Stupid Valentine’s Day Review

Title: Stupid Valentine’s Day                                                     Author: hollyware

Source: Mighty Ducks (movie)                                                   Character(s): Adam B. & Julie G.

Rated: T                                                                                    Genre(s): Romance / Humor

Chapter(s): 11                                                                            Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: She had hated Valentine’s Day forever; since she was old enough to realize it was even a special day.  However, he was making it hard to stick to her original thoughts.



Hello Readers, don’t adjust your computer screens, this is the second review that I’m posting today.  I haven’t been as diligent with my posting as I should so I thought that so long as I had the time today, I would post multiple reviews to help make up for those that I have missed.

I started with Harry Potter and now I’m moving on to a story based on The Mighty Ducks films.  Who remembers those films – besides me?  Well, for those of who do remember those films, I found a Valentine’s Day fan fic for you.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  This time around I decided to go way out in left field and find a story for a fandom that I have never reviewed before; The Mighty Ducks.  I was surprised when I found a story that entirely centered on Valentine’s Day.

Now, based on the author’s synopsis I figured this was going to be a simple story of building up to some sort of amazing Valentine’s Day romance; I thought this was going to be a story where Julie continues to point out all the negatives about the holiday while her friends get giddy about it, then on Valentine’s Day she ends up getting wooed by Adam and starts seeing how the holiday has its perks.  Uh…that’s not the story.  Instead, each chapter is a different Valentine’s Day over the course of Adam and Julie’s relationship; starting from when they start dating through having kids and their kids starting to find their own Valentines.

Personally, I thought it was kind of sweet.  The story really does a great job in capturing the progress of Julie and Adam’s relationship through the narration of one day and the characters truly have some romantic moments.  Despite the time jumps, I found it easy to catch on to the relationship growth and personalities of Julie and Adam; I didn’t feel like I had missed out on key events or couldn’t gauge the pair’s chemistry.

I enjoyed the progression of the relationship as the first chapter is when they start dating, after Adam rescues Julie from a dull date at the Valentine’s Day dance then subsequent chapters go through the couple’s first sexual experience, first Valentine’s Day apart, moving in, getting engaged, married, becoming pregnant, giving birth, and their children celebrating Valentine’s Day.  It’s a nice progression and the with the time skips it never feels like these events are rushed.  Plus, how the characters handle and address some of these changes evolves compared to how they address changes as teenagers.  This story does a really good job of showing rather than telling.

Another part that I think the story did well is the dates.  They were each different and appropriate for the various stages of the characters’ lives.  When they’re younger everything is a bit more movie romantic – getaway to a cabin, romantic dinner, etc.  However, as they get older the dates shift to being more personal like going skating on an ice pond, going to Adam’s hockey game, breakfast in bed, etc.  It helps to illustrate the pair’s evolving relationship with each other and their evolution from teenagers to adults.  Everything is still romantic but the tone and meaningfulness changes.

The only part about the story that I took issue with is how Julie’s character continues to hold on to “I hate Valentine’s Day.”  It didn’t bother me during the earlier chapters when the pair is dating, because they’re dating and the holiday can just feel like another excuse for an expensive date night and the pressure to give significant others a gift.  However, when it continued after they got engaged and even more so after they got married on Valentine’s Day then I started getting annoyed.  This version of Julie held so tightly to her anti-Valentine’s Day beliefs that she wouldn’t even acknowledge it as the day of their anniversary.  Seriously, each chapter has Julie addressing the day as Valentine’s Day, she never once says “Happy Anniversary” to Adam or even bothers to get or do something for him to celebrate their ANNIVERSARY.  No, because it’s Valentine’s Day and she’s against that holiday, she does not think of it as their anniversary day.

The only time her perception of the day changes is when her daughter is born on Valentine’s Day.  During the last chapter, when Julie finally acknowledges Valentine’s Day as something other than a lover’s holiday, all I could think was, “It’s about time.”

