenie Meyer has a bachelor’s degree in English.

In a lot of ways, living with Charlie was like having my own place, and I found myself reveling in the aloneness instead of being lonely.

Like, I know what she’s trying to say here, but oh my GOD does it read like shit. Seriously, who edited this book? Who looked at this and decided it was good to go? No. Bella is a 17-year-old who apparently reads Wuthering Heights for funsies and she expresses herself like this. WHO APPROVED THIS.

Just a second while I run this by my editor real quick.

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So yeah. lol

Bella also drives to school thinking about how much she hates being so popular and how annoying it is that she has two boys crushing on her. Why couldn’t Satan have made her less beautiful! She’s good at too many things! Why can’t she just be normal? It’s a fucking curse!

Wait, wrong Sue. 😛

If you didn’t get that reference climb out from under your rock and go read my My Immortal series. I take no responsibility for your lost brain cells though.

In all seriousness though, some like to make the argument that people loved to hate on Twilight because we’re conditioned to hate things teenage girls like and again, there’s a lot of merit to that claim, but also if I can make such a clean, direct, segue from talking about the main character of your published novel to talking about Eboby from My Immortal, that is a serious fucking problem. I mean, yeah, unwanted attention kind of sucks, but… There are no examples of any of these boys being anything other than extremely nice to Bella and the way she refers to them in narration is always so extremely mean spirited, like they’re not even people to her. I mean, she literally called Mike a Golden Retriever in chapter two. She is legitimately just a horrible person. And this extends to, poor, fucking… traumatized Tyler. Who thankfully also got saved by Edward from having to live with causing the horrible death of one of his classmates. Bella treats his guilt riddled apologies with the same consideration one would the sound of an insect buzzing around their head.

Bella also goes on to complain about how mortifying it is that apparently the entire fucking school cared enough to come to the hospital just to see that she’s still alive. I don’t know, it’s just bizarre to me that the character we’re supposed to sympathize with here is constantly so bitter about being showered with love and attention wherever she goes. Now, I was a teenager when this book came out and, hell, this was definitely not something I would have found relatable at that age. And I know what the argument for that is: “Well, it’s supposed to be wish fulfillment”, okay, but… Maybe is the ace part of me speaking, but I don’t understand the ‘having all the boys throwing themselves at me while I’m a bitch to all of them’ fantasy. And also the ‘being constantly horrible to my dad who does everything for me’ fantasy. I don’t get that one either.

How about Edward, though? How is Edward absolutely horrible in this chapter? Well… He saves Bella’s life by committing a very blatant act of super human speed and strength right in front of her. Then proceeds to laugh at her head trauma; more than once, and then gaslight the shit out of her to try and make her believe she just hit her head too hard and she didn’t actually see what she thinks she saw. And if I had a drink for each time Bella refers to Edward’s good looks while he’s literally insisting she’s brain damaged and acting like a total asshole, I wouldn’t have to write this fucking review, because I’d be dead.

hate these characters. Both of them, but I hate Bella the most. I hate Bella because she’s the voice in this book reacting to this fucking dude like this is no big deal. If we had a character who actually reacted to Edward  like he’s being a fucking asshole, but no. Even though she acts mad at him, she also can’t stop thinking about how attractive he is and no. Just no.

Also, yeah, the vampire thing… I understand that vampires in the Twiverse are supposed to be irresistible to humans, but… spoiler for this 15 year old book… They also like to stress the fact Edward can’t affect Bella the way he affects everyone else. Which I think is to try and make this relationship less creepy by at least stating she’s not brainwashed by vampire pheromones or whatever, but it doesn’t actually help anything.

They meet Edward’s dad at the hospital… He’s actually okay. The rest of the Cullens are generally okay to me and I actually kinda like Alice and Rosalie. Just as an aside, most side characters in this are okay, sadly Edward and Bella suck major ass and I can’t stand them. Bummer. Carlisle confirms Bella is okay, Charlie takes her home, mortified that her friends care she’s still alive. And then he tells her she should call her mother because of course he told her what happened. Bella treats this like some horrible betrayal when… Charlie is responsible for her, Renée is her mother and she almost died, so of course he needs to tell her what happened, you dipshit. Charlie apologizes for this, for some reason, the poor bastard.

And then, while talking to her mom, this happens:

She begged me to come home— forgetting the fact that home was empty at the moment — but her pleas were easier to resist than I would have thought. I was consumed by the mystery Edward presented. And more than a little obsessed by Edward himself. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I wasn’t as eager to escape Forks as I
should be, as any normal, sane person would be.

