FimFiction Link - Short ID: 20685/sunny-skies-all-day-long
Published: Apr '12
This is THE Slice of Life fic, right? Well, not really. At least not nearly as much as its fame makes it seem.
It pains me to write this review, but it's about time someone did it. The fic is good, that hasn't changed. It's the only non-shit fic in fimfiction's top 5 most liked fics. The issue is that people remember it as some life-changing 10/10 masterpiece, and that's not what this story is, or tries to be.
So what *is* it, then? A perfectly fine cozy little SoL story, built around a very nice idea, and written in a pleasant way. You could nitpick some parts (like some typos or one uncharacteristically unempathetic NMM quip that Celestia makes early on in the fic), but overall it's simply a fine SoL fic. Celestia is great in this story -- after all it's *the* fic focusing on the non-regal part of her character -- and the Mane 6 are, for the most part, written pretty decently, too.
Many people liken it to a show episode. That's a good comparison -- it really does read like a oneshot adaptation of one. The stakes are low, and the fic maintains a layer of comfyness; that's all great for a show-like SoL. It's a better Celestia episode than any of the ones we got in the actual show itself. However it's still "only" low stakes SoL, and despite its strengths it's not flawless, either. It does get bonus points for exploring the "Sunny Skies" side of Celestia's character, but other than that it doesn't actually do much to stand out among other well-written SoL fluff.
I may be biased in favor of this story; before rereading it I expected to give it a perfect 10/10 grade, and sadly I'm lower on it now. The most I can give it is 8/10 -- a great little idea written into a very competent little fic. It's worth mentioning that this story was recently discussed as a part of the /fimfic/ secret book club, where its reception was generally mediocre, too. No one claimed that it's bad (it's clearly not), but it got a lot more "it's fine; it's alright; 7/10" than you'd expect given its renown and site rating. And that's probably fair.
If you're looking for a cute SoL fic, Sunny Skies is still a great recommendation. Just don't expect it to be much more than that. 8/10.