This was an issue for me because it speaks of a level of immaturity and animosity that goes deeper than “it’s an overrated, Hallmark holiday.”  Yet, the story never provides further details beyond that generic answer.  If there was a deeper reason given for Julie’s hatred toward the holiday, then I might be more sympathetic.  However, I am someone who finds the holiday to be overrated but I am more than happy to let my significant other give me gifts or take me out to dinner, because my significant other likes the holiday.  I also know that if my significant other and I had gotten engaged or married on Valentine’s Day then I would fucking say “Happy Anniversary” every year, because that day would have a personal meaning to me.

I know got on my soap box for a moment there but it is my only grievance with the story.  It just happened to be something that lasted through multiple chapters and each time it happened I grew more upset with the character.  From a story stand point, I think the story would have done better to explain Julie’s deep-seeded hatred rather than maintain the generic reason. However, that is my opinion.

Now, would I recommend the story despite my grievances?  Yes.  It’s cute and tells a pretty good romance story between two characters and provides some neat ideas for those who feel they aren’t creative in their dates.


Stars: 8 / 10


A Valentine’s Quartet Review

Title: A Valentine’s Quartet                                                       Author: The Snappettes

Source: Harry Potter                                                                 Character(s): Severus Snape

Rated: M                                                                                   Genre(s): Drama / Angst

Chapter(s): 4                                                                              Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Four different Valentine’s Days in the life of Severus Snape.



Welcome Readers, did everyone have a good Valentine’s Day?  Today I decided to wade through the Harry Potter fandom.  It’s like a minefield, there’s so many Valentines fics for this franchise.  However, I eventually found one that I thought would be interesting to read and gave a little love to fan favorite, Severus Snape.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  This one I found to be surprisingly good.  Not that I went into this story with the expectation of it being bad, it just turned out better compared to other Harry Potter stories I’ve read.  Let’s get to the review!

The story is a collection of four one-shots that are connected to one timeline.  Each chapter features a Valentine’s Day where something happens that impacts Severus’ life; bullied at Hogwarts, where Bellatrix’s hatred for him comes from, a student having a crush on him, etc.  The chapters could easily be read as separate one-shots or together; either way works because while they are tied together in terms of occurring in the same timeline but the chapters don’t rely on each other.

Now let’s examine each chapter / one-shot.

The first chapter takes place during Severus’ early years at Hogwarts before Lily and James got together but after Lily befriended Severus.  It’s Valentine’s Day at Hogwarts and Severus is prepared to ignore and avoid as much of the romantic going-ons as possible.  However, this Valentine’s Day Severus receives a Valentine.  I won’t say what happens with the Valentine but I will say that this is a good way to showcase Severus’ attraction to Lily and his contempt for James.

The second chapter takes place during his final year at Hogwarts and he stays the weekend at Lucius Malfoy’s mansion. During the stay Bellatrix tries to seduce him but instead finds out Severus’ true extent as a potions master.  I will not give anything away, but I will say that what Severus does to Bellatrix definitely would earn her ire.

Chapter three happens during The Chamber of Secrets and Severus receives a Valentine from a student.  There’s not much else to it.  There is no confession or confrontation between Snape and his admirer, but Snape does go throughout the day planning his lessons around not making love potions (really, who wants to encourage students to rely on potions for creating emotions?)  Instead, he focuses his lessons on how to cure love potions and similar concoctions.

Finally, chapter four takes place during book seven and Severus finds out that not everyone buys his loyalty to the Deatheaters, so he takes steps to squash those doubts and receives a Valentine howler.

I want to begin by saying that the writing is really good as it molds this version of Snape that could easily fit into the book / movie versions and stand on his own.  It’s a style that isn’t too engaged in the descriptions or looking too deeply into a character’s psyche.  Instead, it’s a style that makes Severus a sympathetic character (not that he already wasn’t) but doesn’t make him out to be the victim.  Some of Snape’s actions are pretty despicable.  The story doesn’t give the impression that Snape’s actions and motivations are “right” or “wrong,” but leaves it up to the Reader if the reasons justifies the means.

