Labrinth - formula (euphoria score)

January 08, 2021

december

January 01, 2021

Things I enjoyed in the month of December:

Mishell Baker's, Borderline:

"There's fey magic on this."
"What's fey magic?"
"You can look through my glasses," he said, "but give them back when you're done. At this rate you'll have your own pair before long."
I took the glasses from him and slipped them on, looking at the paper in his hand. My breath caught, and I felt every hair on my body lift away from my skin.
Everything else in the room looked normal through the shades, only darker. The drawing, on the other hand, lit up like the Fourth of July. Radiant curving strands like flowering vines danced and shimmered from its surface.
'What the fuck is that?" I breathed.
"Magic," said Teo. And this time, I was pretty sure it wasn't sarcasm.


...

It's true.
I fell hard and I fell fast.
And to be honest, I'm freaking out a little bit about it.
Why? you ask with an understandable air of befuddlement.
It's perfectly simple:

Because my brain is a... special place, when it's presented with something wonderful it doesn't exactly know how to handle all that goodness.
As if it's unworthy of the happy, tingly sensation that comes with it, so it outright rejects the feeling. 
Wait.
No.
It's more a nervous flail than a rejection.
I still guzzle all that supernatural, literary serotonin down and come crawling back on my belly for more, leaving a glittery trail of desperate escapism in my wake.
...
Like a slug.
Like a fantasy-loving gastropod.
Like a terrestrial mollusc with unicorn aspirations.
...
But in the midst of needing another dose, my brain still won't/can't accept the gift it's been given.
At the price of a paperback.
No tricks.
No manipulations.
A simple exchange of goods and one brain-altering experience later.
...
That's real world magic, in my opinion.
Real world magic I don't think I would exchange for anything.
Not even to join a secret group of people tasked with policing the Fae, which is exactly what our heroine in Borderline is offered and hastily accepts.
(I'm full of shit, I'd totally do that)
Millicent Roper is a heroine unlike any I've read before.
Not because she doesn't possess all the qualities I seek in a, specifically, Fantasy leading lady, because she does.
She's brash and acerbic, cuttingly intelligent but for the life of her cannot hide her vulnerabilities; they shine out of her and draw people in, even when she's doing her level best to push them away.
It's only when she lets down her defences that people start to retreat from her, and there lies the contradiction of Millicent Roper.
She's stuck between her strength and her fragility.
Needy one minute, cold and furious the next.
The few connections she makes are severed as soon as her own sense of societal boundaries let her down.
She's complicated.
She's like every other heroine I've laid my heart at the feet of, to do with what they will.
What makes Millie different is that unlike those other heroines, she's not special in the sense of being a chosen one.
She's painfully mortal, she has no supernatural abilities, she in fact cancels out magic.
She's Bipolar. She's a suicide survivor. She's a talented director. She's disabled - a result of her suicide attempt. She's human and so damn self-aware.
Being led through this story by Millie's own voice is incredibly personal because she isn't just leading you, she's giving you insight into how she views herself, the world, and the increasingly absurd situations she's finds herself in.
And she doesn't hold back.
Not when her Bipolar throws her from one extreme to another, not when her disability interferes with every day tasks, not when a passing remark stings so deeply it shatters her.
But none of this intimacy is written with any amount of grandiosity.
It simply is.
Because, well, in the real world, it simply is.
And this honest representation of, specifically, Bipolar disease can be attributed to Mishell Baker's own experience.
Write what you know, they say.
A very limiting phrase, one that doesn't apply to everybody but in this case it absolutely does.
Baker does what 90% of the arts cannot: she shows you, very quietly and honestly, what neurodivergence and disability looks like.
How it limits you.
How it doesn't.
How you're judged.
How you judge back.
How you judge yourself.
How you're still a fucking person and not a case study, or something other.
Millicent Roper is a talented, smart, quick-thinking bitch and she isn't afraid to let you know it, but that isn't the whole of her.
She's also highly empathic, so much so it makes her seem cold because those feelings overwhelm her.
(A trait I harbour myself)
She's kind without knowing how to show it.
She's funny and self-deprecating, honest and protective of herself.
She's determined but aware of her limitations; limitations she will more often than not punch in the no-you-can'ts when they try to slow her down but she'll cry like the rest of us when she falls down.
She's not a caricature, she's not a victim, she's more than her diagnoses, she's just Millie, and that's exactly the reason why she's such an interesting character.
It almost seems absurd that she alone could be thrown into a world full of supernatural creatures, tasked with solving a mystery, and barely miss a beat whilst doing it.
(Because what mortal wouldn't freak the fuck out, even just a little?)