Fuck this book, man. Okay, Conclusion.

My Thoughts

I’m gonna try to be more consistent with posting reviews. And I know I’ve said this many times before, but actually having Patreon support makes me want to produce more content for this blog. And don’t get me wrong; money’s great and I like it, but the fact one or two people think I’m worthy of their support means a whole lot more. It’s extremely encouraging to think my takes on horrible crap like the Coronaverse books and Twilight actually entertain people. That people find humor in how I write these reviews and, most important of all, my suffering is not in vain, lol. This is to preface the fact that if it takes me another year or two to do another chapter of this book… It’s entirely because of how unbelievably frustrating it is. No other reason.

I think, above anything else, my biggest gripe with Twilight is the fact it has all the necessary elements for character development and growth and it does nothing with it. There were so many great opportunities in these first few chapters to actually give depth to Bella’s relationship with Charlie. The dinner scene in chapter two, the snow chains in this chapter, the entire hospital scene. The payoff of that whole paragraph of Bella almost in tears over the snow chains on her tires? She calls Charlie ‘dad’ when they’re getting her in the ambulance. That’s it. And it’s just a throwaway line. It has no impact. I know that the focus is supposed to be the romance and whatnot, but I can’t stress enough how idiotic it is that her mom wants her to go home; proving once again that she never needed to come to Forks in the first place, and her reason for staying isn’t that she’s finally building a relationship with her dad or that she’s started to make friends here… It’s that she wants to know what the deal is with that weird guy who treated her like crap, is clearly strong enough to dent a fucking car somehow, and laughed her head trauma repeatedly.

Seriously, fuck this book.

Stay safe, stay healthy, wear a mask. I’ll be back with a Christmas related reviews on, well, probably Christmas.

Later guys.


Patreon Review: Courting The Coronavirus

Alright. I’m feeling semi-productive today. It’s one in the morning. Let’s get this over with, finally.

If you haven’t read the first Coronavirus book review I did, you don’t have to, but I am going to draw a few comparisons between these two books, so if you want some more context on that, here’s the link. It’s a relatively short read.

If you did read that review of Kissing The Coronavirus, you may recall that I actually enjoyed that book a lot. I gave it 5 stars, I thought it was quality so-bad-it’s-good content. Courting the Coronavirus isn’t. And, if anything, this book is a great example of something that wanted to be, or thinks it is, ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ but in reality is just plain bad.

Now, in my honest opinion, parody is one of, if not the most difficult thing to get right. There is a very thin line between leaning into a certain trope in order to mock it and just… Using said trope. This book, to its credit, is obviously trying to mock these tropes, the problem is it doesn’t do a great job of it. This book’s idea of humor is blatantly stating things. Starting with the main character.

Joan is a dumb selfish whore who I have to assume fucked her way into this university and only got into this science program to try and fuck the professor. And if you think that’s way too harsh on my part, well, that’s 90% of this book’s humor. Joan is a stupid hoe. Laughing yet? Also, she explicitly states she wants to fuck her professor. So, no, I’m not woman-hating on this character. She’s written this way.

Also, I’ve never been one to see a terrible female character and think “oh, I bet a dude wrote this”. If anything, I think E.L James proved dudes don’t own writing shit female characters. That said, damn, I bet a dude wrote this. I can’t prove it, there isn’t a lot of info on this author out there and Lee Taylor is an ambiguous name to me, but I’ll be surprised and disappointed if I found out a woman wrote this.

Now, if you’re thinking I’m an idiot for expecting any quality from any of these books… I wasn’t, no one is. It’s coronavirus smut. I’ve been in the game of review terrible media for a long time now, I never expect quality. HOWEVER. Kissing The Coronavirus wasn’t good either, it was just funny. So, what makes that one funny and this one just… Bad.

I don’t know how to explain this without continuously comparing these two books, but I think the simplest explanation I can give is that Kissing The Coronavirus jokes about how slutty and not-the-brightest Alexa is. Courting The Coronavirus doesn’t joke about Joan being stupid and a slut, it just… Writes her that way. Imagine a stand up comic going up on stage and just making statements. No set up, no punchline, no inflection.

Joan is women. Women be clumsy. That’s the joke.