I think the only time I had an issue with the story was during chapter two.  I won’t say everything that happens but there is a point where Severus hides in the shadows of Bellatrix’s room and watches the results of his handiwork.  It’s a bit unsettling.  I know that the story constructs the scene less as Snape getting aroused by watching Bellatrix’s suffering but it doesn’t make it feel any less voyeuristic.  To me it was an unsettling part of the story that almost seemed out of place for Snape’s character.

Overall, the story is good.  It’s not amazing and probably won’t be something I come back to, but I certainly don’t regret reading it.  It’s solid.

Would I recommend this story to others?  Yes.  Like I said, the story is solid.  I have no doubt that other Readers will be able to read this story (Harry Potter fans or not) and find a chapter that speaks to them – especially people who have an aversion to Valentine’s Day.  Personally, chapter three was my favorite because of Snape’s choice in lessons and the underlining implications of love potions in the wizarding world.  That’s just me though; I strongly encourage Readers to read this story and find their own favorite chapter.


Stars: 7 / 10

Winner Takes It All Review

Title:  Winner Takes It All                                                     Author: Poohbear-29

Source: Magnificent Seven (TV)                                            Character(s): Chris Larabee

Rating:  T                                                                            Genre(s): Humor

Chapter(s): 1                                                                        Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: The boys have a bet as to who will get the lady on Valentine’s Day.


Welcome Readers, we’re drawing closer to the day of lovers and singles-awareness.  Who’s ready?  I know I’m not.  However, I am ready with another review for a Valentine’s Day fan fic.  I can at least check this item off. *Check*

Ladies and gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  I took a chance on this story because I saw the source as “Magnificent Seven” and thought, “I saw the latest movie; I enjoyed the movie so this should be interesting.”  Well, it was interesting and made me aware that there was a “Magnificent Seven” TV show.

Before I begin explaining what the story is about and giving my review, I want to take the time to explain who the characters from the TV series are so that we are all on the same page.  Chris Larabee is the leader of the group.  Vin Tanner is an ex-bounty hunter in the series and in the story he’s one of the three guys trying to get the Lady.  J.D. Dunne is the youngest member and a young Eastern amateur (a true fish out of water in the west), and in this story he’s the group’s tech expert.  Then there’s the group’s resident womanizer, Buck Wilmington – he’s obviously the second guy who’s in on the bet.  Josiah Sanchez is the Preacher from the series and while he makes an appearance in the story, he’s not a major player.  Ezra Standish is the group’s con man and gambler, and the third person in the bet.  Finally, there’s Nathan Jackson who is the second in command and former slave – he’s just the second in command in this story.

Now that we’re all on the same page with the characters of this story, let’s proceed to my synopsis and review.

The author’s synopsis is accurate in that the story is about several of the guys placing a bet to make the new secretary their valentine on Valentine’s Day.  However, a few bits of context information is left out.  This is an AU (alternate universe / author’s universe) story that takes place in 2012.  The Magnificent Seven is a private law enforcement agency working outside the local PD who just got a new secretary (Miss Kate Donovan) who’s turning heads.  Three of the Magnificent Seven (Wilmington, Standish, and Tanner) decide to start a bet – winner takes all – over who will get Ms. Donovan as their Valentine’s Day date.  Meanwhile, their boss – Chris Larabee – has been receiving poetic messages from a secret admirer.

The build up to the secret admirer’s reveal is pretty good.  It’s obvious to the Reader who the secret admirer is (the story doesn’t try to hide it), but the other characters are kept in the dark until the end.  The poems are hooky and I don’t just mean “rose are red, violets are blue” but…here’s one of the poems:

Hair of gold,

Eyes so green,

The cutest tush,

I’ve ever seen.

Not written by a character with the skills of Shakespeare, but they certainly convey the writer’s interest in starting a relationship with Chris.  Like I said, it’s a good build up to the admirer’s reveal because the poems don’t give the writer’s identity away and they appear in spots where Chris will come across them.  It’s cute.