"Doesn't it seem like a terrible idea to you, hiring a bunch of crazy people and penning them up together?"
"I like it here," said Teo. "It's nice not to be judged all the time. So maybe don't start, okay?"
"Seriously, what's the deal? Does mental illness give people some kind of sensitivity to magic?"
"I dunno; Caryl's cagey about it. But I get the feeling it's just―we're all creative people who might not get a shot anywhere else, you know? And I guess we're open-minded 'cause we've got no illusions that life makes any sense."


But it isn't.
She's meant to do it, she's meant to be a part of this unseen world, even while it vehemently tries to reject her at every turn.
And again, it isn't because she's special, or the chosen one. It's because she's Millie.
I don't know how else to say it.
She just is.
And I absolutely adore her, bad temper and all. Possibly because of her bad temper; I am fond of a slap-happy curmudgeon.
Especially when they never miss an opportunity to take the piss.


"I thought the fey lose their magic if they stayed here too long."
"Your attention to detail is one of your finer qualities, Millie." I couldn't tell if she was being sarcastic. "Normally yes, but certain Unseelie exiles use . . . legal but unsavory means to preserve their youth and power. We believe it may be these exiles who are the origin of the vampire legends."
"What!" I couldn't help grinning stupidly. "Are you telling me I just had an interview with a vampire?"
Caryl pretended she hadn't heard me, and I couldn't really blame her.


And I adore the world Baker's created for her to be spectacularly grumpy in.
Whats more apt than Hollywood actually being full of the Fae? Using their beauty and ethereality to dazzle the masses on screen?
It almost seems feasible if you think about it. Where else could these inexplicable creatures come from?
The Marilyns? The Dunaways? The Hepburns? The Newmans?
They can't possibly be just human, surely?
People just don't look like that, talk like that, move like that.
It makes perfect sense that Baker would translate them as residents of Faerie, spreading a little magic in the human world to soak up the adoration that their simple existence evokes.
Or in this case, going missing, generally making a fucking mess, and putting our heroine in undue amounts of danger.
Y'know, the usual behaviour you expect from a race famed for their perversity and penchant for fucking with us mere mortals.
And Millie's just tenacious enough of a brat to hunt the little ethereal fucker down and solve the mystery while she does it.
Maybe it's her director's brain.
Maybe it's her neurodiversity that makes the unbelievable believable.
Maybe it's her naturally inquisitive nature.
Maybe it's simply because she's a pain the ass and wants to know the answer before everyone else.
Honestly, I reckon it's all of the above.
But it's her pain-in-the-assery that I'm most fond of.
If this was entire book of Millie bickering with, well, everybody, I'd happily read it.
More than happily.
Actually, I think I already did.
Because almost every character in this book is a major fuck-head.
Truly, they suck.
They treat her with such disdain and she treats them horribly back.
You'd think that would put you off, right?
Who wants to read a bunch of malignant idiots throw barbs at each other?
Not me, usually, but something about the cagey, biting interactions between these characters had me greedy and salivating for more.
Maybe because their vitriol doesn't quite hide their fragilities.
Or I'm simply a sucker for dickheads?
Or I'm blinded by love.
Did I mention I'm in love with this?
Because I am. I really, really am.
There's a problem, however.
...
Mishell Baker broke my heart.
Smashed it to pieces and just kept on stomping until all that remained was a sloppy, sanguine puddle.
And the cause of such emotional violence?
A ship murdered in its infancy.


