Tuesday, February 1, 2022

WtAFW: It's The Freaking Apocalypse And This Is My New Boyfriend by Olivia T. Turner


So every Wednesday, I do a challenge called What the Actual Fuck Wednesday, where I invite YOU to recommend me the weirdest romance and erotica books you can find. Not just to take the mickey out of them, but just because, well, it's fun. And I am very bored. I try to go into these books with an open mind and sometimes I am pleasantly surprised, but sometimes I really don't like the book in question. Either way, I am unapologetically honest.

IT'S THE FREAKING APOCALYPSE AND THIS IS MY NEW BOYFRIEND was recommended to me by my friend, Julia. And at first I thought it was like some sort of Bane-inspired fic, kind of like the Omegaverse books, but no. And then I thought it was one of those "haha I'm trolling y'all as I laugh to the bank" type books, but also no. It is its own class of "(c)literature" entirely.

ITFAATIMNB is set in the future. I guess there was a zombie invasion or whatever and the government was like, you know what we need to fix this? Drafted civilians slapped in riot gear with total martial control. Because putting guns and tactical gear in the hands of the people never leads to anything bad happening. This plan is so stupid I can only assume that this was the American government. Anyway, faster than you can say "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" these dudes are calling themselves the Ravagers and going around raping and pillaging because YOLO.*

*I bet you didn't see that coming

Our heroine, Marley, lives in some kind of compound with other survivors where they alternate between living in fear and, I guess, living in denial. They're having a wedding and someone has managed to dredge up two 2000s-era slutty club dresses. Look out, y'all. It's time to get down and PARTAY. We even shaved our gross apocalyptic leg and arm hairs. Nasty, nasty! But oh no, Ravagers LOVE weddings because they like to jus primae noctis the shit out of that (bet you didn't think there was going to be this much Latin in an erotica review). Marley and her friend Cassandra make quite the star attractions in their slutty dresses and they are hauled off, one conscious and one not, to the big bad leader of the Ravagers, Boris the Butcher, who is the kind of creep who says "I like 'em feisty."

But before they can be raped, the women are saved by this dude in a skull mask named Max. But don't huff out a sigh of relief yet. Max has already decided that Marley is his girl and her virginity will be his. But for some reason... Marley is okay with this? Because Max is young and hot and ripped? Also, they love each other now? WHAT. At first I thought they were childhood friends and he'd been searching for her this whole time, but no, it was just insta-love, which makes it extra gross when he starts referring to her virginity as a gift and talking about how much he wants to breed her. Barf.

This book kind of ended up being a nasty petri dish of all my least favorite tropes in erotica. Fetishization of virginity. Sloppy and gross sex scenes. References to the words "cream" and "juicy." (What is this? Sex, or a fucking rootbeer float?) Breeding as a fetish. Insta-love. Caveman-like hero. No emotional connections. People behaving in ways that defy reality. Sci-fi w/o world-building.

The problem with ITFAATIMNB is that it isn't funny enough to be funny-bad erotica but it isn't good enough to be funny-good erotica, so it kind of languishes in this limbo where I guess you read it ironically or you just like reading about breeding and gross caveman sex. I actually had flashbacks to my (bad) experience reading Alexa Riley erotica while reading this, so I think if you like AR books (especially the breeding ones), you will probably enjoy this author. I'm honestly shocked at how many people loved this book, tbh. No shade to them or anything-- have you seen the weird shit I enjoy?-- but it makes me feel like I'm living in some sort of bizarro alt-reality where everything sucks.

1 out of 5 stars

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