OMG you guys.
I'm sorry, I know I already posted once today, but I've had the pleasure of reading some REALLY great works and I just gotta share.
The first is a fan fic called Missing
by maldoror-gw who is already on my Top 25 fics of all time
with Hunter's Moon. Anyway, it's a Gaara/Lee story. And I'm the first to say that I don't dig them as a couple -- have never even tried to read a fic about them. Luckily, it's not explicit and OMG FUCK JUST READ THIS.
Let me be lazy and post the summary from epic_recs
A botched mission results in Lee's death. Gaara, however, can't feel the effects of such a monumental loss and therefore concludes that Lee is not dead after all. He sets out to prove it.
Writing Gaara in a relationship is a tricky business. Though he's certainly changed dramatically since we first saw him in the series, his past was not simply erased by the pep talk he got from Naruto. He still has difficulties relating to people and emotions, which makes him a complicated and complex romantic partner.
That being said, Maldoror knows precisely how to handle him. Gaara's love for Lee comes undeniably through the narration, but so does his single-mindedness and his disconnection with the world around him outside the privileged few that have become precious to him. His search for Lee and mounting instability are heartbreaking. But those that dislike dramas should not turn away - though much of the fic is soaked in angst and despair, there is a happy ending.
All in all, this is an intriguing exploration of the psyche of one of Naruto's most interesting characters.
The second recommendation I have is actually a book. Remember a few weeks ago when I was whining about jury duty? I mentioned I had bought a book at a discount price for the lolz because the plot sounded exactly like James Cameron's Avatar, except on Jupiter? Oh shit was I wrong. I mean, not about the plot. It is
a little like Avatar at first (paralyzed man gets second chance by living life through a new alien body, and starts to relate more to his adopted species than humans), but that's really were the similarities end.
This is a hard sci-fi tale, the only one I've found so far which makes Jupiter seem interesting. The main character is a flawed, self-centered jackass, but still somehow remains interesting and somewhat likable. He gets better. The world itself is richy constructed with an alien species which are certainly no Na'vi. The plot is fast-paced, and interesting. And despite the fact the majority of the book takes place on an alien planet with a completely alien civilization which is nothing like our own, I never once felt lost or confused. I was wrong on this book -- gratefully so -- and I absolutely recommend it to everyone.