For a moment I genuinely wanted to undo the hurt I'd done him, and any other hurts he might have collected in his lifetime. Just feeling that kind of sorry gave me a weird hope for myself. I put my hand over his where it rested on the arm of my chair.
He looked at his hand as though a bird had landed on it.
"Let me guess," I said. "Don't touch you, right? I get that a lot."
"Naw, touching's okay, I guess." He turned his hand over and closed it around mine for a minute before standing and turning toward the door. "I draw the line at making out, though."


Before it even had the chance to go beyond hate-flirting, copping an innocent feel, and one kiss under duress.


His door was ajar, and he was at his computer, surfing a recipe site at light speed while muttering something about butternut squash.
"Hey," I said. "Do you post your recipes online?"
"Are you kidding?" he scoffed. "Would da Vinci make a YouTube tutorial on how to paint the Sistine Chapel?"
"Get up, Leonardo; the cripple needs your chair."
To his credit, he did get up, pulling the chair out for me. I sat down with a muffled groan, and he started kneading my shoulders.
"What's up?" he said. "You disappeared, and now you look like the cat who ate the canary."
I didn't answer right away; I was too busy trying not to fall over from how damned amazing it felt to have his fingers digging into the knotted muscles of my back. It would do no good to let him know this, because then he would stop.
"I have a suitor," I finally said.
He didn't respond, just kept massaging.
"Jealous?" I teased.
"Mostly just confused."
"Well, I don't know if it's a suitor. But I'm going to pretend it's one, because it makes me happy, and happy is hard to come by."
"Is he cuter than me?"
"Not really."
"Smarter, I bet."
"He wants to date me, so I'm guessing no. But he's older." I let out a dazed grunt as Teo did something complicated with his knuckles under my shoulder blades.
[...]
"Want to drive me to the train station at three so we can nab him?"
Teo's hands stilled. "Wait, what? [...] Are you sure he's going to be there?"
"Tell you what," I said, admiring Rivenholt's cheekbones and trying to ignore the way Teo's hands were encroaching on side-boob. "If we go and he's not there, I'll do your laundry for a month."
"You just want to rifle through my underwear."
"Says the guy copping a feel."
Teo retracted his hands, but it was worth it to score the point.


She killed it.
All the flirty potential.
She killed it dead.
And not kind of dead. Not mostly dead.
But dead dead.
No coming back from it dead dead.
Not even with the fucking Fae around to pull some magical, resurrectional hoodoo.
It's just dead, gone, wiped from existence.
I even checked to see if it was fixable in the next book (something I never do) and no, it's not.
And I. am. heartbroken.

It feels as though someone's punched me directly in the chest, gripped my heart and squeezed.
You know that noise people make in grief, at the least in the movies?
That part sob, part choke, part hiccup sound that seems to make the world stutter for a second?
That noise that absolutely wrecks you?
My entire brain did that when the above-mentioned ship-murder occurred and it hasn't stopped since.
I think my chest actually caved in a little from the shock and betrayal of what just happened.
My authors don't do that.
They don't deny my shipping needs.
I've been so spoiled and Baker slapped me into submission.
It hurts so bad.
I had a full ten minute breakdown at my sisters and the mater because I was in so much distress, which in the end descended into wounded animal noises instead of coherent anguish.
I haven't done that in a while, which only lends emphasis to how devastated I am.
And I will admit, I'm an easy shipper.
Show me the faintest whiff of flirty banter that borders on hate between any two characters and I'm like:

I know this. I accept this. And usually it doesn't come back to bite me on the ass.
Usually my bratty, shipping self gets exactly what she wants.
...
Not this time.
Oh nooooo, this time I got spanked hard by the shipping gods:
https://scamanders.tumblr.com/post/77673279008