“But, Bird,” you might be thinking, “Clumsy protagonists are a trope. The book is just trying to parody that.” Okay, non-existent person who would actually defend this giant turd… If it is trying to parody this trope, then it fails. It’s just using the trope and then pointing at it. Punching someone in the face and then saying “I punched someone in the face!” would also not be considered slapstick humor. Are you picking up what I’m putting down here? The greatest downfall of attempting to write parody is that if you fail, you just produced a shittier version of what you were trying to make fun of in the first place.

That’s what this book is, plain and simple. It just alternates between lazy as fuck and horribly try-hardy with its humor, meanwhile; again, would be pretty shocked if this author is a woman because… Honestly, even for a book of this nature, I was annoyed by how many times the narration just blatantly calls Joan a slut or a whore.

Never mind that she operates on the logic that her co-workers will stop thinking she’s a dumb “thot” (and yes, the book uses that term… Yes, it is as cringy as it seems) who doesn’t belong in a lab, if… Their professor fucks her in front of everyone. It’s the “just a woman” section that feels like an opinion trying to pass itself off as humor to me. There’s no reason for that line to be there. Especially because the first paragraph of the book is Joan lamenting having to do this work anyway. Why is proving herself as ‘lab worker’ material suddenly important to her?

I’m gonna be honest, the ‘plot’ of this book seems like it only exists because this author thought up stupid puns and needed an excuse to use them, but I’m gonna go over it real quick anyway.

Joan ‘woman-trips’ while carrying the Covid sample and tosses it into a particle collider/time machine (I’m just gonna brush past this detail because… Sigh) and it gets sent back to the 19th Century. 19th Century in this book is basically a fantasy kingdom, by the way. It’s not 19th Century USA for damn sure. The Covid sample turns into a green man and establishes itself as… *sigh*… Count Covid. So by the time Joan gets there it’s already lording over the peasants, I guess.

While she’s traveling back in time, this happens

Time Travel Orgasm

The only laugh this entire book got out of me was the reaction of this farmer character when she lands in the past.

It wasn’t even a funny joke, but the mental image of this dude trying to go about his business and these weirdos showing up out of nowhere did get a chuckle out of me.

It wasn’t worth this whole fucking book though.

In a nutshell, Farmer Guy tells Dumb Bimbo the… ugh… Count Covid is having a masquerade ball and she’s like “I have to stop him! Gimme all your shit so I can buy a dress!” Farmer Guy thinks “Yeah, sure, seems legit” and she bankrupts him because who cares, he’s just a side character.

Yeah, that’s the other lazy as fuck way this book tries to be funny and I have no words for how unfunny it comes off.

What made you think you were fit to even attempt self-aware humor, Courting the Coronavirus? Sit the fuck down.

How do I say this… Uhm, listen, pointing out how stupid your plot is, isn’t funny. That’s not how self-aware humor works. At least try to make a fucking joke with it? Have Joan ask why they go to the party if they clearly hate this Count guy and have the farmer shrug and be like “Hey, it’s free food” or something. Just do something with it! Seriously, put in some effort. Any effort! Please. I feel like I’m fucking going insane at this point.

Okay, so the… Freaking masquerade ball rolls around and…

I’m the first to admit I’m no expert, but I have never in my life heard of such a thing as ecstasy queefing. Is that like a panic fart? Is… Is it a vaginal panic fart? I feel like my life has been somehow irrevocably changed for the worse after reading this paragraph. Also, please, I beg you, don’t google it. I do these things so you don’t have to.

I’ll give one tiny shred of credit to this book. A microscopical one. The obligatory ‘dancing while eye fucking each other’ scene is kinda alright. But that’s about it. The dance ends, they go to a balcony and fuck right there with the ball still going down. There are passing mentions of people seeing it, but again… The book does nothing interesting or humorous with it. And that’s pretty much how it ends. One good fucking and Joan just agrees to rule over the peasants in the “19th Century” forever. It’s incredibly unsatisfying. And I’m utterly convinced this choice of setting is solely for the purpose of making stupid jokes with the word “count” and this goddamn gem of an ending monologue:

Covid 19th-Century. Fucking kill me. Just end me. I am done with this world.

Would I Recommend this book?

No. Absolutely not. Are you fucking insane? This is the only part of this book that’s actually entertaining:

And that line isn’t even in the fucking book!

Keep the meme, annoy your friends with that and save your money. If you need to buy a stupid coronavirus book for laughs, get Kissing the Coronavirus instead. At least that one’s funny and doesn’t feel like it wants you to laugh at “women are stupid whores” for 90% of it.