Then there’s the three men vying for Ms. Donovan’s presence on Valentine’s Day.  These men truly believe in the saying “All’s fair in love and war.”  The methods Wilmington, Standish, and Tanner use to try and woe Miss Donovan and sabotage each other range from the ridiculous to the “how did he manage that?”  One guy sends his rival’s edible arrangement and card to a widowed cleaning woman who is about 2 decades older.  Another recruits a married, pregnant woman from his apartment complex who shares the same last name as a rival to come in and pose as the rival’s wife.  It’s entertaining to see how these three men try to woe their prey, sabotage each other, and regain what ground they lose.

There’s nothing inherently bad with the story.  It’s entertaining, it keeps a focused plot, and wraps up everything at the end.  I think the only bad thing is that when I read the story I was not familiar with the characters, their names and histories.  I feel that if I had been a bit more familiar with the characters before reading the story, it would’ve made more sense and would’ve been more entertaining.  This is not a fault of the story, so I can’t really hold it against the story.  I am obviously not the target audience.

Now, comes the true question, would I recommend this story? I think it’s a fun Valentine’s Day story but I think fans of the Magnificent Seven TV show — people familiar with the characters and the fandom — would enjoy the story more.  It’s easy enough to understand for the uninitiated but there is a sense of “you should be a fan to fully enjoy.”  So, while I would recommend the story for anyone, I recommend it more if Readers are a fan of the Magnificent Seven TV series.


Stars: 7.5 / 10

Stay Out of the Alley Review

Title:  Stay Out of the Alley                                           Author: Twinings

Source: Batman (Comics)                                              Character(s): Scarecrow & The Riddler

Rating:  T                                                                     Genre(s): Humor

Chapter(s): 11                                                               Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: It started with Valentine’s Day.  Things went downhill from there. [CAT]


Welcome Readers, so we’re going to start off my month of Valentine’s Day fan fiction strong!  Ha!  I can’t say that with a straight face.  I’m not even sure about this story I’m going to review.  I mean, the description says “Valentine’s Day” but I think the holiday got left behind and might have been entirely forgotten.  Oh well, I’ve already read the story and I have my notes for this review; I may as well just go through with it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  Today I present…I’m not even sure what I’m reviewing.  I read the story and I’ve come out of it wondering, “What the fuck did I just read?”  No joke, I don’t know how to sell this story.

I guess I’ll start by saying what I thought this story was going to be about.  From the description and knowing who the two lead characters were (Scarecrow and Riddler), I was prepared to read a slash fiction between these two super villains.  A sort of romance that begins on Valentine’s Day and over the course of the 11 chapters comes around full circle so that it ends on the next Valentine’s Day where they celebrate as a couple.

That is NOT this story.

This story is about is one of Scarecrow’s hench women (Captain) who gets a boyfriend and over time she starts changing the way she dresses, the way she looks, and even starts contemplating body modifications to please her boyfriend.  However, it becomes apparent that the boyfriend is a scumbag who beats her and causes her to cry.  The other two hench women (Techie and Al) begin planning an “intervention” that includes stalking Captain and her boyfriend on their dates — using a super reluctant Jonathan and a willing Edward as their “dates.”  Eventually, it climaxes at a midnight, outdoor showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show where all the characters cosplay and Jonathan suddenly sees each of his hench women in outfits that show off their womanly forms.

I…I just don’t get it.  Either way, the story is what it is and I will review what I have been given; not what I expected.  So, I’ll start with story’s good points!

Um… Well, this is a little awkward.  I could’ve sworn there was something I could praise about this story.  Oh!  This story does a great job in providing an interesting insight into Scarecrow’s relationship with his hench women.  Jonathan Crane in this story actively chooses not to get close to his hench women or show undue interest, lest it be misconstrued.  He instead expresses a view of the girls as something that is between parental and women-I’m-interested-in; he feels that they must be reminded of his lack of interest in them and that they cannot have their loyalties divided.

To me, this portray makes sense for the psychologist super villain.  He’s intellectual and likes to get people mentally; so if the girls don’t wet his intellectual appetite but they’re good in the physical offense department then use the carrot and stick trick on them.  Keep them loyal by allowing them to fantasize a possible relationship with him while never actually encouraging it.