Ugh, it hurts.
And I'll never forgive.
Even though there were some notable comments made throughout that pointed quite directly to a non-canon ship but hey, you can't expect me to have sense when it comes to hate-flirting.
It's my greatest weakness.
But at least now I know to protect myself with this series.
I know that Mishell Baker isn't going to go easy on me.
It's not as if the above ship-murder was the only death that occurred, there was another and it was so... perfunctory that it seemed almost unreal.
Like it didn't happen.
And I wasn't majorly fussed because I spent most of the book wanting to bitchslap that character into a new personality but damn.
It was fast.
Alive one minute, dead the next.
Simple.
Without fanfare.
Real.
And that's perhaps what I like best about this book, that even when steeped in magic, reality is firmly in place.
At least from Millie's perspective.
You can be stranded in a Fae constructed room being hunted down by imagined beings, and still have time to sweat the small stuff.
Regretting wearing a skirt while fleeing imminent death.
Aggravation over it being really fucking hard to run with prosthetic legs.
Bickering with your fellow captives over ridiculous things because it beats curling into a ball and waiting for the inevitable fairy kicking you're about to receive.
That consistent grounding in reality is actually what makes the Fae all the more frightening and this story all the more fascinating.
...
But I'm still upset.

There's only one thing Mishell Baker could do to ease my pain, and I'm naively pinning all my hopes on her going through with it.


"Don't give up on me," I blurted.
He looked at me, startled, one ear twitching back. "Of course not," he said.


But for now...

.............................................


Cher's outfits in Clueless are a visual feast, and it brings me unbridled joy that Bev Johnson chose this one to illustrate.
I've been in love with those furry cuffs since forever.
https://sarahmichellesgellar.tumblr.com/post/156454049771/outfit-appreciation-cher-horowitz-clueless

...
She's perfection.

.............................................


That's my mater.
Love her dearly.
She taught me how to nerd out with the best of them and headbang to Yngwie Malmsteen from the second I could hold my own head up.
...

.............................................

Two Horned Ladies:
EJ Chong

Bev Johnson

Um, if anyone happens to see that red varsity jacket IRL, hit me up.

.............................................

Labrinth's, No Ordinary:

Obsessed.
I'm obsessed.
That break at 2:33 just wrecks me.

.............................................


Finally.
I've finally seen this.
And I fucking lovvvvvvved it.
Danny DeVito as a cantankerous satyr named Phil?
(Short for Philoctetes. Still hilarious)
James Woods as the eternally pissed off Hades?
(He should voice every villain)
Susan Egan as my new main crush Megara?
(I spent the first 20 minutes of the movie trying to figure out why I knew her voice. ... She's Lin in Spirited Away; yet another sark-happy goddess to have laid waste to my chest organ)
 And of course, Pegasus:

Yup, I'm in love.
Why didn't I watch this sooner?!
Because I'm stupid, that's why.
That's always the reason.

.............................................


Found these on NotOnTheHighStreet whilst trolling the internet for Christmas gifts and fell idiotically in love with the Get Well Pills.
I mean, I couldn't actually eat them because they're far too fucking adorable but I could cast one in resin, right?
That's perfectly normal behaviour.
Right?


Ps. Anthropomorphised pills always make me think of this advert:

Do I sing along every time it appears?
Yes.
Yes, I do.

.............................................


...
UNACCEPTABLE.
...
By that I mean adorable.

.............................................


...


The fact that House Andrews take the time to make a detailed bestiary on one supernatural creature in their series just for their fans, well, it makes me happy.
And a lot stupid.
And very smitten.
The reference to Christophe Lambert's greatest role isn't helping, either.
Long live Connor MacLeod and his ridiculous but weirdly lovable accent:
(Frankly, I should be offended on my country's behalf but... nah. If they ever remake this, which I hope they don't because it's perfect, I will only accept terrible accents and the return of Clancy Brown as Kurgan, who I always call Keurig in my head. ... As if he's a fancy, immortal coffee machine with domination issues)

And House Andrews for being consistently fucking adorable.

