So, how about that new FiMFic update, eh? Recommended stories, and a new search thingamabob. A couple of thoughts:
1) For the recommended stories, I like the idea, and I don't mind losing the "other stories by the same author" bit on the side; I figure if someone likes one of my stories enough to want to read another, they'll probably do so whether or not the story is actually there on the side of the screen when they're finished. Not sure how the recommendations are set up, but I noticed that most of my fics link back to at least one other story by me--I don't know if that's a feature or a bug, but either way. I'm also not sure how much I trust those recommendations at the moment, but if nothing else, it's got some potential.
2) I know I'm not the first to notice, but how am I supposed to search for blogs with the new search feature? That's not an idle complaint; I used that functionality just a couple of days ago to find PresentPerfect's review of Forever Young, for example. We'll see if something pops up to replace it, I suppose. The interface for searching fics looks nice, though.
Anyway, on to story reviews! Short takes, below the break.
Mr. Lonelyheart Meets Miss Lovestruck, by scoots2
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Cheese Sandwich is brought to Apploosa to put his party sense to use for Braeburn's impending wedding to a heretofore unseen bride.
A few thoughts: This wasn't a terrible story, but it was all over the place thematically. It goes from comedy to drama and back at the drop of a hat, drops some shipping cues that go nowhere (at least, in this fic--there's a sequel which I didn't read), occasionally jumps into philosophizing, and then ends with a straight-up punchline. It's an odd beast, is what I'm trying to say.
Recommendation: Readers who like Cheese Sandwich and don't mind a story which can't decide how seriously to take its premise will probably find this uneven but interesting.
Sinners in the Hooves of an Angry Goddess, by Avox
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Cadance and Twilight eat Luna's pickles, and things escalate from there.
A few thoughts: Crackfics don't usually work for me, but... yeah, okay, this one didn't really work for me. I'll give it this: it reveled in its absurdity, and didn't ever drag. But ignoring (as opposed to actively parodying) characterization has never really appealed to me in stories, so stuff like this, well, doesn't appeal to me.
Recommendation: If, on the other hand, you enjoy crackfics, give this one a go; it's quick-paced, has some good jokes, and has all that swearing, raunch, etc. that makes this "genre" what it is. There's just not much here for anyone not specifically looking for that.
You Really Bug Me, by Bronydad
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Hoping to get Dash a bit more interested in their butterfly excursion, Fluttershy challenges Dash to a contest: to see who can catch the most butterflies.
A few thoughts: This story is fluff, plain and simple; the sort where you know exactly what's going to happen, and how it will end, before you're two paragraphs in. That's not to surprising, I suppose, given that the author apparently writes these stories for his two young daughters. It's the definition of simplicity in structure and style, and while I found it kind of dull as a result, I'm a thirty year-old man; while this doesn't have the effortless whimsy of some great children's lit which makes it accessible to all ages, it is the sort of story I can see young children enjoying, and which doesn't talk down to its audience. The latter is something I greatly appreciated as a child, and still do today.
Recommendation: This is just too plain and predictable to recommend to most readers on its own merits, but if you have a child yourself (who like ponies), this might be worth sharing.