I also like that he is portrayed as the kind of man who gets restless and becomes irritated when others are distracted away from their goal / mission.  His annoyance at his companions’ lack of interest in following their fellow hench woman during the outdoor movie and later at a club is relatable.  Plus, I like that due to him being left alone and having to endure the attempts at conversations with “strangers,” he eventually resorts to releasing his fear toxins in a crowded building.

Now, let’s tackle this story’s weaknesses.

What was the point of this story?  I know it’s a humor and the uncomfortable situations Jonathan is tossed into are humorous, but overall, this is less of a humor — even dark humor — story and more of a “why did I just read this?”  I honestly do not know what the point of this story was; was it to show that even Jonathan Crane was not above the physical, sexual appeals of the women who surrounded him?  Was this entire story meant to be one giant Freudian dream?

…You know what, if taken from that perspective — this entire story is a dream meant to show that despite Crane’s outward indifference, inside he’s responding to the attractions of his hench women — then this story just got better.  Not by much, but at least then it does have a point and it’s presenting Crane’s subconscious struggles in a creative way.

You know what?  I think that with how the story ends, this was meant to be a Freudian dream analysis.  It makes so much sense and actually does make it a little funny.  It doesn’t make it a good story but it does make the ending far more clever than I was originally giving it credit.

However, a lack of a point (or plot) is not my only grievance with this story.  The information for this story suggests that the Riddler has a pretty big role to play – he’s listed as one of the characters in the story!  While he does make an appearance, he…his role is limited to making the numbers even for these “dates” where Techie and Al spy on Captain and her boyfriend.  The story tries to sell it as Techie and Al can’t both go on the dates unless they both have a man to be their “date.”  So, they ask Edward to be a date and have Jonathan fill the in the other spot.

To me this is a bit disappointing because the Riddler is a super villain, what is doing allowing two hench women to talk him into going on “dates” with them?  Why isn’t he offering ways to make the Captain’s boyfriend suffer?  Why doesn’t he make things more difficult – like request that they solve one of his riddles for information about where to find Captain and her boyfriend?  It just feels so out of character for the Riddler.

Here comes the big question, would I recommend this story?  Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the time to read.  Sure, there’s the end that if you read it as a Freudian analysis that makes the story a little worth it; but the story adds very little and isn’t nearly as fun or humorous as it could have been.  I feel little connection to the hench women characters and the role of the Riddler is reduced to number convenience.

So, I wouldn’t really recommend this as a must read type story, but if it sounds interesting, check it out.  I just wasn’t really all that impressed with it.


Stars: 3/10

hanakotoba hanataba Review

Title: hanakotoba, hanataba                                             Author: postscriptress

Source: Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun                                    Character(s): Chiyo S. & Mikoshiba M.

Rating: K+                                                                       Genre(s): Romance Humor

Chapter(s): 1                                                                    Status: Complete

Synopsis: “I am not the kind of man who’d let such a beautiful young lady like you walk in the dark, all alone.”  Definitely true, the truest of truths, straight from the bottom of Mikoto Mikoshiba’s too-large, too-fragile heart. (Or: in which Mikorin falls for Chiyo.)


Welcome Readers, we’re now in the month of February.  It’s that month of love as people prepare for the Hallmark holiday of Valentine’s Day.  Oh yes, that holiday that is even fantasized in anime and manga.  I chose not to review a Valentine’s Day story today, but I have decided to review a love confession story.  Just a little something to wet the appetite before I dive into the Valentine’s Day fiction.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  I’m still looking for more stories for fandoms that I don’t normally read, much less review.  What can I say?  That stack of Dragon Age stories just isn’t calling me right.  This story called to me though.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun (Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun) is an anime and manga about a high school student named Chiyo who confesses her love to Nozaki but the confession gets misinterpreted.  Instead of starting a romance with her crush, Chiyo is pulled in to be one of several students helping Nozaki with his monthly shojo series.  The anime and manga are hilarious and create characters and events that are equal parts enduringly cute and funny; it doesn’t take itself too seriously and allows for everything to exaggerated while grounded in reality.