.............................................


A sketch?
This is a fucking sketch?!
...


Here's a more soothing landscape by Bjørk Tróndheim to equal out my rage:

Annnnnd this photograph by Henri Prestes because, well, just because:

.............................................

Matt Wallace's, Pride's Spell:

How Ritter ends up bashing in the Easter Bunny's skull with a sledgehammer is a funny story.


The Easter Bunny, Cupid, The Pumpkin King, Santa Claus, and some colonial zombies walk into an assassination...
...
This fucking series.
I swear to all that's unholy, it knows no limits when it comes to infernal farce.
Just when you think: Nah, this couldn't get any weirder; angel nuggets and lusty lizards at the Goblin Prince's nuptials is as far as it can go, right? Surely that's peak weird?
Apparently not because for the third deadly sin, Matt Wallace decides to up the ante by throwing literal hell into the party.


"Why would the damn devil create killer Easter Bunnies and fucked-up pumpkin monsters?"
"Because he thinks it's funny? I don't know."


Because murderous, overgrown bunny rabbits and human sacrifice atop a supersized Cherries Jubilee is perfectly within the realms of okay, let's do this thing.
Because what else makes sense when you're a caterer to the supernatural masses?
...
And... my brain is broken because HOLY SHIT, THAT'S THE MOST SENSICAL THING I'VE EVER HEARD, AND NOW I'M HUNGRY FOR SATANIC, FLAMBÉED FRUIT.
...
Which kind of sounds like I'm hungry for Satan's balls.
But I mean...

Hah! I'm not even sorry.

I did always wonder why Mia Sara chose wildling Tom Cruise over eternal goth sparkliness with horny Tim Curry.
I mean, sure, the forest's pretty and all, and unicorn murder is just plain unforgivable but did you see his, uh, palace?

...
But I pervily digress.
Back to the abject lunacy that is Matt Wallace's seven deadly sins series.
We've been to hell's chicken factory, we've scritched God behind his fuzzy little ear whilst feeding one of his chorus life-altering cupcakes; we've been hunted by overgrown lizards with the sex drive of a rampant teenager in the first flush of hormones, and we've fought flesh-eating clowns - that one wasn't great for my sanity, gotta be honest.
Shit's been downright certifiable, and Pride's Spell is no exception.
Although, one half of the story is set in Hollywood, the infamous Sin City.
Where else would the devil's disciples be congregating? Selling their souls for the next big YA franchise to catch the fickle zeitgeist? Lounging around like ravening Skeksi Knights of the Round Table, feasting on the flesh of starry-eyed screenwriters?


The bodies are stacked high near the door of a windowless conference room. A long-deceased Warner brother is currently devouring the heart of the writer Producer Two can't remember [the name of]. He sits eternally at the head of a granite slab conference table surrounded by all the big old-time Hollywood moguls.
They're not zombies, strictly speaking.
They don't need to eat human organs to survive.
They just demand them.
In truth no one living knows what they are anymore, but since the 1950s they've sat here in their best funereal suits, eyeballs black and flesh necrotic but never rotting off. They don't move from their chairs. They don't speak.
They just eat.
All day.
Every day.


It makes perfect sense.
Hollywood = devil worship.
Totally cromulent reasoning.
And of course the Sin Du Jour team end up catering one of the movie elite's opulent shindigs and find themselves in yet another sticky situation.
Sticky being the operative word with this one.
Who knew vanilla ganache could come in so handy when the the Devil's nipping at your heels?