Yes, I am angry! I expected something over the top ridiculous from a time traveling corona-smut book and this DID NOT deliver. Not in the slightest. What a waste of fucking time. *sigh*

Thank you to my Patreon supporter(s) for voting for me to review this garbage. Don’t worry, we’ll look at the other three eventually. Just not any time soon. lol

If you’d like to have a say on what horrible ordeal I’ll be forced to endure for the month of December, all you gotta do is pledge to the $5 tier on my Patreon. Link’s in up there in the sidebar, give it a click if you’re interested. If not, that’s also cool. Just being here is more than enough for me. And if you’re not here… Then who the fuck am I talking to right now? O.o

The next Patreon poll will be Christmas themed so maybe, maaaybe, I’ll get to talk about a so-bad-it’s-good thing I actually enjoy. If the dice favor me this time. lol

I’m gonna try to fit in another chapter of Twilight or another part of the Cursed Child review before that, since Shadows Rise is in Interlude season, so be on the lookout for that.

Stay safe, wear a mask. I’ll see you guys next time.


Blog Direction, Patreon Reviews, and The Month of November

Hey guys. It’s been a while.

Halloween came and went. I drafted two posts to go up on the day, neither of which I was happy with in the end, so I decided to just skip it altogether, but if you want a Haloweeny thing from me. I wrote a bonus chapter for Shadows Rise. It’s a standalone chapter, so even if you’re not caught up you should be able to enjoy it. I’ll try to give you guys something extra next year to make up for it.

November has also pretty much come and gone. NaNo month, US election month, pick your source of stress, I’m sure you must have felt it at some point. The world is a scary place right now, anything that helps the people I care about, if I can do it, I will do. And one thing I know I can do is provide some entertainment. This has become the main objective of this blog for a while now. And in light of that I’m gonna be doing some clean up in the upcoming months. I am going to actually delete a lot of older posts where I expressed views I no longer hold. Or things that might be seen as callous or hurtful to people now. I’ve been debating this for a while, if I should just delete these posts without saying anything, or if I should address it and leave them up, and I decided that… I’m just going to delete them and address it here, just this once.

The Nest has been around for a very, very, long time now. Seven years, give or take. I’m definitely not the same person I was when I started this blog. The direction this blog took isn’t the same I envisioned when I started, it’s become more and more geared towards entertainment than a personal blog. As years passed and I found enjoyment in making fun of so-bad-it’s-good media, as well as just straight up bad media, this has sort of become my brand. And I decided, yeah, I’m perfectly cool with that.

There are a lot of vent posts that are either too personal or simply no longer reflect who I am in this blog’s history and because of the Big Red Button over there *points to the sidebar* they are a lot more easily accessible here than they normally would be. One click can take someone into a very WTF moment of my past, and that’s not something I want to chance anymore. That’s the main reason for wanting to delete those posts now.

Am I never going to express opinions on this blog moving forward? I don’t know. Probably not. But I do have a much better grasp of the person I am now than I did back then. And if I do, it’s unlikely it’ll be something I’ll need to consider erasing in another five, or ten years.

I’m not going to go over every single one of the posts I made I no longer agree with because it would run too long and be mostly pointless, in my opinion, but I am going to say that I’ve gained a greater understanding over the years of what certain things are and how certain things actually work. I’m also not the same emotional over-reactive idiot I used to be in my twenties. And if it was just embarrassing for me to have that stuff up there, okay, that’s a fair consequence of being an idiot, but I also feel it’s my responsibility to create the type of environment I want this blog to be; right now and moving forward. And what I want is for people to come to this blog and find a good distraction, maybe have a few laughs. I think if that’s one good thing I can bring to the world right now, then I should make it a priority because fuck knows everyone’s got something inflammatory to say this year; and whether they’re in the right or not, it’s always just… Really exhausting. I want the Nest to be a reprieve and not a reminder of all the bullshit in the world. If you guys want my thoughts on stuff you can contact me and ask, here or on Twitter; the point of this isn’t to hide my opinions. I just probably won’t be making it into posts anymore for that reason.

That leaves one last thing to address. Blog direction. Not much has changed in the sense that Shadows Rise needs to take priority. The Nest will be most active in-between Arcs and during our end-of-year hiatus. Both of which have now arrived. And since I do have one patron now at a high enough tier to vote on content, Patreon Reviews are going to become a thing.