As for this particular fan fic, it’s the story of Mikoto finally working up the courage to confess his feelings to Chiyo despite her crush on Nozaki.  I know, it sounds run of the mill “love confession” type story.  In some ways it is, but it has its own charm that makes it stand out; how the characters are portrayed, how Mikoto confesses and the ending.

In terms of characters, Mikoto is absolutely in line with his anime and manga counterparts.  The cheesy lines that make him blush seconds later.  How quickly he becomes flustered or embarrassed when it comes to real people and uncomfortable situations — like him having a conversation with Chiyo about this girl he likes but he won’t confess.

Chiyo has that no nonsense, unimpressed demeanor about her that does show up in the series – particularly when Mikoto does or says something that causes him to flush horribly.  In this story though, that demeanor is softened a bit due to the passage of time and the fact that she and Mikoto have developed a friendship.  She is also shown to be a little dense too.  This is also in line with the manga and anime because there were a few instances that if someone suggested anything romantic with her and anyone who was not Nozaki, it flew over her head.  However, if it was with Nozaki then she was on the ball.  It’s not the same denseness as Nozaki – his is a special kind – but it’s similar.

The parts with Kashima, Hori, and Seo are right on too.  Seo continues to prove why she’s my favorite character by pointing out the unstated reason Kashima asks for Seo’s help (i.e. Kashima doesn’t want to be embarrassed in front of Hori).  It’s a small thing in the greater story, but I appreciate Seo being depicted so well.

I think the only part of the characters that was off point was Nozaki holding back when encouraging Mikoto to confess.  I mean, this is Nozaki and he does use real life to model for his manga so I would’ve expected him to remind Mikoto that he wanted full details to use in his next issue.  However, that’s a small grievance and it doesn’t affect the overall story and characters.

Next, Mikoto’s confession.  Most times there’s some event or trigger that occurs and sets the confessor off to confess.  In this case, why the trigger happens is a mixture of Nozaki’s insistence and Chiyo’s unintentional encouragement and the effect is not immediate.  There is a scene that builds out almost like it’ll be that confession with a big smooch on the lips but instead it ends with a whisper of what is to come.  As a fan of the slow build and anticipation, I appreciate this tease of a scene and, more so, Chiyo’s reaction.  Chiyo doesn’t think too much of the scene beyond a friend show appreciation for her listening and giving him advice.  It helps build the anticipation and frames Chiyo’s understanding / frame of mind — i.e. at that time she does not see Mikoto as a love interest.

The lead up to the confession is adorable.  I want to go into detail but I feel like I shouldn’t spoil it.  So, I will simply say that Mikoto does something fitting of his character and his knowledge of flowers.  No, it’s not that he suddenly buys a bunch of roses for Chiyo in colors that signify love, romance, etc.  It does have to do with flowers and language of flowers, but it’s nothing super corny.  If anything, what he does is so sweet that I wish my significant other would do this for me in real life.

The confession itself is a bit awkward; it’s hard for a confession not to be awkward when confessing to someone who has feelings for another person, but it’s sweet and raw.  It’s not toothachingly sweet but sweet in its understanding of the two characters’ positions and their feelings.  It has that uncertainty that comes with confessing to a friend — these things can break friendships, but also the optimism that maybe they could be more.  It’s sweet and in some ways more fulfilling than other confession stories.

Finally, there’s the ending; it makes sense given the context of the story.  It’s not a bittersweet ending but one that brings hope and possibilities.  It is as innocent as the kiss.  Which is probably the best part of the ending — the kiss.  See, most stories have the kiss on the cheek or the kiss on the lips; chaste or open mouth, tongue tangling.  This one keeps the kiss simple while conveying Mikoto’s feelings; it is an invitation.  Mikoto does not presume Chiyo’s feelings but he wants to convey his, so he does through a simple kiss on the forehead.  Probably one of my favorite kiss moments I’ve read in a while.

Would I recommend this story?  I highly recommend this story for Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun fans.  Maybe not so much for the Nozaki x Chiyo OTP crowd, but for anyone who enjoys the characters and wants some sort of romance to start developing.  It’s a short story but it’s filled with so much charm and comedy to make it worth the time.


Stars: 9.5 / 10