Directly above the blazing sacrificial pyre, aimed at the spot where the giant cherries jubilee dessert stood just an hour ago, a thousand gallons of creamy, gourmet white chocolate pours from the ceiling.
It bathes the chefs first, covering them head to toe before splattering over the entire breadth of the pyre and beyond.
The torrential cream extinguishes every inch of flame with a bubbling chorus of "pops," giving rise to the distinct, but not entirely unpleasant smell of burnt marshmallows.
It even puts out the Oexial clansmen's torches slathering their ceremonial robes.
[...]
No one, not even the demons, speaks.
They don't seem to have the words to describe the last few seconds.
Who would, really?
[...]
"This is the deepest blasphemy!" the Oexial's elder announces from beneath a layer of ceremonial robe covered in a layer of vanilla ganache.
"It's a temporary delay," the producer assures him.
"My warriors will feast on your guts!"
The producer is unmoved. "Yeah? Get in line behind the Teamsters, pal."
"We didn't die, we didn't die, we didn't die," Darren is repeating frantically, gratefully, half his head and face obscured by frothy cherries jubilee topping.


I don't know of another author who would get away with this shit.
I really don't.
But i'm so glad Matt Wallace does because I've never been this hungry and this literary satisfied concurrently before.
I didn't even know it was possible.
Pride's Spell isn't even my favourite of the series so far.
I actually found it a little disconcerting to have the SdJ team separated the whole time, and maybe I was just in a mood or something, but the structure of the story felt kinda clunky to me.
As if the three distinct narratives running through the story didn't hold together properly.
But again, I might just have been in a weird mood.
I get in those sometimes; I'll start reading on the wrong night and it'll affect the whole experience.
Or is that just a me phenomenon?
...

But who cares, certainly not me, especially because Wallace used three words to make my shipping heart soar this time around:


"Oh, fuck it."


Three of the most beautiful words in the English language.
Even if it's not a full ship.
Maybe just a jaunt around the... peninsula.
Matt Wallace went there and I'm fucking delirious.

...
At least until the next shit storm hits Wallace's ragtag team of caterers to the occult.
At least until then.

.............................................

Die Hard with a-Charlize Theron?:

She's given the go-ahead, let's do this shit.
I vote Kristen Stewart to play badass Holly McClane.
A little redemption for the dumpster fire that was Snow White and the Huntsman.
(I call it a dumpster fire but I've watched it repeatedly, so...)

.............................................


I wish I'd been producing things like this when I was 17.
What the actual fuck?
I can't stop tracing the lines of the Ineffable Husbands' faces.
Ugh.
So clean, so characterful, so satisfying.

.............................................


So. Stinkin'. Adorable.
Uchhh.
How dare this be so adorable?
How daaaaare it?
I'm gonna watch it again.
Because I can, and only my cat can judge me, which he is right now with his inexplicable eyebrows.
...

.............................................


He's... he's the night.

.............................................

Bri Neumann's, Courier's of Woodbine:
.............................................


The wild minute when you open your WordHippo tab, see your previous search, and have absolutely no idea why you needed to an alternative for this.
...

.............................................

Smidge recreating the Prophecy Girl outfit:

Iconic.

Plus, look at her puppy:

.............................................


My current desktop.
Whenever I open my laptop I get a dose of the softs.
And a nostalgia blast of classic dance routines from the movies.

.............................................

A Christmas murder tableau:
(Song: Hello Santa Claus by Pom Pom Squad)

When I saw my sister making this snowman scene inside our ancient terrarium, depositing an arm in the centre seemed the most logical thing to do?


...
Calvin and Hobbes had a profound effect on my psyche.

Bonus first snow of Winter 2020, the year of the trash fire:

Even our snow sucks.

.............................................

