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

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.

Opera Snapshot_2020-12-12_193009_discord.com

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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Opera Snapshot_2020-12-12_235511_discord.com

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.

B.B

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

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. 😛

B.B

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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The Heart of The Forest 2.13

New Shadows Rise chapter is out! And it’s good! Please read, I need validation. lol

Written In Shadows

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[Wolves Camp | Otium 7th, 2525 |Before Sunrise]

The pleasant sweet-scented breezes—a constant over the past few months—abruptly gave way to a dense, humid stillness overnight. With every step towards the training grounds, Lena’s breaths weighed heavier on her lungs. The sun wouldn’t rise for a couple hours still, but unease drew her out of bed earlier than usual. Her trek to their regular meeting spot was slow and introspective. When Lena was offered the position of Instructor a year and a half ago, it was specifically to take charge of Dani’s training. According to their mother, she was bright, an exceptionally quick learner, and in many ways a natural, but something was holding her back and Claire’s attempts to reach her had only caused Dani to shut down ever further. It was a last resort; this arrangement. The only thing left to try before…

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The Heart of The Forest 2.12

Hey, guys! Here’s that other thing I do online. Please check it out!

B.B

Written In Shadows

Shadows Rise-RR

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[Wolves Camp | Inviditas, 15th, 2525 | Sunrise]

Dani lay awake, listening to Sarah’s soft breaths resonating in the otherwise silent room. She wanted to sleep in, she’d tried, but sleep wouldn’t return no matter how much she willed it. With a resigned sigh, she pushed her blankets away and sat up. Sarah was sprawled on her stomach, one cheek pressed against her pillow, hair disheveled and concealing part of her face. Dani held back a chuckle. Sarah always moved around so much in her sleep she’d wake up in the morning looking like she’d wrestled a tornado. Her restlessness had been a constant ever since she was a toddler. It wasn’t unusual for Dani to wake up early for training and find her sister with her feet on the pillow or sliding halfway out of the bed. Dani smiled. Her little sister…

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I’m Upset

Okay, guys. Uhm… The new block editor sucks. I don’t understand why WP is forcing this on all users. I get it that it has all this functionality, but I run a blog. All I need is a simple text editor. I’m never gonna use ANY of this stuff so why can’t I opt out of it? JUST GIVE ME THE OPTION.

This is such bullshit.

I’m legit considering moving the Nest. And I don’t even know how I’d go about exporting all my content if I do. I have a lot of history in this blog. There’s a lot of my life poured into this site that I don’t wanna give up.

I’m writing this post to vent, but also to see if I can get used to using the stupid ‘classic block’. Because honestly. If the only thing you do on your site is write and writing becomes a hassle… Wtf are you supposed to do about it?

Fuck this user unfriendly garbage fire.

Later, guys. I hope.

B.B

The Heart of The Forest 2.11

Hey, guys! I’m a little swamped with work right now. So while I don’t get cracking on another review, maybe consider giving Shadows Rise a go. The latest chapter just came out this Sunday. And if you haven’t been keeping up, you can start from chapter 1.01 by clicking here!

Later, Guys!

B.B

Written In Shadows

Shadows Rise-RR

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[Wolves Camp | Inviditas 11th, 2525 |Early Morning]

Lena woke up to Eldric’s snores ringing in her ears. She opened her eyes to a still-dark room and maneuvered her way out from under his arm. When she’d finally called it a night, he was already sleeping; passed out in his clothes and sprawled across her bed as if he belonged there. The past month had been an exercise in patience when it came to accommodating Eldric. He snored loudly, hogged the blankets, and proved himself quite disruptive of her daily routine in general. Not yelling at him for trying to ‘organize’ her books to pass the time one rainy afternoon demanded a level of restraint she didn’t know she possessed; yet despite all the aggravations involved with sharing her private space, she’d gotten used to it faster than she thought.

A small shiver coursed…

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How To Write Romance (when you don’t like romance)

Here’s a post where I ramble about writing romance if you, like me, normally roll your eyes at romance books. 😛

Written In Shadows

Hey, guys! Blackbird here! So, this kind of post is something I usually do on my personal blog, but since I’m steering that blog more towards reviews and further and further away from its original intent; which was to be a writing blog, and the story I’m currently writing and draw all my writing-related ideas from is Shadows Rise. I consulted Plotstains and we agreed that it couldn’t hurt to post some of these here from time to time.

Since the reader base on this blog isn’t the same as The Nest, I should preface what I’m about to write here with: this is not advice. Regardless of the ‘how to’ on the title of this post, I don’t really do advice. I simply write posts exemplifying and exploring things that work for me. It may not work for you. Your approach can be different and if different…

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