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I was holding off on the Yuletide reviews, thinking I'd read more Yuletide, but uh, that doesn't seem to be happening? So since I don't have another Holmes post ready yet, I figured I might as well go ahead and post these (plus one non-Yuletide one I read today).

Bloom by mellish Rec
Paradise Kiss. 1700 words. He holds up a mirror for Isabella to see.

This collection of snapshots of George and Isabella over the years really gets to the heart of their relationship. I love the quiet calm of the fic, and the bittersweetness that underlies everything.

Parisian Scratcher by Viatoris
Paradise Kiss. 4700 words. George goes to Paris with Isabella on a board. They live in Paris in small, cramped apartment and so shmoopy homey story begins. Calm, moody nights and repressed days, Paris Paris.

After reading this, I feel like I really dodged a bullet. This is the same fandom and same pairing I requested, so I could have easily been assigned this person. It's one thing to get a very badly written fic, full of typos and grammatical errors, as this is, and just suck it up and say thank you. It is entirely another thing to get a fic that is blatantly offensive and a slap in the face and have to say thank you for that. I couldn't do it. I wouldn't do it.

I don't think the author is a native English speaker (perhaps French? It's set in France), and they can be forgiven for that (though not being a native speaker doesn't get you off the hook for not bothering to get a beta or at least use spellcheck), but that doesn't excuse the transphobia in a fic about a transgender person. I was braced for it when I saw the fic (about a trans woman and a man) was labelled M/M. Some of the offensiveness could be put down to the character's POV (it's told from the cis character's POV), but I don't feel that fits with his canon actions, and there's just all sorts of stuff thrown in by the author that made me want to cry as I was reading, especially a lot of fetishising Isabella's "male body". Ugh. So gross.

Where Science Meets Faith by [personal profile] helens78 Rec
Contact. 4200 words. Ellie Arroway and Kent Clark have been working together for a long time. If the person you spend the night with is also a friend and coworker, when does it stop being a one-night stand and start turning into something more? (Hint: if it's happening repeatedly, it's probably not a one-night stand.)

I have never seen this movie, but it's all pretty self-explanatory. I liked this a lot. Sex leading to feelings rather than the other way around is definitely one of my favorite tropes.

If on a Yuletide Morn, a Reader by [personal profile] norah Rec
If on a Winter's Night a Traveller. 10,500 words. You are about to begin reading your Yuletide story.

I have never read this book (but it really made me want to!) nor am I familiar with any of the other fandoms contained within the story, but that didn't matter a bit. I'm sure knowing them would make it even more fun, but it was really great just as it is. I loved the metaness of it. And everyone's always so down on second person, but this is exactly the sort of story it works for. I'm really glad I betaed this, otherwise I probably never would have clicked on it and would have missed an awesome story.

[personal profile] norah wrote a neat post here about all the research and stuff that went into writing this fic, which you should definitely read, too.

Not the Girlfriend Experience by [personal profile] zvi Rec
Glee. 300 words. You're not gonna see it just by looking.

I really wish there were more of this, because I want to see what happens with Tina and Mercedes. This is such a tantalising conversation and it feels like there's a lot more going on under the surface. But even just as it is, it's great. It feels so realistic, just a random conversation by the lockers.

Boys in the Hood Are Always Hard by [personal profile] riseupwithfists Rec
Mystery Solving Teens. 1400 words. "If we asked," you're saying between puffs, "I bet Chief would totally get us a dog. For, like, sniffing out clues and shit."

This is not Yuletide, but I'm putting it with the Yuletide batch because someone should totally request Mystery Solving Teens for Yuletide next year! Anyway, if you are not a fan of Hark! A Vagrant, why not? It is one of the awesomest webcomics ever. Mystery Solving Teens is not my favorite Hark! A Vagrant comic, but it's pretty good, and this fic really captures it perfectly.

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