Gail Carriger's, Soulless:

"You should go home and stay inside and never go out again."
He sounded so serious Alexia laughed. "You were waiting for me the entire time?" She looked curiously up at the moon. It was past three-quarters in size―an easy-change moon. She remembered the blood on his mouth and put two and two together. "It is a chilly night. I take it you were in your wolf form?"
Lord Maccon crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes.
"How did you change so quickly and get dressed so far? I heard your attack cry; you could not have been human at that point." Miss Tarabotti had a good idea how werewolves worked, though admittedly she had never see the earl himself change shape. In fact, she had never seen anyone outside of the detailed sketches in some of her father's library books. Still, there the earl stood before here, top hat to tails, untidy hair and hungry yellow eyes, nothing out of place―apart rom the odd bit of blood.
Lord Maccon grinned proudly, looking like a schoolboy who had just managed to translate his Latin perfectly. Instead of answering her question, he did the most appalling thing. He changed into wolf shape―but only his head―and growled at her


...
I can't DNF.
Physically and mentally, I cannot do it.
Maybe it's my rampant OCD.
Maybe it's that it'd drive me crazy not knowing the outcome of the story, and for some reason solely reading the outline on Wikipedia is not enough to sate my eye-twitching need to know all the things.

...
Okay, fine, it's my OCD.
Whatever.
But you know what? I almost DNF'd this book.
...
After the first two chapters.
...
I kept falling asleep - a clear sign I'm bored rigid.
I don't like being bored when I'm reading.
It's my happy time.
But I persevered, due to that niggling voice in my head that insisted I keep going because maybe, just maybe, I might really love it.
It's happened before.
On the RoadA Discovery of WitchesPride and Prejudice.
I slogged my way through those bitches and came out the other side with a big old literary crush on each and every one of them.
Thus why I cannot leave a book unfinished.
And thank fuck for that because... I really liked this?
I think?
Kind of?
It's complicated.
I mean, sure, the overuse of names is enough to force me into a berserker rage, and the heroine essentially speaks in exclamation points the whole time, and historical Urban Fantasy is just not my jam - I'm a modern UF kinda girl - but I don't know, something just... switched.
One minute I'm reading with one eye sort of open, and the next the headlights are on.
And I think it might be because the MC hate each other so aggressively but clearly want to bone.


I do not want to die, thought Alexia. I have not yet yelled at Lord Maccon for his most recent crass behaviour!


...
Call me easy but I'm such a tramp for this trope.
Hate-flirting is the best.
Especially when said hating turns into eye-fucking, which then morphs into smutty goodness, and then reverses so we can start the whole glorious process over again.
live for this shit.
And it can alter the enjoyment of an entire story for me.
...
Clearly.
All the MC had to do was be in close proximity of each another and all signs of snoozing instantly disappeared.
Rapt attention was given.
There may even have been mental drool.
...
I feel so cheap.
(I missed the 's' in 'scum' when I googled image searched this. ... Ill-advised. Very ill-advised)

Is that all it takes to turn my distaste into affection?
Am I really that easy?
One growly werewolf gets all grabby hands for the heroine while they spit vitriol at each other and I'm a goner?
Really?
...
I don't know why I'm acting all outraged, I knew this about myself already.
I may, in fact, preen at said knowledge.
Judge me, I don't care.
Give me all the snarly, grab-ass ships and I shall be their captain. We will sail the high seas of bitchery and plunder to our heart's content!
...

...
I think I've lost control of the review.
What I think I'm trying to say is:

 I liked this book but there were some narcolepsy issues.
 I'm a sucker for enemies-to-lovers.
→ Mouthy heroines and growly alpha-mallows are my jam.
→ Historical Urban Fantasy, not so much my jam.
→ I'm the Smut Queen. The Capitán of Filth. A deity of dirt!
→ My reviewing skills are getting worse.

...
That about covers it.
The question is, will I read the next one?
Yes, I think I shall.
But I can't promise I'll stay awake.

.............................................


...

I'm particularly fond of this one:

How does anyone have a steady enough hand for this nonsense?
Am I defective or something?

Seeing as we're on a baking kick, focus your attention on this fucking beautiful gingerbread house by Aimee Twigger:

It would be unforgivable to eat this.
The same goes for Christine McConnell's gothic masterpiece:

There's a gingerbread guillotine.
...
How is this woman real?!

.............................................