That means a monthly vote and a guaranteed review of whatever wins that vote at the end of the month. My goal moving forward is to get two reviews out every month. One will be a Patreon Review, the other will either be Twilight, Cursed Child, or Disney Revisited. But if I can’t get both out, the Patreon Review is 100% guaranteed to happen. I don’t know where Fic Commentary series will factor into this schedule in the future, but… We’ll play it by ear, I guess. I predict it’ll be a while until I find one worthy of a long commentary series anyway.

For now, that’s it for announcements and updates. If you’re wondering what’s in-store for this month’s Patreon Review… Here’s a hint:

If you’re afraid… Good. You should be. Fuck knows I am.

I have some reading to do now, guys. See you on the other side.


The Heart of The Forest 2.14

Guys, check out the latest SR chapter. I had a great time writing it, especially the final scene. I also cried like a little bitch in some parts so yeeeah. 😛

There’s only the epilogue left on Arc 02 and things are definitely about to take a turn.

[Wolves Camp | Otium 9th, 2525 |Early Morning]

Lena arrived at the Alpha’s cabin early, only to find it empty. She’d requested a meeting the night before and her mother told her to wait for her in the office in the event she was out assisting with any of the repair work being done […]

The Heart of The Forest 2.14

The Last of Us 2 Broke Me

Plotstains made me watch a The Last of Us 2 let’s play. He needed me to watch it because he wanted to talk about it. And I don’t know how exactly I’m going to write this post. I really don’t, lol. I just know that I need to write it, because I can’t stop thinking about this stupid game. >.>

I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t enthusiastic about TLoU2 even though I loved the first one. I loved the first one, but… I hated Joel after the ending. And I don’t say that to the detriment of Joel as a character. I think… My sympathy throughout The Last of Us was consistently with Ellie from the start. And I saw the ending of that game as not only a horrific act but a betrayal. I was angry on Ellie’s behalf, I guess you could say. As for where I stand with Joel now… I’m gonna come back around to that later on because I think my feelings towards Joel actually illustrate my biggest issue with the storytelling in this game series as a whole.

Before that, though, I wanna talk about TLoU2 and how I felt watching the game. It was a roller coaster ride. Take that as you will but seeing as, like Abby, I’m terrified of heights; I’ve been on a roller coaster exactly one time during which I proceeded to cry the entire time and later on puke… This may not be as accurate of an analogy for you as it is for me. 😛

I know this game is divisive and a lot of people hate it for a multitude of reasons. I don’t. There’s a lot about this game that I love. Actually, I’d go as far as to say I love every single individual part of this game, but I absolutely hate the sum of those parts.

Continue reading

Kissing The Coronavirus Review (Yes, really)

Yeah, I really did this. You guys know me, I thrive off this kind of nonsense, lol.

I’m both proud and ashamed to say this is the first book I review that I paid for out of pocket. Though I do have better books that I bought which I intend to post reviews about one day. One day.

For now, this is what I posted on Goodreads… Which, funny enough I reviewed this on my phone, through my Kindle app, but the review didn’t go up on Amazon, only on GR. Turns out that’s because in order to eligible to post reviews you account needs to have spent at least $50 in the past 12 months and I haven’t, lol. That’s a shame because as you can see below, I gave it a very positive rating.

Kissing the CoronavirusKissing the Coronavirus by M.J. Edwards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What did I even read!?

I’m going to be 100% honest here. This book is exactly what it looks like. The only reason I’m giving it a five star rating is that I’m a sucker for hilariously terrible things that know how hilariously terrible they are. This book pokes fun of itself the entire time for how ridiculous its very existence is. It was cheap, a short read, and made me chuckle throughout. With a premise like this, that’s honestly the best possible outcome.

View all my reviews
So. I tweeted about the Amazon thing bc I thought it was funny, and as I was writing this, Amazon completely missed the joke and replied to me. I’m very amused, lol.

My Goodreads review already illustrates well how I feel about this book. If you take it for what it is, and understand that it’s not even trying to take itself serious; and that’s something you find entertaining… I would recommend it. It’s a short read, it pokes fun at its own existence a lot more than it does the virus or the pandemic because it understands that’s the only way this wouldn’t be horribly distasteful; in fact when I decided to review this I tweeted that this would be the only way a book like this wouldn’t piss me off considering what I’ve been going through since this pandemic started. Mind you; no one close to me has actually been sick with COVID, I can’t imagine how someone who’s been through it might take this. And if that’s you, and you think it is horrible and distasteful, I’ll completely understand. For me, it actually… Got me to laugh at something that’s been making my life miserable for months and I actually appreciate this author for doing that. It’s like cracking jokes at a funeral. If you’re the kind of person who’d rather laugh than cry about the state the world is in right now, and you don’t have an issue with horrible smut, you might get something out of this. But I’m very much aware that’s not everyone. It’s probably not most people either.

I am gonna post some highlights in just a second, but first I want to address something else. This author made no qualms about why this book was written. The author lost their job and needed help paying the bills. Therefore they created something people will look at, go “wtf I can’t believe this is real” and buy out of curiosity. They’re gonna tell their friends about it, and their friends are gonna do the same. That’s how I heard about it; a friend on Twitter. And I can see a legitimate attempt to at least give people something in return for their curiosity; make them laugh at how stupid it is this book even exists.Give them something to meme about. And it actually makes a pretty decent mockery of these sort of smut books that just try to capitalize on anything that’s trendy.

Trust me, this isn’t the only COVID-based book out there, but in writing it as ridiculous as humanly possible this author actually managed to be more respectful about it than if it tried to use the pandemic to manipulate your emotions and sell a cookie cutter love story that could have had any other theme if it wasn’t so desperate for relevancy. It didn’t make me regret paying 90 cents for a coronavirus book because I saw a real human being behind it trying to capitalize on a trend out of necessity and doing it in the most dignified way one can possibly do it; by being like ‘hey, I know this is stupid, so I’m just gonna throw some over the top shit into this thing and we can all have a good laugh together’. 

To illustrate that point, allow me to share some of my favorite ridiculous lines:

Now you might be thinking “Okay, Bird, but what’s this book even about? Is there a plot?”. You’re probably not after looking at these screenshots, but I’m gonna pretend you are and answer anyway… No. Not really. It’s about a horny scientist that wants to fuck the coronavirus because she hasn’t gotten any in a while, some shenanigans happen and the virus takes over the body of her co-worker, and then they, uhm, they…

There isn’t anything else to it. It’s a ten minute read if you’re not picking at it to try and squeeze review material out, lol.

Honestly, if I was in that situation, that’s exactly how I’d tackle it. People can be critical of this book all they want, but the reality of it is, if you’re desperate and want to ensure you make some quick change out of your writing, the most effective way to do that isn’t to pour your heart and soul into a masterpiece novel that will forever be your proud legacy. It’s to create a pseudonym so this shit isn’t attached to your name and write literary junk food people will buy so they can tweet about how they did it and influence their friends to do the same. If you think only writing what you’re proud is going to pay your bills in a pinch, it’s gonna be a tough awakening, sorry kid.

Now, I’m not saying you’re not gonna make money writing good books or that you shouldn’t strive for it, but I am saying it’s going to take more time than that. And if you don’t have that time to make ends meet, you have to do what you have to do. I’m not gonna stand on a pedestal and say there’s any shame in that.

For that reason, it actually kind of annoyed me seeing other reviewers on Goodreads be so hyperbolic and negative about this book existing as if the pandemic hasn’t been a romance sub-genre of its own for months now. As if there aren’t books about people fucking dogs and dinosaurs out there in heaps. This isn’t the worst thing to plague the literary world, people. Just calm your goddamn tits.

Would I Recommend This Book?

If you’re like me and you thrive on hilariously terrible things, you wanna read something shitty and live tweet it so your friends can laugh at your misery in real time, or you wanna give a horrible gift to a buddy: Yes.

If you read this book’s title and immediately decided the author is trash for even writing it and they should be ashamed: No.

You can find the book here. It’s about 90 cents.

If you decide to pick it up, you should know what you’re in for by now. Don’t come crying to me about it. 😛


Author’s Notes 10/03/2020

Written In Shadows

Hey, guys! Blackbird here. I know I usually let Plotstains write his editorial posts first, but considering how things went down with the making of this chapter I decided I’m not going to wait and just address this now. I also want to talk about what’s coming up next on Shadows Rise; mainly the end of Arc 02, Arc 03 coming up, and the Interludes in between. And last but not least, I wanna talk a little bit about 2.13. So if you don’t want to be spoiled, you can read it here. Or, I’ll let you know when to click away from this post if you don’t have the time to catch up right now.

So. *clap* Let’s talk about how damn flaky I’ve been, lol.

In all seriousness, it’s been a tough year all around. I had a tough couple months. I haven’t exactly made it a…

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