Chaperone:

...
Okay, first things first:

I TOTALLY SMELL AN ONLY ONE BED TROPE.

Milady Mass, you are goddess of the highest degree if my sense of trope is true.

Second of all:

MY SHY, BAT-WINGED BOY CHUCKLED?
CHUCKLED?!

...

Ps. The chuckler himself, picking up after the disaster monkeys:

.............................................


What the hell was that?

.............................................

Cousferatu:

My sister, the one of snowman murder tableau fame, will draw kawaii faces on any available surface.
Her particular favourite being clingfilm covered bowls.
Be it dough rising, or in this case, couscous, uh, stewing? soaking? boiling? she will anthropomorphise that transparent mother and she will do it adorably.
Evidence:
(Her name is General Custard. Because obviously)

And sometimes she'll take requests.
I chose a vampire.
Because I'm me.
And that is how I ended up on Boxing Day with a felt vampire couscous grain.
Who I, obviously, named Cousferatu.
...
I love my sister.
She's the fucking weirdest.

Ps. The other sister gave me (us) melting Hot Chocolate Bombes.

...
There are marshmallows inside.

.............................................


An enjoyable mishmash of MerlinThe Witcher, Stranger Things, and Weirdstone?
...

Points off for the Burying Your Gays trope, though.
So not cool and totally unnecessary.

Let's have a season 2 and resurrect this relationship goddammit!

.............................................

Oh.
Hello, Matthew Goode in period costume.
You're not devastating at all.

.............................................


...

.............................................

Seasonal visual sustenance:
(A bad day was being had, so my sister put on one of the classics to cheer me up... and because it's insane and awesome and completely messed up, and she fucking loves it. Life would be so much worse without Frank Oz, Jim Henson, maniacal muppets, and sisters who make a shit day slightly better with mean green mothers from outer space. So much worse)

(My favourite western tomboy)

(Disney may be the devil but you can't beat Helena Bonham Carter strutting her fairy wings. She's an actual goddess)

(Instant comfort. Gromit's eternal exasperation gives me the happies)

Matthew Bourne's, The Red Shoes
(An unexpected, mildly depressing, but incredibly beautiful Christmas Day surprise. One freaking day I will see a ballet production in person)

(It was on. It's still epic. Whitney Houston's a legend. Enough said. Ps. I found it on Amazon and watched it again because it's that goddamn gratifying)

(The mater and I spent a happy couple of hours watching Richard Gere woodenly woo Debra Winger. Embarrassing but delightful)

(I shouldn't be allowed to watch this in polite company. I spent the entire time drooling over the glorious women and their outfits. It's official, I'm in love with Cate Blanchett, Rihanna should be illegal, and Helena Bonham Carter could break my arm, chop it off, eat it and I'd still worship the regal goth fairy ground she walks on)

(We're so far into the double digits of watching this now that I can recite it from memory. Look at this soft, pastel fan art by Tasia M. S.:
So soft)

(Watching Sara Pascoe and Joe Lycett win the game of terrible jokes whilst she demolishes a pair of pyjamas is perfect television)

(It hasn't been the best year for the Bake Off but it's still a tried and tested comfort watch. And of course, there's always Noel Fielding, who somehow managed to get away with this comment:
If cloning was possible, I'd shrink him down, pop him on my shoulder and let him make everything better with surreal commentary and glittery hugs)

(It's never quite the same without Noel but David Mitchell's fury over the most insignificant things makes up for it)

.............................................

I scoop:

I'm sorry, I'm stuck on I scoop.

.............................................


He...
And she...
And then they...

.............................................


Starz or some other network unafraid of depravity need to give these two their own show.
Look how insanely cute they are!

Ps. The sister-monster got a Poison Ivy Bombshell Pop! Vinyl for Christmas and I am beyond jealous:

She's wearing a garter belt for fuck's saaaaaake.

.............................................

Ketnipz strikes again:

It's devastating, you can't deny it.

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